Having been in the recruitment industry for almost two decades, working across Jersey, Guernsey, the UK and further afield, I've become accustomed to many recruitment patterns both on the client and candidate side, that both the team and I have great strategies for, to ensure we're leading the way in proactive recruitment.
The Right Fit
The right people are the most important part of your business. It is so important to ensure you hire ‘the right fit’. The right people help your business adopt a great culture, a culture of team work, a superb working environment which in turn makes your business better all round. The ‘wrong’ people destroy morale, culture and cost your business time and money. It is a very competitive candidate marketplace out there and of course it can be tempting to hire the right CV/experience and compromise on culture – I would strongly advise not doing this! Always think, culture first.
Think Internal First
Promoting internally helps protect your culture and also empowers your staff and rewards their hard work. By promoting internally, you are ensuring the people that eat, sleep and breathe your culture are in different levels of your business and are in a position to pass on their passion for the business and manage and develop their colleagues in the right way. In addition to this, you are ensuring that you are continually developing future leaders in the business and will also see better staff retention. It also serves as a cost-saver as it is cheaper and easier to recruit at a lower level and also easier to instil culture in more junior staff. Beyond that, it's a lovely feeling to promote someone and is encouraging for your current staff and is simply great PR for your business.
Be Brilliant At The Basics
If you haven't got the right fit internally, which is fine - don't promote for the sake of it, make sure that you have your basics covered before looking to recruit. Once the role is signed off and you have been given a salary range, try and get permission to go 10 or 20% above salary so that you have some wiggle room if you need to meet an exceptional candidate's requirements - this will save time jumping through hoops, should you need, and lessen the chance of losing a valuable candidate.
Make sure you have had a thorough brief from the line manager around the role and their expectations, as well as timescales to hiring, salary range and duties, this will allow you to manage their expectations throughout the hiring process.
You can't always get the perfect candidate and with that, it's best to get alternatives from the hiring manager if they can't find their ideal candidate within a reasonable timeframe; will they consider a temporary worker, reduced hours, a change to the benefits package, a job-share? All of these options can vastly improve the appeal of the role and give you a bigger selection of candidates.
Lastly, be aware of the interviewer's schedule, offering a candidate an interview for three weeks’ time because the line manager on holiday isn't going to be the best of starts; as I've alluded to before, and will again, time is the biggest deal-killer in the recruitment process.
Hiring For Culture
More and more employers are embracing an approach of culture-fit over skills-fit and as Howard Schultz, of Starbucks fame, famously said, "hiring people is an art, not a science, and resumes can’t tell you whether someone will fit into a company’s culture".
Yes, a skillset match is vital, but if presented with a candidate that ticks every box versus a candidate who ticks most and would make a better team fit, take the latter every time. You can teach skills, but you cannot teach the right personality or culture fit.
Invest In Relationships
If you're working with external recruiters it is key to ensure that you invest time into these relationships to get the most value; introduce them to your business and allow them the opportunity to truly understand your business and love it as much as you do, introduce them to line managers - in essence, treat them like a new starter and give them the full show, the more a recruiter can be bought into your company the better advocate they'll be for you.
Deal-Killers, What To Look Out For
Time is the single biggest killer for securing new staff. I have seen it time and time again over the years with recruitment processes simply taking too long because the basics weren't in place quick enough and candidates have taken an offer elsewhere.
As I mentioned earlier, make sure you are brilliant at the basics and have everything ready to go before you embark on a recruitment exercise, there's nothing worse than finding your ideal candidate but then getting tied up in red tape and losing them to a competitor.
The second most common deal-killer is the infamous "Buy Back", your soon-to-be new hire has just handed in their notice and is presented with a counteroffer and they accept. This happens all too often, and as a proactive recruitment agency, we approach this very early on in the recruitment process to best reduce any occurrences, should the candidate be looking to accept, and you really want this candidate to join your company, this is why it is important to have some leeway agreed in advance so that you can react quickly.
Post-Acceptance, It's Not Over Yet
Many will feel like the battle is won once the candidate has verbally accepted the offer or signed their employment contract, but over the years I've seen many candidates change their mind after verbally accepting and even some back out after signing the contract. The time period from verbal acceptance right through to the completion of the candidate's probation is a sensitive one and is certainly not a time to rest on your laurels, whilst we always ensure that we're keeping in touch with the candidate regularly right to end of this period, it's important to make sure you hold the candidate's hand through this stage and have everything planned out as thoroughly as possible; moving jobs is a big life change for many of us and will put us on an emotional rollercoaster of happiness and excitement to doubt and guilt, so it's important to stay close through this process to ensure a smooth transition.
By Andrew Partlow