In many sectors and industries, recruiting good quality staff is a real challenge. For example, a recent survey of UK Finance Directors identified that 64% were finding it difficult to recruit good people. The way in which you tackle recruitment has a big impact on your success at recruiting the best people. Sadly, many organisations have more rigour around petty cash expenditure than one of their biggest investment decisions. So how can you stand out from the crowd?
- Take time to get clear on the type of person you need for the job. In doing this, really think about the personal attributes of the ideal candidate. It is pretty easy to address skills gaps, but much more challenging to change personal attributes.
- Find the most appropriate source for accessing the type of applicants you want. For professional staff, it is often worth going directly to a sector or industry specific recruitment consultant rather than to advertise. Similarly online sites might be great places for some jobs and not for others.
- If you are using a third party, such as a recruitment consultant to attract candidates, take the time to meet with them and brief them on the business, the role and the ideal candidate.
- Consider whether you want to offer candidates the opportunity of an informal discussion about the position before applying. This takes very little time and can save a lot of time for you and the candidate.
- Consider the most appropriate way of selecting candidates. Interviews are the traditional way. By adding a presentation or role play you can get a broader view of the candidate. If it is a senior role you might even want to set up an assessment centre.
- Take the time to thoroughly prepare for interviews and assessments that you are going to do as part of the selection process. This is likely to be the first major interaction the candidate has with your organisation. What impression do you want to give?
- Think about how you will grow and develop the successful candidate in the longer term. The reality is that good candidates will want to grow and progress.
- Sell the benefits of working with your organisation to candidates. The best candidates will have a range of options open to them. Never forget that recruitment is a two-way process. The candidate is making a choice as well as you.
- Demonstrate how others have progressed and grown as a result of joining your business. Real life examples are really powerful.
- Be honest with candidates and never promise what you cannot deliver. If the most likely scenario is that the job will be a stepping stone then say that.
Taking some simple steps can make all the difference to the success of your recruitment. So what steps does your organisation need to take to start attracting and recruiting the best people?
Duncan Brodie is a Leadership Development Coach and Management Trainer at Goals and Achievements. He specialises in helping accountants and professionals make the transition from technical expert to manager and leader. As a former Finance Director he has real experience of the challenges faced by professionals moving from technical expert to manager and leader.