Most businesses struggle with recruitment at some point. It can be a time consuming and nerve wracking process. From working out the skills and experience you need, to writing the advert, then trawling through dozens of resumes and completing interviews to find that perfect needle in a haystack. It can be stressful for everyone.

We’ve found that the majority of recruitment in small and medium businesses is reactive. Someone hands in their resignation, gives a few weeks’ notice and the race to find, hire and train a replacement begins!  Given this pressure cooker situation, it’s no wonder than many businesses report procrastinating for fear of getting it wrong or choosing a less than ideal candidate in the rush to fill the vacancy.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! There is a huge array of tools, expert advice and technology available to get you closer to welcoming that fantastic new employee into your business. The workforce dynamic is changing rapidly and this means that the way we recruit is changing too.

If you’ve ever found it difficult to find the right candidate, you’re not alone!

  • 86% of recruiters and 62% of employers felt the 2016 labour market was candidate-driven. (Source: MRINetwork)
  • The 3 main barriers to hiring are; finding suitable candidates (46%), compensation (43%) and competition (39%). (Source: LinkedIn)
  • 60% of candidates have quit a recruitment process because it was too lengthy. (Source: Officevibe)
  • The average cost per new hire is now at $4,000. (Source: Officevibe)
  • 58% of small businesses reported “hiring or trying to hire” and 52% reported “lack of qualified applicants” as reasonsfor open positions in 2016. (Source: NFIB)

With this in mind, organisations need to regularly review the way they recruit in order to stay ahead. Often businesses baulk at the terms ‘recruitment strategy’ or ‘talent management’. They see these as HR functions designed only for big corporates, but the truth is that these jargon-heavy activities are just as applicable for small and medium organisations. In fact, it could be what gives them the edge in a crowded, candidate-driven labour market.

Here are a few practical pointers when approaching your next recruitment process:

  • Consider the real business need with fresh eyes

Before you drag out an old position description and job advert from 2010 to slap up on a job board, STOP! Think carefully about what has changed in your business and what is likely to change in future so that you can focus on the genuine requirements of the role. Question old habits or beliefs which have been accepted for years, for example: is this an opportunity to redistribute responsibility amongst the team? Could this be a part time role? What emerging skills does the business need? What behaviours and values align to your business growth?

  • What’s in it for the candidate?

Once you’ve determined the role requirements, think about the ideal candidate. What’s in it for them? If you want to attract the best people, you need to consider their needs and interests so that you can stand out from the hundreds of other advertisements. Just like you need to understand your value proposition when speaking with your customers, the same goes for candidates. In a competitive job market, you need to articulate what’s different about your workplace and how that might suit a great candidate.

A few things that candidates find attractive:

  • Flexible working hours or ability to work from home
  • Commitment to ongoing training or career development
  • Friendly or relaxed work environment
  • Generous bonus or incentive schemes
  • Proximity to transport, schools or childcare facilities
  • Free and convenient car parking
  • Job security

It’s often a worthwhile exercise to talk to your existing employees and ask them what they value most so that you can ensure that you’re painting a realistic picture to potential new employees.

  • Write a simple, honest advert and communicate promptly

Firstly, write in plain English and be succinct about the requirements of the role. Candidates are scanning your advert and dozens of others. If you’ve filled the page with long waffly sentences and confusing jargon, people will move on. Also consider the way that you write and ensure that it reflects the culture of your business. For example, if you’re a relaxed, laid back workplace that values having fun and working as a team, don’t write an advert that’s formal, stuffy and reinforces individualistic goals. Make sure the message is consistent with your business and you’ll attract more suitable candidates.

Secondly, the simplest way to impress a candidate is to run a prompt and professional recruitment process. If you demonstrate that you are a professional and trustworthy business who is on top their processes and keeps to their timeframes, then you’re ahead of the pack. Good candidates will be snapped up quickly so ensure that you’re resourced to get the job done in a reasonable time frame.

Recruitment is an important activity with the potential for great return on investment if done well, take the time and put in the effort to get the most out of the opportunity.

If you’d like to engage practical, jargon-free professionals to ensure your next recruitment process is hassle free and delivers the right new hire, get in touch with the experienced team at Davis Bibby & Co.

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