Guest Blog by Nick Shaw, MD of 10xPsychology
Recruitment can be difficult for many businesses. The British Chamber of Commerce suggests UK businesses are facing the biggest challenges to their recruitment practices in a generation. While it is a positive sign that unemployment is at its lowest level for 40 years, companies now have a smaller pool of applicants to choose from. It is therefore important that HR departments ensure they are doing all they can to make the recruitment process work.
Dealing with an ever-shrinking pool of candidates is often hardest for industries that need specific skill sets or qualifications, such as engineering, IT or financial services. However, even when these particular skills are not needed, businesses still want candidates that are able to fulfil specialist job roles.
When HR teams are looking to recruit, they need to consider a wide variety of practical elements, such as whether to hire internally or externally. From there, they can move on to more qualitative factors, like the personality and experience needed for the role. HR also needs to think in the long term; it not only needs to know what level of talent is present in the business right now, but also how it can raise these standards for the future. All this needs to be balanced with managing day-to-day HR issues.
However, it is not just about the skills needed in the role. An ideal candidate will also have the right personality to match. What each company is looking for will differ; some want a big presence to motivate the team while others want people who fit in and are enthusiastic about the work. The common theme is the recruit must get on with the team, otherwise it will not work, no matter how much experience they bring to the team.
Don’t bury your head
For many, hiring a new employee can feel like a gamble and it is difficult to know whether the applicant was the right choice until he or she has actually joined the team. However, the chances of a positive outcome can be vastly improved if HR teamshave the right information available, so they don’t have to take a leap of faith when it comes to hiring the right people.
Firstly, the board of executives need to narrow down the criteria, which can vary hugely depending on the company and the role. Some may want to identify ambitious graduates that can be trained up from an entry-level position, while others may want a senior-executive who is capable of bringing a new level of thinking to the team. Making sure the specifics are identified will make the process much easier.
Once this has been determined, it is crucial to establish what ‘success’ means for the candidate– both in the role as well as the company as a whole. It is important to understand that these details will likely evolve as the candidate progresses in their position. As a result, the ability to predict how an employee is likely to change over time is essential, as it is important that this progression aligns with the company’s future plans. This way, the company can make sure it is future proofing the business and retaining its new hires for a longer period.
By using technology to support this process, HR can also help overcome any potential recruitment crises. If HR teams can identify what the ‘ideal applicant’ looks like, they maybe able to locate similar skills and personalities in sectors that have previously remained unexplored. As a result, companies will be able to access a much broader pool of applicants and have a better chance of finding the right candidate for the team.
This also applies to internal recruitment; it may well be the case that the ideal candidate currently works for another part of the business or in a different role. Establishing the competencies needed for the job will allow the company to broaden its recruitment solutions substantially and make sure its people are appropriately placed in the business.
Recruiting candidates who add value to the company while also fitting in with the team and aligning with its values and culture is no simple feat. However, by establishing an effective and robust recruitment strategy, companies can be ready for any challenge they face. Utilising technology to bolster this approach will offer undeniable benefits, as it will ensure that companies are able to deal with a much broader range of candidates who possess the specific skills needed for the business.