HR Hiring Strategies
Blog //15-10-2021

HR Hiring Strategies

by Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced

It should come as a surprise to no one that the primary focus of all businesses in the wake of a tumultuous couple of years will be placed firmly on driving their productivity and profitability. One of the core elements in ensuring a strong recovery and enactment of overall business strategy will be making sure that organisations have the right talent in place to allow them to attain their goals.

The hiring process is costly and places great demand on HR teams in terms of their hours. Businesses are understandably keen to get the search for talent right the first time, as constantly returning to the recruitment pool will see them losing out both financially and in terms of hours in the working week.

Research by Robert Half found that typically 39% of businesses take less than two weeks to realise that they have hired the wrong person for a position. Common reasons given are mismatched skillsets or new recruits being less than honest on their CV about their suitability for a role. Regardless of the reasons why a new employee doesn’t work out, the end results are the same- the business returning to the recruitment pool and starting up the circuitous process all over again.

Wider, generational shifts also have to be taken into account. There are increasing indications that amongst the younger workforce, in particular, priorities and values may have shifted to a point where they are no longer in alignment with that of organisations. Gen Z in particular appears to be precipitating this change, placing greater value on communication and engagement within a workplace, rather than the traditional, pay focused priorities. As cultivating a crop of new blood will always be key to ensuring future success, companies will need to ensure that they are able to pivot their values to align with those of the younger generation.

What HR strategies are needed to build the workforce?

So what is there to be done? Well, simply put, in order to minimise the potential of bringing on board the wrong recruit, there are elements to your hiring strategy which you can refine in order to make this a non-factor. We will take a look at the hiring process through the lens of HR, focusing particularly on how prioritising communication and introducing an element of forecasting can help enhance your talent search.

 

1.)    Clearly Define Roles and Expectations.

According to research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, a staggering 85% of HR professionals admitted that their organisations have made poor hiring decisions in the past. With the financial costs of bringing onboard the wrong recruit running into the thousands at the bare minimum, it’s no small wonder that businesses will be keen to understand why this is such a common phenomenon.

The first indication is that finding an unsuitable candidate can often stem from the initial job posting. Naturally, job descriptions tend to play their cards fairly close to their chest, particularly in regards to salary and overall performance expectations. This is obviously a means to drive conversation at an interview level and to ensure that all important context isn’t miscommunicated through a job listing.

Given the risks posed by bringing onboard the wrong candidate, a clear case can be made for updating and clarifying job descriptions, even as tedious as the task may seem. When beginning the search for new talent, a concise and clear job description can help refine your search, as well as clearly laying out expectations for potential candidates.

When looking at a job listing, does it include such details as:

  • Hours required (Including any potential overtime potential or expectation.)
  • Skillsets or certification required
  • Relevant work experience
  • Formal education requirements
  • Any additional responsibilities expected.

This may all seem like belt and braces stuff but by nailing down clarity over requirements at an early stage, you are much better placed to ensure that your initial crop of recruits already meet your base level of requirements. This is also an area which can be enhanced by leveraging automation of your HR process- leaning on your HR systems to allow your teams to filter out candidates by these metrics, meaning less administrative headaches for your HR people.

Beyond the hiring process, by clearly defining your expectations for a candidate, particularly with regards to ongoing development and responsibilities, should hopefully mean very little comes as a surprise to any new hire. Ideally, everything should be signposted for a new employee, meaning they aren’t side swiped by any aspects of their new role. By being upfront about your expectations from day one, you can help new starters feel secure, engaged and more likely to stay with your organisation long term.

2.)    Forecasting

With organisations across all sectors setting their sights firmly on driving their recovery and future growth, there is a massive amount of pressure on HR teams to find the top talent to help their business achieve its goals.

The recruitment pool is always a competitive arena and even more so when going after those key players who are uniquely qualified to help drive forward your success. We also appreciate that your HR people have a myriad range of responsibilities and as crucial as recruitment is to your organisation, other elements of their function are just as vital.

What is to be done? Outsourcing your talent search to recruitment agencies and third party job boards is only going to throw your name into a crowded pool of competitors, where your specific merits as an employer are unlikely to be heard. Furthermore, this can be a ponderous process and leaving you with little to no control over the time frame of your talent search.

In order to stand your organisation in good stead to attract the attention of these uniquely talented individuals, you will first have to look inwards within your organisation and introduce an element of forecasting. This will mean taking a deep dive into the makeup of your existing teams, assessing skill sets and talent and pulling this data through to best identify which areas in your organisation are lacking.

