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Don’t sabotage your recruitment strategy: Seven deadly sins for UK firms to avoid

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The reality is the digital skills gap is getting worse with the shortage of candidates who possess the requisite skills for job roles almost doubling since October 2014, according to research from Adzuna.

The government has realised this and Ed Vaizey, minister of state at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, commissioned a research consultancy in January 2016 to detail the ongoing problem Britain faces and what can be done to solve it.

It was revealed there are three main categories for requirements, five key risks if the skills gap continues, but also a series of opportunities and recommendations that come with smashing the bottleneck.

To find and bring on the right candidates, recruiters must evaluate their traditional recruiting approaches and adapt it to the changing landscape of the sector. The aim of this guide is to help recruiters to do just that, by optimising their strategy and eliminating some common mistakes.

(1) Keep employees engaged

In order to secure candidates’ ongoing loyalty and interest, a company’s culture must view employees in the same way a company views its customers. You want employees to remain interested and engaged, so that they become positive advocates for your brand, in the same way that a contented customer would.

Think of connecting with prospective candidates as becoming more like a marketing to potential customers. Using a dedicated Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) system can provide the tools and analytics you need to cultivate a long-term talent pool.

Look for a CRM system that includes the ability to create, execute, and measure campaigns to your prospects as well as one that seamlessly integrates into your Applicant Tracking System (ATS).

(2) Tracking is the measure of success

If you are not keeping track of your recruiting results, it will be difficult to identify which elements of your recruitment strategy are working. On top of this, if you are unable to adequately demonstrate a return on investment (ROI), this may cause you problems securing additional budget down the line.

The proper ATS should support identifying the source of your candidates, so you can see which programmes are worth focusing on and tailor your approach in the future on a firm foundation.

(3) Ensure your funnel stays full

It is highly likely that some of the candidates who possess the type of skills your organisation requires are not actively looking for a new job. These are known as passive candidates.

Ignoring passive candidates is a big mistake. Creating a positive impression with this population now will pay dividends in the long term, as passive candidates who have a favourable impression of your company are far more likely to apply in the future.

The best way to address passive candidates is to create a positive impression of your company culture via social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

Producing targeted campaigns allow passive candidates to learn more about your company culture. Also, as employee referrals are the best source of quality candidates (according to Jobvite’s 2015 Social Recruiting Survey), implementing a successful referral program is a no-brainer.

(4) Build your employer brand foundations

It’s been said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Imagine finding the perfect candidate that wants to contribute to achieving your company’s strategy. Then think about how difficult it would be to hire that candidate if working at your company is known not to be a great experience.

In other words, a candidate’s perception of your employer brand is of paramount importance to your ability to hire the best talent. This means ensuring your brand is as strong as possible across all channels.

The easiest way to boost your brand is to engage with followers on social media networks and encourage employees to share their thoughts on the positive aspects of your company culture. In addition, providing a seamless experience for prospective candidates between your career web site and social media presence can help to build trust.

Read more recruitment advice:

(5) Staying current is key

Just because you are used to doing things a certain way, does not mean it is necessarily the best approach. Experimenting with new recruitment methods can help you to generate longer lasting and more productive hires.

This rule is also true of the technology you use. Look for intuitive software that is easy to use, functional, and integrates smoothly with your existing investments. The flexibility offered by software as a service (SaaS) providers make them ideal for facilitating this approach.

(6) Do not neglect your execs

This ties back in with the earlier point about being able to demonstrate ROI. Updating the C-suite with your recruitment strategy is important. Today’s organisations require the correct talent to achieve their strategic goals. You will be a hero if you decrease the cost per hire and time to fill positions.

The ability to generate regular reports, along with having metrics in place to demonstrate the effectiveness of your strategy, will pay big dividends when sharing your achievements back to the C-suite.

(7) Adopt an agile approach

Each generation of jobseeker has different expectations and attributes to the other. Different priorities and mindsets require different offerings and techniques to hire them. As a recruitment professional, it is your job to be constantly aware of what jobseekers want.

Focusing on what candidates need, delivering appropriate, relevant content, and an intuitive application process will work wonders for revamping your recruitment strategy.

The pace of change in recruitment trends is constant and rapid, but avoiding the seven major sins outlined above should help your business to thrive.

David Lahey is the VP of international at recruitment channel Jobvite

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