The role of the recruitment team has become increasingly more prominent and important within the HR department. It seems that many companies are still finding it difficult to recruit for a variety of different reasons. In a survey by Forde HR Cloud, 100 professionals in management positions were asked about the biggest challenges they had experienced with recruiting and the results were varied.
When asked about the biggest challenges faced when recruiting, almost half of respondents felt that they experienced a lack of required skills or expertise. This figure seems quite high, so what can companies do to ensure they find the right skills?
Many recruiters will advertise a role, wait for applicants, shortlist based on the CV and job description, find no one suitable and go back and do the whole process again. This is not a very pro-active approach to recruiting and there are various other methods companies can use to help ensure they find the right talent. Even SMEs can adopt these.
It is very unlikely that you will find someone who fits the bill exactly, so it is important to think outside the box. Does the candidate have transferable skills? For example, if you are recruiting for a sales role and the candidate has a lot of customer service experience but no direct sales, could they be trained?
Have you considered looking in-house for your talent? Many companies fail to promote their staff because they don’t have the ‘right’ experience, but remember, they have the knowledge of the business and the right fit for the culture, so it is likely they could be trained for the role. The right culture fit is often more important for a business than skills or experience as anyone can be trained. But if you don’t fit to the culture, it’s not really something you can be trained on. This is particularly prevalent with SMEs — where the wrong culture fit is much more noticeable.
Lack of applicants
The UK unemployment rate currently stands at 4.4%, which although it seems like a relatively small figure, still accounts for over 1 million people, so why are some companies still struggling to get applications? Out of the respondents 23% felt that a lack of applicants made it difficult to recruit and this figure was made up of 15% of large businesses and 27% of small businesses. No matter what size your business is or how small your budget may be, there are ways to improve the response to your vacancy.
It is important to be pro-active with your recruitment. If your current recruitment process consists of advertising jobs and waiting for applications, it’s time to develop some new techniques. If you are not using social media to find applicants, why not?
When you consider that Facebook has over 2 billion users, Twitter has 328 million and of course LinkedIn, which has 500 million users, it seems obvious that social media should be an important part of your recruitment strategy and much more so than advertising on job sites. The great thing about social media for recruitment purposes is that it can be completely free or if you want to run paid ads, you can do this at extremely low costs – while targeting specific candidates. You can actively headhunt the right candidates using social media and in particular, using LinkedIn, which gives you access to professionals within your specific remit.
- Increase Visibility
If you are using social media for recruiting purposes, you need to ensure the opportunities are visible to the right people. For example, using hashtags on the keywords/location of the job, link directly to the job description and enticing candidates by discussing the benefits of working for your business. A call to action is also important, for example “get in touch”, “apply today”, “contact us” – as these create urgency, which can encourage candidates to apply as quickly as possible.
- Improve Application Process
Is your application process letting you down? Are candidates expected to fill out a 20 page application before you’ll be able to review them? If this is the case, it is time to consider whether this is really necessary, as this can put candidates off straight away. The CV should be enough at the application point, you can discuss it in more detail at interview.
Are you doing enough to entice candidates to your company? Many companies are using new tactics to entice candidates, including talking about the benefits of joining, the type of person they are looking for and the culture. It is a good idea to incorporate this into your recruitment strategy too. Let candidates know why yours is a great company to work for!
It seems that salary expectations can be a bit of a constraint, particularly and understandably with SMEs. The overall 16% of respondents is made up of 12% of large organisations and 19% of SMEs. If you can’t offer huge salaries, does this mean you can’t recruit the right talent?
The answer is no – you can still attract key talent into your organisation, even with budget constraints.
Salary is of course important, but there are also many other benefits you can offer, which can often be much more valuable. The ability to work flexibly and spend more time with family, is more important to many people than the size of the pay cheque. Many workers would rather be given the opportunity to develop their skills and experience or in the case of SME’s, the chance to be a key contributor in the business. As long as you promote the benefits of working in your company throughout your recruitment process, you should still be able to attract candidates.
- Improve your process
Take a look at the issues you are having with your recruitment process and take appropriate steps to improve these. Whether SMEs or big scale firms, it is important to be pro-active. Don’t just wait for things to happen – take your own steps to get your talent and attract them to your organisation.
This is a guest post by Dave Clough of Glaze Digital.
Author: Dave Clough
Currently, Dave Clough is managing the expansion of the Digital Marketing team at Belfast-based consultancy Glaze. His background includes Management at Argos and senior positions for numerous leading digital agencies in London.