Recruitment can be such a lottery if it isn’t done correctly. But, as Francesca Randle points out, the process doesn’t need to be so arbitrary.
With the tight labour market showing no immediate sign of abating, more organisations are realising that effective resourcing is the key to their success. This apparent shortage of candidates with the right skills, talents and experience has created a fiercely competitive market for talent. Since organisational success depends upon having the right people, an effective recruitment strategy that is integrated in to the business strategy is essential.
Employers now require a more sophisticated approach to resourcing: one that strategically links talent acquisition to the needs of the business. At the same time, people’s expectations of what they want from employers are also rising, and organisations need to be more innovative in how they attract and retain staff. Many are adopting a more flexible and diverse approach to their recruitment practices to meet these challenges.
Why the need for recruitment strategies?
Below is a list of common issues businesses find themselves facing, having adopted an unregulated recruitment strategy:
- Little formal recruitment strategy – hires are often ‘panic buys’
- No co-ordination or sharing of business information or best practice
- No economy of scale cost reduction; no bargaining power
- No formalised agreements regarding terms of business or service levels
- Isolated relationships with individual suppliers and line managers
- Large degrees of misinterpretation of requirements
- No project-based recruitment strategies
- Little use of internal recruitment methods
- Insufficient sector knowledge from individual agencies
- No consistency in approach or relationship
- Very high quantity of CVs and not enough quality
- Total lack of consistent screening methods
- Lack of relationship management skills
- Loss of good candidates through unprofessional or unstructured recruitment processes
In order to develop a meaningful recruitment strategy for the future, it is imperative that you fully understand how your current
process works. The most effective way to achieve this is to conduct a full ‘recruitment process audit’, which should look at every aspect of the recruitment cycle within your business and is designed to highlight both procedural excellence and areas of improvement within the process.
The first stage of this audit is to fully understand who in the business has responsibility for recruitment and how they are currently conducting their recruitment processes. You need to gain a clear picture of the overall internal recruitment strategy and recruitment practices by discussing the current practices with hiring managers.
Once you have a clear picture of the current hiring strategy, you must then gain a good understanding of the ‘candidate experience’ through the hiring process. The most effective method of understanding the current ‘candidate experience’ is by fully investigating and discussing the individual experiences of all recent ‘new recruits’ throughout the organisation regarding both the recruitment and induction processes. This will help identify any key areas for improvement or change.
Then, having fully reviewed and documented the current recruitment cycle and practices from attraction to induction, you will finally be in a position to offer ‘best practice’ recruitment procedures across the organisation.
Operational recruitment services
Many organisations have an internal human resources (HR) function that deals with many of the operational aspects of the resourcing process. However, some organisations do not have a dedicated function and managers often have to devote precious time overseeing recruitment themselves. Below are some key areas to consider when devising a successful strategy for the future:
- Ensure you look internally prior to adopting any external recruitment strategies.
- Have a clear understanding of the current marketplace including: salary surveys; skills shortages; and key drivers / reasons for candidates to join your organisation.
- Map a consistent recruitment / hiring process for each new recruit.
- Create a consistent job profile for each requirement – one that can be utilised by every hiring manager.
- Create a front cover sheet of key information for agencies to complete with each submission.
- Ensure feedback is offered. Feedback forms should be completed for each candidate interviewed.
- Ensure relevant management information is collated and presented to hiring managers from suppliers.
- Communicate new processes to hiring managers and assess any further areas of support required.
- Consider ‘direct hire’ strategies where applicable.
- Have a clear understanding of the best methods of attracting staff. From that, devise an attraction strategy.
- Review all testing and assessment products and processes.
- Once you have successfully recruited staff, make sure you keep them by introducing attractive retention measures and developing innovative and creative training programmes to keep them motivated and engaged.
- Hold focus group meetings of existing staff – both new recruits and those who have been employed for a number of years – to find out from them their view of the key attractions as an employer and what the key factors are for them in remaining in employment.
- Develop an attractive, user-friendly recruitment website, with access to a wide range of detailed information for potential candidates about the benefits of working in your organisation.
- Ensure that your recruitment processes encourage diversity.
As the market changes and recruitment of talent becomes more specific, so organisations will have to develop a wider network of recruitment businesses to meet their needs. This may bring the HR department in to conflict with the purchasing department where the driver is more likely to be about price reduction rather than any real evaluation of quality.
Organisations will also have to consider innovative approaches to recruitment ensuring that every ‘route to recruit’ is fully utilised. Whether it is to adopt a direct hiring strategy, to work alongside agencies, or to adopt a preferred supplier review, there are many solutions available to organisations to achieve best results in the recruitment of new employees.
Francesca Randle is director at Cactus Search
Tel: +44 8702 866 904