The key issues in recruitment today, our research suggests, are sourcing good candidates, finding niche skill sets and managing the volume of requests. Short timelines, budgetary constrictions and candidates’ reluctance to move are also prevalent themes. There’s a growing need for recruitment teams to talent-pipeline, so there’s a network of good candidates available when projects start, new business is won or employees leave unexpectedly. Talent pipelining and budget constraints are two major challenges for Lee Evans, recruitment manager at VW Group: “We’re using methods such as talent-mapping our market, proactively assessing directly-sourced candidates and looking at ATS and CRM solutions. We focus on channels such as employee referral programmes, social media or job boards.”
Tapping into the passive market
Tempting passive candidates can be risky, as many fear moving jobs in today’s unstable economy. Rebecca Benson, recruitment manager at Otsuka Pharmaceuticals, says: “Even when candidates need to move to make progress, many take the safer option and stay put. Our hiring managers call people who are sitting on the fence and explain the scope of the role, career opportunities and our business successes, to assure them we’re in a period of growth.” Where there’s a lack of niche skills, it can take something special to tempt candidates, especially to the public and third sectors, where salaries can be lower. Location, flexible working opportunities and organisational values are influential. Natalia Acevedo, head of HR at Actionaid, says they struggle to fill digitally-focussed roles in communications and fundraising: “We are reviewing our pay structure to be more competitive in recruiting director-level candidates.”
Streamline for success
Frequently, we hear of five or six interview stages, during which the candidate could receive other job offers or may pull out of the process half-way through. Charles Brittain, recruitment manager at Unatrac, says his challenge is getting hiring managers to be available for interviews and improving the speed of decision-making. Ben Whitaker, talent acquisition manager at UCB, shares this frustration. He reveals: “We try to keep it to a one-stage interview day, offer quickly and send the contract that day.”
Keep new hires engaged
It’s essential to maintain engagement between offer and start date and continue the good experience well into the new role. Simple actions such as sending an accurate contract on time and keeping offer and salary at an optimum level will help the candidate feel excited and looked after on day one. A phone call from their new hiring manager during their notice, arranging a lunch or receiving an invite to a company event keep the new employee interested. The question is, have you got this covered?