Ed Davies, Hertfordshire Growth Hub
Failure to attract and retain top talent is often cited as the single biggest managerial challenge for organisations that are looking to grow. For many business leaders, recruitment is a reactive process which only becomes a priority when positions need to be filled, leading to an approach focused on filling the vacancy rather than hiring the best possible candidate for the role.
A company can potentially experience major setbacks when recruiting in this way, both in terms of the quality of the person they eventually recruit and the time it takes to find them. Having a proactive recruitment strategy can have significant benefits to a business.
Here we share 5 reasons why you should always be recruiting and some suggestions for how you can implement a continual recruitment strategy:
Five reasons to always be recruiting (even if you’re not hiring)
1. You will increase your chances of recruiting the best candidate for the role (not the best person available at the time): If you recruit proactively, you’ll have a much wider choice of candidates to choose from as you’ll already have established a list of candidates who are potentially the right fit. But if you start the recruitment process when positions become available you are likely to have a reduced selection of suitable applicants to choose from, and be more prone to ‘panic recruit’ someone to get the vacancy filled.
2. You’ll be prepared: Losing an employee unexpectedly can have a significant impact on a business, and can especially for smaller organisations that are reliant on a small number of key individuals to drive productivity and service. By operating a year-round recruitment process, you’ll be in a much stronger position to be able to bring someone in more quickly to pick up the workload, relieving the pressure on the rest of the team.
3. You can involve the team: Having an all year-round approach to recruitment you can develop a culture that encourages your employees to get involved in in the process of finding and engaging good people. This can also help to reduce underperformance and complacency amongst members of staff who will know that their managers are regularly meeting potential future recruits for the business.
4. You can gain fresh insight and ideas: Interviewing people regularly will enable you to keep updated with industry trends and may offer inspiration for making changes to your own ways of working. It will also help you to monitor how your salary package compares with your competitors.
5.You will become an expert interviewer: Interviewing regularly will help to hone your skills. Knowing what you are looking for in an employee and what questions you need to ask will help you to make more informed decisions on candidates and their suitability. Regular interviewing will also help you to engage more effectively with candidates so that you can sell an opportunity to them.
It’s vital that if you put an ongoing recruitment system into practice, you’re always open and honest with your candidates that there may not be an immediate position available. As long as you’re upfront about this, you should be able to develop a strong network of contacts for the future.
In summary, if you wait until a new job opportunity opens up before you begin looking for suitable candidates, the process is likely to be rushed and you will be ‘playing catch-up’ from the start. By building an ongoing pipeline of suitable candidates, you’ll be in an ideal position to fill your jobs with high quality people with the skill-set and personal qualities your business needs as quickly and efficiently as possible.