We have entered the New Year on the back of a record shortage of candidates, coupled with high levels of hiring and the predicted “Great Resignation”. This has made a potential perfect storm for employers both in terms of hiring for growth and staff retention/replacement. Having worked in media recruitment through numerous economic cycles and varying conditions, here are Rupert’s top tips to help you get ahead of the game with hiring:
Review your employer brand.
Are you the employer of choice when compared to your competitors? Things to consider reviewing:
- Online reputation (Glassdoor/other company reviews)
- How attractive and user friendly is your web site to prospective employees?
- What collateral do you have to give candidates when you interview them?
- What is the job spec like? Too many list what an employer wants and fail to explain why a candidate should want to do it.
- How appealing is your office if you are interviewing face to face? If you are remote, have you considered how the setting you are in comes across and your own presence on video?
- How do you compare on benefits and salary?
- Is there anything you can add that is unique, to give you an edge?
Make a hiring plan for the next 12 months.
You should be planning ahead, not playing catch up.
Think both in terms of growth and also of potential replacements. It can take months to hire when you consider the time to attract candidates, the interview process and then waiting for them to finish their notice periods. I would advise starting any recruitment campaigns a minimum of 3 months in advance in the current market.
Assess your current team objectively
It’s important to have honest and open conversations about where working for your company fits into their wider plans and why they come to work each day. If you or the employee cannot honestly answer this, you either must fix it or consider them a flight risk and add a replacement into your hiring plan.
Be ready to move decisively.
I am seeing some employers move from receiving a CV to making a job offer in 24 hours, especially as people can now be brought into the process remotely.
- Is your decision-making pathway clear?
- Have you got the infrastructure set up should someone be able to start immediately, and can you be flexible to accommodate this?
Review your interview process.
At least 50% of the conversations should be about selling your opportunity in an open, honest and compelling way.
- Are you selling (i.e., finding out what the individual candidate wants, matching it and then closing the deal) or are you too open ended?
- Do you have a sufficiently charismatic set of interviewers?
- Are you giving the candidate the chance to see the office (if interviewing remotely) and meet some peers?
Generate some noise.
Let everyone know you are hiring:
- Put it on your LinkedIn (both company and personal pages)
- Make it clear on your website
- Use other social media platforms
- Get all your relevant staff to do the same.
Be flexible on who you hire.
- In this market you are unlikely to immediately get an ostensibly 10 out of 10 employee. However, in my experience, many of the 6 or 7 out of 10’s are the ones that become your future superstars, with the 10 out of 10’s relying on past glories.
- What attributes are essential to you and what ones might be a work in progress? This can also help boost diversity.
- Forget about hiring those with 1-2 years’ experience. These candidates are incredibly scarce – who was hiring trainees in the darkest days of the pandemic?
Be receptive to trainees for more experienced roles.
You could wait months to hire an experienced person (see point 8), or you could roll up your sleeves and fast track a trainee instead of waiting. Not only does this solve the problem, but it is potentially a cost saver.
Consider how you use recruiters.
Of course I have a vested interest in this, however I speak as someone who uses them to fill vacancies in my own firm too. I don’t try to negotiate down their rates, I respond quickly and thoroughly to them, help them to get results with me and build a great relationship – the net result is, I see their best candidates first and am their favoured client.
We can go into all 10 points in significantly more detail – we are always delighted to help advise any of our clients on recruitment, talent attraction, and retention strategy. If you would like a review of any of the above, please get in touch with us here.