Most of the recruiting assignments I run on behalf of my clients are what I’d call ‘reactive’ because they are largely unplanned and usually replacing someone who has left or is in the process of leaving their company. Very few assignments are planned far in advance and truly tap into the highest quality candidate pools available.
For most companies, salaries and other staffing costs rank somewhere in the top three overheads. So, it seems crazy that so much recruitment activity is unplanned, lacks any form of budget and lacks strategic thought. I am the first to admit, it can be very difficult to anticipate staff turnover or fully know the exact staffing requirements required by winning a new account or adding a new service line. However with some forward thinking, you can save money, time and avoid headaches associated with reactive recruiting.
What’s Your 2016 Recruitment Plan?
If you don’t know, check out U.S. recruitment thought-leader, Dr. John Sullivan’s two part article “Recruiting trends for 2016 and their supporting best practices” to stimulate some thought. These trends include the use of video and mobile devices for recruitment, data analysis for better hiring decisions, finding top talent with speed and the need for selling skills to attract attention from potential candidates. Is your company geared up to leverage off these trends?
In the cost constrained environment of today, a well considered, planned and executed recruitment strategy can make an enormous impact to the financial results of a company. Hiring staff is expensive. The salary, rent, software licenses, tools of trade, insurances, taxes, training and the opportunity cost of complying with all the regulatory and legislative requirements associated with employing people, make hiring a considerable investment decision. This is magnified for smaller businesses that are unable to take advantage of economies of scale.
Given this, the case for a considered recruitment strategy becomes strong. There are enormous savings opportunities for companies who think ahead.
- Planning to hire multiple people this year? If so, now is the time to prepare your recruitment plan, engage with your suppliers (eg external recruiters, software providers, telecommunications providers) and negotiate a deal that will give you the benefits of bulk buying and you could also smooth out your cash-flow by agreeing staged payments throughout the year.
- Succession planning – identify the key roles in your company and ask what you would do if the person doing that role left. Do you have others waiting in the wings ready to step up? If not, what are you doing about it?
- Engagement – keeping your best people is the best way to avoid spending money on replacement recruitment that doesn’t add additional value to your business. So find out if they are happy and engaged with their job, their boss and the organisation and keep tabs on this regularly. If warning bells start ringing, you may be able to take preventative steps before you lose your key people. Check out Employee Life to keep you on top of what your staff have to say at regular intervals throughout the year.
What roles do you need to recruit this year? If you know the answer, start doing something now, even if you are not ready to hire. Talent pooling over time can have a compounding effect so that by the time you are ready to hire, you have a top quality pool of pre-qualified candidates to choose from. Time spent now, will save you time when the need is acute.
Not many of my clients are passionate about recruiting. Quite often they find it a big headache because it takes them away from their ‘real job’ and they see the time spent on it as unproductive. But it should be the opposite. Recruiting is a wonderful opportunity. It is a chance to bring in new energy, skills and proven high performers who can add tremendous value. Every manager should be trained in recruiting, just as they should be trained in managing performance. If you don’t know where to start, contact the leading recruitment body in Australia, the RCSA to find out how you can join and take advantage of their regular recruitment training.
Avoid the headaches by having a quality recruitment process with a clear understanding of the timeframes and costs involved. If you know what to expect and appreciate the benefits of hiring the right person, this investment can be one where the return is high.
At the end of 2016, very few companies will have an identical organisation chart to that of today. Employees will leave, promotions will occur and businesses with grow or contract. Most organisations will do some form of hiring during the year. Don’t wait, start planning now and save time, money and headaches.
Ben Walsh – General Manager; Recruitment