Being reactive when it comes to recruitment can be costly both in terms of finance and productivity. In a scenario where a key person leaves, if there is not a recruitment strategy in place, too often the business lacks the streamlined process to enable an expedient and cost efficient solution. Instead existing staff get leaned on to cover the additional workload whilst the company is deciding what to do which ends up damaging morale and risks further people leaving as a result. That is why regardless of the size of the business, a recruitment strategy is an essential piece of planning that needs to be done.

With that in mind, Executives should think about the following. In a situation where the business is stable but not growing, often the need to hire is a reaction to a resignation. Factor that increasingly with the millennial generation, employees are more likely to change jobs more frequently, where the average is now dropping to eighteen months. What that means is that if you have an office of ten staff, you would be lucky if less than three people change jobs in a year. Therefore even if you don’t think you will need to recruit over the coming twelve months, you probably will.

Also, given the skill shortages currently it is likely that anyone you are interviewing is talking to many businesses, where if they are a good fit for you, they will probably be a good fit elsewhere, meaning any offer you make will in probability be one of many. Therefore a quick win is in the interview, to treat candidates as a potential client, so make sure to sell the job and the company and position your business as being one where they can develop and grow. Similarly, having a specialist recruitment company representing you who understands your business ahead of any vacancy coming up, means they will be able to sell the business more effectively to a candidate when they are thinking through their next steps. If you proactively contact them and look to work with them exclusively with a lead time, they may even give you preferential rates.

Next, even if your business has a small team, there is no reason not to create a careers part to your website, where you use that page to sell the business digitally. Young people especially are used to being able to research a business online and now with portals such as glassdoor offering an insight of company culture from the perspective of the employee, it is essential that as the business owner you look to put forward your own messaging around company culture. This can give your marketing function a different way to add value, through strengthening your employer branding.

LinkedIN is also incredibly important. Building an extensive network of connections is a highly effective way of being able to connect with your potential employees of tomorrow. So for example, just by contacting people in your sector with an introductory note, around wanting to connect with people who work in the same field as you, means you could systematically build a network of 5000-10000 people online quite quickly which you can tap into.

At that point use your careers centre to advertise freelance roles which you then distribute through your LinkedIN newsfeed. Having conversations with freelancers at the point you have no full time vacancy means that ahead of time if you are in a situation where you have a work overspill you can quickly and easily reach out to people to help you on a case by case basis. Then should you have a vacancy at a later date, you know which freelancers you can rely on to cover the workload and this then gives you the time to recruit the right long term person. Who knows, it may even be a freelancer!

Finally, factor that if you are going to seek to recruit without using a recruitment firm, then what you will lose out on is not only their candidate pool, but their insight into market trends and relative salaries. Salaries in the UK are now rising quickly due to skill shortages and it is easy to lose time in the hiring process through offering too little. An experienced recruiter will be able to act as your guide to help you fill the role with the right person. If you feel you want to have additional insight, using Vacancy Analytics as a market intelligence solution will give you quantitative data around who is hiring and for what to help you further.

Over the last ten years Vacancysoft has worked with recruitment firms of all sizes to help them map out market activity in order to identify changes in demand. For more information about how we can help, please contact us.


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