The problem companies often have is that they don't think about hiring somebody until someone else leaves and they begin the recruitment process without any suitable replacements in their pipeline. Then, the job spec is written to either describe the brilliant person that left, or a fantasy person that doesn't exist.
Having a proactive recruitment strategy where you are always looking ahead and keeping your pipeline topped up with potential successors to positions should they become available can help you to avoid the pitfalls of ‘panic recruiting’ and reduce the financial impact on the business. A continual recruitment strategy is not easy to implement and is likely to involve time and investment to effect positive and tangible change.
Below are some suggestions for how you can establish a continual process of recruitment in your business:
Have a portal on your website for candidates to submit CV’s to jobs, even if the opportunities are not immediately available. It is important that your site is easy to navigate for applicants and makes them aware that their application will be read even if they are not successful.
Keep Candidates on File for Openings
If things don’t work out with your number one candidate it is important to have a back plan, so retain the details of runners-up so that you can contact them in the event that a position becomes available.
Hire Top Performers and Train Them
A study of more than 600,000 employees from a variety of occupations found that high performers are 400 percent more productive than average ones, so the value of recruiting and retaining these individuals can be huge (Herman, 2012). If you interview a top performer but do not have a position for this person at present, try to hire the candidate and train them, so that once a suitable position opens up, they can fill it.
Your HR Team Should Always be on the Lookout
Does your HR team canvas conferences and other industry-wide events to identify top performers? Are they reading the business publications regularly, looking for someone who stands out? Being able to identify ‘top talent’ will give you a better chance of being able to recruit these individuals to your organisation.
Recruiters Need to Understand the Business
It’s also not enough for HR recruiters to always be on the lookout for top talent, but they need to have a deep understanding of the business in which they work, to identify the skills required to succeed. A recruiter needs to know how to recognise if a candidate will make a good team member, and that means understanding what the team’s challenges and goals are.
Kaplan Executive Search, Nov 6, 2018 https://www.kaplanexec.com/blog/why-you-should-always-be-recruiting
Herman Aguinis and Ernest O’Boyle Jr., “The best and the rest: Revisiting the norm of normality in individual performance,” Personal Psychology, Volume 65, Issue 1, Spring 2012, pp. 79–119, onlinelibrary.wiley.com.