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A glance at what makes a successful recruitment strategy

While it may be true that no one method works best when it comes to hiring talent, the members of The Supper Club identified what they thought were key elements to a successful recruitment strategy.
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The Supper Club is an exclusive community of CEOs and founders from high-growth businesses, and a recent report on millennials sought their opinion on matters such as productivity and the creation of a good recruitment strategy.

When it comes to the recruitment strategy, much emphasis was placed on the interview process. “Members agree that it must be challenging enough to attract the right calibre of candidate but clear enough to highlight any cultural mismatch,” said the report’s creator, Alex Evans, also programme director of The Supper Club.

But how do you keep that balance? Evans told Real Business that recruitment should determine attitude and skills, while induction determines how best to deploy them and where they will deliver most value.

“A thorough recruitment strategy and induction process is good for the candidate and the employer because it helps both to understand if they are a good match,” he said. “The process should be appropriate to the role and impact on the business, but a three-stage recruitment process is fairly standard, and inductions should be at least a week. Some employers trial a candidate before they join to see how they work, but their expectations must be clear and reasonable.”

Tips from members included beginning the process by “adding values and vision to the job description” and embeding them in the interview and induction process.

“Additional advice from members is to ask questions about their personal motivation and ambition,” Evans explained. “For example, what are their greatest achievements to date, what frustrates them most at work and how did they overcome their biggest obstacle?

“To gauge leadership and innovation, ask about their biggest idea, how they executed it and brought a team with them. What is the biggest career decision they have made and how did they make it? Have they ever dealt with conflict at work and how did they deal with it? These questions will help to determine what drives them.”

What happens before and after the interview stage are just as crucial. Adam Greenwood, founder of Greenwood Campbell, stressed the importance of job advertisement. There is also more pressure on companies to be creative, he said. “Whilst you are assessing a candidate’s suitability, the candidate is assessing whether they actually want to be part of your organisation and whether they see themselves making an impact. Being creative or visual from the out-set allows you to showcase the overall tone of the company.

“Secondly, studies show that traditional job interviews are poor indicators of actual job performance. Interviewees give rehearsed answers and interviewers are biased to pick candidates they like rather than those with the most potential. Video and social interviews are a fantastic way to truly get to know a candidate.”

In Greenwood’s case, it’s all about video, with his company having won Best Recruitment Video at the In-House Recruitment Awards.

“We wanted to create a video that people could relate to, demonstrated our values, and is a little different from the normal talking heads we see all too much in recruitment campaigns,” he told Real Business. “Whilst the video is funny, the message behind it is important and shows potential candidates what we look for. We included our whole team in the process and pushing it out on social as well as the new website was a great way for it to be seen.”

Ensuring that the entire process is a good experience should also be included in your recruitment strategy. As Evans suggested, the induction process is just as important as the interview stage. The report cited research from the CIPD, which found that 83 per cent of new starters decide within two days whether they want to leave.

“Poor inductions often result in confused employees who either take a long time to become productive, or become frustrated and leave,” the report explained. “Members who have invested in comprehensive inductions get new people up to speed faster, have happier employees, and have lower attrition rates.”

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About Author

Shané Schutte

Shané Schutte is the deputy editor of Real Business, with a particular specialism in employment and business law, human resources, information technology and sales/marketing.

Real Business