24th April 2019

Improve your recruitment strategy

A business is only as strong as its employees, so how do you recruit the best staff should be a key objective?

Hiring is a laborious task and a costly one, so taking the right steps and putting the effort in will reap rewards. It needs to be an efficient and effective process, which will save you time and money.

Securing talented workers has many advantages for your business, including increased efficiency, staff loyalty, better employee retention, an enhanced reputation and strong signals about the growth and direction of the organisation.

Therefore, ensuring you have the right recruitment strategy in place is vital, especially in a very competitive job market where the best talent can choose where they want to work.

Given that the best talent can have their pick, it is important that you have done all you can be a ‘go to’ employer. An example of this is Google, which gets three million applications per year for just 7,000 jobs. Despite the low odds of getting a job, it doesn’t discourage applications amongst those in Generation Z, which are succeeding the Millennials into the work place, as they see it as a ‘cool’ place to work.

Your business may not be able to be as ‘cool’ as a Google, but if you want to reach out to this section of the population and become an employer they want to work for, then be aware that this is what matters to them:

  • Salary – low pay won’t make you attractive
  • Mission statement – nothing bland and make sure it stands on your communication channels
  • Cultural values – people want to work for businesses that match their values and beliefs
  • Career goals – do you recognise hard work, success and loyalty? Is there a career pathway?
  • Reputation – if your employees, competitors and the industry value you, then that’s a huge draw
  • Hiring process – candidates talk so your processes need to be slick and feedback swift

You are now set to find your future employees but knowing where and how to find them is equally crucial, especially in the digital age. There are different avenues and tactics to approach this, which will be examining in more detail next month in our latest Base business event, focusing on recruitment strategies.

The path you take will depend on where you are looking in the marketplace and whether it is an employee fresh out of the education system or already in the workforce. Here is an insight covering those areas.

If you’re looking in the graduate market, then you need to be proactive early on. Engaging with universities and offering placements is an ideal and cost-effective way to source future employees. Many degree courses involve work placements, which means there is a ready-made source for your business. Taking on a placement student enables you to assess their suitability and competencies while working with you. In addition, your business will be at the head of the queue when you have the vacancy that is perfect for their talents. Nurturing talent this way is good as you know who you are employing, and it saves time and avoids expensive hiring costs.

Along similar lines to placements are internships as they offer the opportunity to assess them in the workplace, but without huge costs or risks. Internships are ideal first steps for graduates entering the workplace as it gives them valuable work experience, while you can gauge their potential ‘on-the-job’.

Both placements and internships are good ways to establish loyalty with the employee and to generate positive feedback. This is what you need to boost your reputation and meet one of the key criteria in being a ‘go to’ employer.

One lesser known source of securing talented graduates, is the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP).  KTP is UK-wide programme that helps businesses to improve their competitiveness and productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that reside within the UK Knowledge Base.

As part of this drive, KTP, which is backed by Innovate UK, has a dedicated jobs portal to post high-calibre opportunities for graduates. With just 350 opportunities posted per year this is an avenue you may want to consider if you have a job that demands a highly-sought after individual.

For businesses who want to bring in employees right at the start of their working life, then apprenticeships are best way to achieve that. More and more businesses are turning to apprenticeships as a cost-effective way to nurture employees of the future.

However, if your business is looking for talent already in the workplace, then there are several ways to find and secure people, many who will be passively looking for a new role rather than being openly looking.

Using existing your employee base and contacts is a powerful way of finding new employees. Highlighting there are opportunities and using word of mouth to spread the message can mean that the talent will come to you, rather than you having to search for it. Networking events are equally powerful tools to promote your business and potential jobs.

Recruitment agencies can also play a significant role in bringing talent to your door. However, take on board the costs of using an agency and be aware of what they can deliver. If you are looking to fill a senior role, do you hire on an exclusive ‘head hunting’ basis, or do you have a stable of agencies on a ‘placement fee’ basis. It depends on who you want to bring in and what they can deliver that will ensure you see the benefit from the outlay.

Finally, there is online recruitment, with LinkedIn recognised as a leading tool in finding new recruits. If your business is on there, or employees are, then you can post roles and wait for the responses. For the more savvy, you can undertake a search and potentially identify candidates that you feel would be suitable. It is not an exact science, but the social media network has experts who can assist, with its own Talent Solutions sector.

Recruiting the right talent isn’t as straightforward as it seems, but with the proper strategy, channels and tactics and can make a huge difference to your business.