It’s not recessionary 2009 anymore. There are loads of job opportunities around and Summer has not created the traditional slow-down; in fact in human resources recruitment we are finding the opposite. That dream role (in your mind) with your (perfect, of course) organisation is not the only choice for top talent – and it most certainly isn’t a love of their life that they’ll take time out to attend 13 interviews for (as per a certain online search company in days gone by).

With the economy back to its pre-recession peak, many businesses find themselves on fertile ground with abundant opportunity for growth – the only catalyst required is the injection of great new talent.  Suddenly the cost to the business of not hiring far outweighs the cost of hiring – and you’ve only got one chance to get it right or watch your competitors thrive.  

Here are five ways you win can win more of the battles.

  1. Prioritise. Ask yourself how critical the appointment of the role is to your business. If pretty high then treat it as a priority, in fact the priority. If you’ve got your hands full already, then hand it over to someone who can focus on this for you- be that a specialist internal recruiter (maybe it’s time you hired one?) or a specialist agency.
  2. Engage. Outshine your competitors from the outset. Provide an up to date position description (you’d be surprised how many don’t), and ensure to share the vision and journey of your organisation: excite them.  Keep them engaged throughout the process – outline the milestones and timeframes so that they can see the journey and the end date, and give them timely feedback. Don’t introduce extra steps at the last minute – you will lose the candidates. If you are using an agency or an internal recruiter, make sure they share the same message and excitement by briefing them in person.  A strong partnership with one agency will yield far better results than a scatter gun approach with many – work with someone you can trust as the ambassador for your brand.
  3. Be serious. Especially if the role is senior/ critical. Spend money. Pay for branded advertising, a LinkedIn campaign or a retention fee with a specialist search firm. Let the candidate know this is a genuinely important process. Put some effort into the supporting documentation and marketing and ensure it is on-message and error-free. Make sure that every other stakeholder in the process treats this as seriously as you do – brief them on the timeframes, selection criteria and above all make sure they block out times in their diary for interviews.
  4. Fire a broadside. Not shot after single shot.  If you think you may need to utilise a number of channels to pipeline your candidates, then do – but all at the same time. If you try one channel after another the risk is that your candidates will enter the process at different times – stalling a candidate after final interview so that you can rush another through three interviews, psych assessment and references  will probably lose you the first candidate (who might be the star). Think about the messaging – if candidates are approached by an agency weeks after they’d applied to your advert – what does it tell them?  Brief the agency at the same time you brief the internal recruiter, you advertise the role, and launch the LinkedIn campaign.
  5. Be decisive.  If your dream candidate has two offers on the table but two more stages to undergo in your hiring process then guess what’s going to happen? The risk-averse culture created by the recession has no place in today’s hiring market. The answer to a quicker, more decisive hiring process is not in more and more interviews to spread the decision to a committee of stakeholders, but instead lies in robust pre-planning which is communicated and adhered to.  Agree competencies with stakeholders beforehand, interview against these, use psychometric tools, be the decision maker. Your competencies can test against cultural match –the future instigator of your organisation’s success does not need to meet everyone in the business over a 2 month period.