This again is another area where leveraging the power of a comprehensive HR system can help hugely. By having an up to date roadmap of each employee’s training and development, you are able to easily harness this information in order to have a greater understanding of what area. of your business would benefit the most from new talent. Recruitment is a data-rich arena and the spoils of victory will inevitably go to those organisations who are most effectively able to harness their information.

The talent search of the future is only going to become more and more competitive. Organisations will be fighting tooth and nail to secure top tier talent and the key to gaining an edge over your competitors will be to take a proactive approach and forecast the gaps In your talent pool ahead of time. This will allow you to react as agile and swiftly as possible when it comes to returning to the recruitment cycle, ensuring that you have a clear understanding of the exact fit for your business, all while your competitors are still drafting job descriptions, furthermore using HR Software you can establish a talent pipeline, that will work to feed the right type of candidate from within your business into the talent pool.

3.)    Interview planning and the importance of not hurrying.

We get it - the search for talent is long winded and time intensive and every day which passes without a position being filled means more and more pressure piled upon HR teams. Recruitment often moves at a hurried pace, particularly from the perspective of third party recruitment agencies who naturally have one eye towards their targets and getting positions filled as fast as possible.

For organisations, in order to take the pain out of the hiring process, they should understand that patience is a virtue. As much as it may be a relief to get key positions filled- allowing you to embrace the freedom to crack on with your ongoing business goals- the long term consequences of bringing on board the wrong candidate are far more wide-reaching and ultimately, will see you lose out more in the long run in terms of hours and money lost.

The interview process is an aspect of recruitment which has undergone something of a cultural shift in recent years. Previously seen as a necessary gate-keeping activity for organisations to sift through unsuitable candidates, there is increasing evidence that the process is becoming more evenly weighted, serving as a way for candidates to assess their potential employers, as well as the overall company culture they represent.

When looking at candidate interviews, it is important therefore, to have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve overall from the process. If you wish for a more traditional belt and braces approach which focuses solely on quizzing the candidate, then that is absolutely your prerogative. You will have to be mindful however of the sort of picture this will paint of your organisation: With the younger generation of talent showing increasing tendencies towards prioritising wellbeing and even handed company culture, the failure to rework the interview process as a forum for candidates to ask necessary questions about your values and ethos, will undoubtedly frame your organisation as a bit of a dinosaur when compared with potential rivals.

More and more organisations are pivoting the interview process to serve as much more than an interrogation of potential new hires. A common element is now to use the process as a way to showcase an office location- allowing candidates a practical look at their potential workspace in action. This element has been considered a particularly crucial part of virtual recruitment over the past year, serving as it does, as a way to help people feel more connected and engaged with their workspace.

As well as serving as a tour of office premises, showing candidates around the work space can serve as a demonstration of company culture.  As cynical as it may seem, any company can talk a good game in terms of its values and culture- letting candidates get a ground level view of their potential colleagues and seeing first hand their levels of happiness and engagement can go a long way towards cementing a positive impression.

What’s next?

Ultimately, the most effective way to transform your hiring process is by leveraging technology to help you eliminate the more tedious aspects of the talent search. Organisations who will thrive in recruitment pools of the future will be those who have the clearest understanding of the needs of their people and their organisation. HR is a function driven by data and the systems that your people teams use should ultimately allow you to harness those metrics to help you achieve your goals. By introducing an element of forecasting and looking inwards at your organisation, you can stay ahead of potential gaps within your business, making you first to the fray in any talent search. Use that data to clearly define and set out your expectations for a role, ensuring that no one joins your business in the dark. Finally, the way in which your organisation is perceived as a principled and ethical employer is more important than ever: let your interview process be an opportunity for you to demonstrate your commitment to the safeguarding and wellbeing of your employees.

At Advanced, We understand that driving forward success will be foremost in your mind and that the best way to guarantee this is by making sure you have the right talent in place. An effective hiring and onboarding process can determine the long-term success of any new hires and we also appreciate that constantly returning to the recruitment pool can be a costly and disruptive affair for your business.

Enter HR Hiring Software

We believe in the potential of technology to help empower your people and we also appreciate that your HR teams are far more than just admin robots which is why we’ve designed our Cloud HR Software to specifically tackle the challenges faced by HR professionals day in, day out, freeing your people teams to focus on the humans not the resources.

If you would like to find out more about how Cloud HR can help empower your HR teams and hone your hiring process, contact one of our friendly team members today.

Blog Human Resource
Alex Arundale

Alex Arundale

PUBLISHED BY

Chief People Officer, Advanced

Alex joined Advanced in February 2016 with a track record in senior HR positions. She has been responsible for innovative strategies to lead the company’s talent management.

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