The Secrets of Great Recruitment
Bryony Gibson lifts the lid on recruitment best practice and the secrets of successful recruiters.
I’m often asked for advice on the best way to recruit. Of course every situation is different, and what works in one job market may not work in the next, but in general if you follow these simple principles you should find success.
1. Plan ahead
The majority of recruitment is reactionary and based on an immediate need. If you want to be efficient and effective it’s best not to wait for an emergency. Start planning ahead by identifying staffing risks against business goals and you’ll quickly begin to build a recruitment strategy that gets you ahead of the game.
2. Create a ‘most wanted’ list
This doesn’t mean searching through websites and scouring LinkedIn to find a list of your competitors’ staff. It’s about taking the time to find out who’s highly regarded in your industry. Google will be able to help, but more important are your personal networks. Speak to suppliers and clients and take advice from colleagues and peers when pulling together a hot-list of potential recruits.
3. Be proactive
People no longer have a job for life, which means they’re usually happy to hear about new opportunities for career progression. Once you’ve identified someone for your business, don’t delay. Look for the first opportunity to make contact and start building a positive relationship as soon as possible, even if a job is not yet available.
4. Communicate clearly
A regular flow of clear and honest information is crucial to build trust. It’s important that you show respect to all applicants by keeping them up-to-date with timings and progress and by providing useful feedback. Every communication counts, as you will be leaving people with a lasting impression of the level of care your organisation has for its staff. Communicate well and regardless of the recruitment outcome, you have the opportunity to create a host of new and positive advocates for your business.
5. It’s a partnership
One of the main reasons people become valuable and loyal to a company is because they’ve developed a mutually beneficial alliance. This is particularly important to remember if you’re recruiting for small or medium sized businesses where attracting top talent can be difficult. Whether the motivation is future progression, support with study or an increasing salary, if you’re consistently helping employees to fulfil their career dreams they will work hard for you to achieve yours and over time, you will build a reputation as a highly attractive place for aspirational and talented people to work.
6. Act quickly
In candidate-led markets you need to be decisive. Good people will be snapped up quickly, so make sure it’s by you. From a job applicant’s point of view there’s nothing more disengaging than attending an interview, being impressed, getting a good feeling and then not hearing back for days. If you like someone, tell them before someone else does.
7. Induction matters
All your effort will be wasted if you don’t carry it on when new recruits start work. Simple things can make a big difference to how welcome someone feels. Try making their first day a Tuesday, so you can ensure their computer is set up properly and the team is in a good mood. Have the CEO meet with them for 10 minutes to explain why their job is important to the company and that they are delighted to have them on board. Take them out to lunch with the team in their first week and explain clearly what the first 30 days will be like, as this is a critical period.
Ultimately, great recruitment comes down to being prepared, proactive and treating people the right way. If you’re honest and genuine in your attempts to help people achieve their ambitions while you reach your goals, then you’ll build not only a good open relationship founded on trust, but a reputation in your industry as a great employer and place to work.