How to improve your Recruitment Strategy & Hire the Best Talent.

Even in a tight market, a good recruitment campaign is a fantastic opportunity for your company’s branding, but it should always be considered and fair.

To help you try and avoid as many pitfalls as possible we’ve compiled some tips based on client experiences which we hope will help you improve your processes.

Before you start

Don’t just replace like for like. 

When you have a resignation, don’t just immediately try to replicate the exact role focusing on the skills and background of the person you are replacing. Look at the makeup of your team.  This could be a great time to restructure.

Have you thought about hiring outside of your industry? Successful hires can include people from so many different places who are able to demonstrate the drive and motivation to learn and ultimately become superstars. Think about how you could attract a diverse talent pool.

Review your employee pay and terms. 

i.e. bonus payments, salary levels, right to purchase holiday, remote working and especially flexible working. Do this regularly. Are you fair and competitive? Do you offer flexible working, or remote working and if so could you improve on these? Updating your policies may not break the bank, but could definitely appeal and attract some of the best people to your company.

Equal Opportunities

When you write your job description and person specification, make sure you are not being discriminatory in any way.

As employers we are all responsible for ensuring that what we do now and in future builds a culture of equality and anti discrimination. If you have a diversity and discrimination policy what does that actually mean and how does this translate when you recruit?

In practical terms, when you are compiling a job description for a new hire, focus on “competency” and not “fit and even better would be to set yourself targets to attract BAME applicants.

In Professor Binna Kandola’s article  “Why the phrase ‘good fit’ should always be challenged”  he talks  about how good fit creates bias in recruitment.

“Culture Fit is essentially an emotional judgement.

Using the term  “fit “ to assess whether or not a candidate will suit an organisation’s culture carries connotations of race and gender bias. This means that instead of judging a candidate on their experience and qualifications, recruiters are making decisions based on stereotypical assumptions that often stem from their gender, ethnicity or nationality”.

If you want to check your own implicit bias, you can take this further, by completing a free online test  such as the one created by from Harvard University. It only takes about 15 minutes but is well worth the time.

Review internal resources before you recruit externally. 

Make sure that you have considered all your internal options. Ask yourself the following questions:

Have you advertised the position internally to identify any suitable applicants? How easy is it for any frustrated employees to apply for an internal move without worrying about upsetting their line manager or jeopardising their current situation?

Is there anyone internally who might have been potentially overlooked for this position and if so why?

Could any of the job responsibilities be split and shared to other existing employees?

Where are the skills gaps in your existing workforce?

Have you carried out an internal audit of pay, employment terms, promotions and BAME representations?  Is your current workforce diverse across all levels (age, gender, race)?

A diverse workforce connects companies to an increasingly multicultural marketplace and studies have shown that multicultural work forces can be more successful and more profitable.  Now is not the time to be complacent about diversity and inclusion.

The interview set up: dos and don’ts.

There are so many ways to interview candidates. More and more companies are using Zoom, Microsoft Meetings or SKYPE . All methods work but the principals for interviewing are the same.

Do involve several people in the interview wherever possible.

Meeting several people is a great way to showcase the diverse range of people you work with and will give the applicant a sense of your community and company values.

Don’t cancel or postpone the interview at short notice

… unless there are strong mitigating circumstances. Delaying the interview can create even more delays at a later date. A very busy hiring manager may always be difficult to pin down so wherever possible try and stick to the original agreed timetable.

Don’t be too slow in your decision making.

Manage expectations and set out clear time frames for each stage of the process. A laboriously slow process could make the applicant question whether the company is able to make decisions and changes which will get things done.

Set aside reasonable time. 

Do set aside at least 45 minutes to an hour for your first interview with the applicant. It’s important to give yourself and applicants time to get to know each other. Avoid making hasty decisions and make sure any judgements are qualified, considered and fair.

Promote your company. 

Job seekers will want to understand your USP as an employer, how you compare to your competitors, why they should join you. Understanding how working with you will affect their future and knowing what it is that makes you different from competitors will help an applicant decide whether you are the right choice for them.

Talk about the market, the economic climate and how you deal with any challenges. 

You may be asked, inevitably, about how your company dealt with and is dealing with Covid 19,  your company’s post Brexit strategy, or your thoughts on how AI has already and will change job roles, for example, so be prepared to discuss these topics in detail. A strong but honest message about how you deal with these challenges inspires confidence and security.

Review and Feedback.   

Give constructive feedback to unsuccessful applicants tooFeedback should be thorough and timely. If you have asked someone to meet with you then you need to show respect for that time they have spent with you. This is so important.

Tell them why you chose the person you did and highlight any skills that were missing missing they might decide to learn those skills and come back to you one day in the future for work, or even as a client. They might even have a friend or relative to recommend to you and they may even end up working for one of your clients. If anything, being helpful will guarantee that the last experience they have with you is a positive one.

If recruitment seems like workload overload, it needn’t be. Have a look at our recruitment services! We can help you manage the full recruitment process end to end.

by on February 29th, 2020
posted in Advice, Employer