The recruitment industry is entering another boom. This is good news and if you’re searching, you’ll be pleased to know it has created a market that’s driven by demand for talent. For employers, this means there is stiff competition out there. From graduates to directors, the challenge to attract and retain top talent is ongoing.
Despite constant development of technology, globalisation, advertising and messaging the methods of reaching your market are getting endless. At its core, however, recruitment remains, fundamentally, a very human experience where emotional decisions are made. It becomes a very personal process for individuals.
Surprisingly, salary is typically around number three or four on a list. Elements such as location, training, leadership, team, growth plans, opportunities and environment ranking high. Top talent has ambitions, plans and personal lives.
So whether you’re a business owner, a team manager, launching a start-up or part of a multi-national, you should think carefully, think positively, and be smart in how you approach your recruitment plan.
Regardless of the size of your business, it’s crucial to put some shape to the process. Dedicate the time to sit and define what the most important elements of the role are. What is expected of the person you ultimately hire? What background / experience / education / personality to you need to identify. If you’re not sure, don’t be afraid to ask for help. We cannot underestimate how important this stage is to the future success of your company and it’s culture.
Once you have identified the skills needed and discussed them with your team, the next step is to write the job spec. We have been touring around Ireland, as part of RECRUITERNation’s morning breakfast briefings, and we regularly here employers admitting that they spend very little time on the job spec.
A well-written job spec is not only important for defining the role but also very important for defining your brand and how that looks to the outside world. It’s going to be the first touch many candidates will have with your company and a lazy or poorly written spec will be a reflection of your brand. Use it to showcase your team, your role and your company.
Next, assign a point of contact to manage the process. This could be internal or externally via a dedicated recruitment consultant. You’re not going to get anywhere fast if these small decisions are made ad hoc during the process, however.
Why would someone want to work for you? If you can’t answer that easily, then you better start thinking about it. Today’s talent work best when they believe in and respect their employers and the business. It was the main motivator for me when moving to RECRUITERS.
Be confident in your brand, promote your story, allow your business to have a character and utilise any medium available to do this. When using a recruitment consultancy, identify high-calibre consultants from a reputable consultancy that you trust. We can accurately represent, communicate and protect what your brand is to our vast talent network.
This is important; the talent market is powerful and miscommunications can quickly spread. Both successful and unsuccessful candidates should experience a positive recruitment process as it will forever be associated with your organisation. If you’re just starting to build your brand, look at some of the great possibilities at your workplace such as training, autonomy, growth and flexibility.
The average recruitment process is six weeks. If you factor in notice periods, you have a timeline to work backwards from when arranging interviews. Whether this is a face-to-face/phone / Skype introduction, get your process sorted before your start.
How many interviews are involved? Who is the interview panel involved? What dates in the diary can we book in advance for first and second-round interviews? Do you want presentations, and if so, what’s the topic?
Plan the questions you want to ask. Don’t ask google - think about your own expectations and work backwards. Keep the questions consistent for each candidate so that you can be objective in your screening process.
Before the interview, decide whether to call or email the candidate. Be nice. Set expectations for the candidate on where to be, at what time, what to wear and who they’ll meet. Allow them to feel at ease. You might be meeting the next future leader that enabled you to retire at 50.
Book the interview room in advance! You don’t want to spend the next 15 mins making small talk while you frantically check every office before you have to settle for “a nice coffee shop I know down the road”. Manage the process, remain in charge and explain the format. This is an interview, not an exam. You want each candidate to succeed and not fail.
When you identify great talent, it’s likely other companies have also. Use your time well. Be honest, open and realistic about what you can offer. Don’t rush but don’t delay on extending an offer either.
The recruitment process simply does not stop just because an offer has been issued and (hopefully) accepted. Many offers fall through as the first few days in a new job were not as expected. There is also a risky time period between offer acceptance and start date when minds can change and counter-offers from existing employers can be made.
Put in a couple of calls, arrange a welcome coffee. Keep communication open and transparent. Are you going to be their manager? If not, be sure to arrange that the two meet - you’d be surprised how often this doesn’t happen. It’s of high importance that new team member is guided through the first few days with professional care and management.
For your new employee, organise computer access, passwords, user accounts etc. in advance of their arrival. Take time to sit down formally with them on their first day. A good tip to schedule 10 mins in every manager's diary to meet the new hire and explain what they & their team does at the company.
Now is also a good time to go through some of the softer details with them such as; usual lunchtimes, where’s good for coffee and so on. It’s astonishing what gets overlooked, and not feeling of any importance is a surefire way to have employees looking for new roles.
The people you hire are the most crucial investments that you’ll make in your business. keep an open mind - people are usually adaptable and capable. If your gut is telling you someone is right, then trust it. Don’t forget, as their employer or manager it’s your responsibility to create an environment that allows them to perform, then it’s over to them.