The five B’s for employers wishing to hire new staff


As I’m sure most of you are aware the recruitment/job market is not just changing, its completely changed from recessionary times, we are currently sitting in a different market place than many of you will have operated in previously, especially from a recruitment perspective.   During the recession employers could get get away with disorganised recruitment campaigns that could take months and still be left with a handful of interested candidates at the end, this is based on there being a distinct lack of clients fighting over the same candidates.  Recent labour market statistics for Q1 2014 showed the 8th consecutive quarterly rise in employment. There are more and more clients starting to hire on a daily basis, the likelihood is that when you need to hire you will be fighting it out with an ever increasing amount of businesses to secure this new employee.

I have been working in financial recruitment for 10 years and through many different economic situations, I wanted to use this blog to highlight a few areas that you will need to consider when you are looking to hire a new person.

The 5 B’s:

1) Be Flexible
Have a real think about the must have’s and the nice to have’s when you are recruiting, there are less candidates to pick from based on the amount of opportunities out there in 2014. Why waste weeks looking for somebody that ticks every single box when you may have missed somebody that has all of the must have’s but is missing some of nice to have’s. The chances are that if you take a long time to make a decision on a candidate that can do the job in the hope that the perfect candidates comes along you won’t secure either of these profiles. Things like systems, terminology, sector experience, are these things really necessary?  What about the transferable skills? Are you limiting yourself to candidates with different ideas and experiences that you may be able to learn something from. Did you have the exact experience when you started your job? How hard are these new things to pick up? My advice would be to keep an eye out for the perfect candidate but don’t go out to market without truly thinking about what you really need from a candidate and what you can live without.

2) Be Organised
The current market is operating faster than at any point during the recessionary period, we are back to the days when candidates are getting multiple offers, and they are looking at 5-10 opportunities as opposed to the 1-2 of the last 6 years. When you are recruiting think about your entire recruitment timetable. My advice would be to work backwards from when you need the individual to start, factor in both notice period and recruiting time. A typical recruitment time table when you are dealing with a recruitment consultancy should be: Initial briefing, shortlist presentation, first interviews, first interview feedback,  second interviews, second interview feedback, any testing that needs to be completed by the candidates, offer and post offer management, candidate handing in his notice, notice period and start date.   Everything up to the notice period and start date should be in a process that takes no longer than 2 weeks, any longer and you will most probably lose your preferred candidates to an employer  who is prepared to move quicker and be more organised/effective than you are.

3) Be Attractive
Gone are the days of the client led recruitment market. In this more competitive recruitment market if you are not putting an interview strategy together that makes every candidate that you meet want your job then something is going wrong. You are not reacting to the current recruitment market and again somebody will take your preferred candidate. Be prepared to sell the opportunity to the candidates you are meeting, think about what new experiences this candidate will have, what prospects they have by joining you as opposed to other people, what new projects, challenges, development opportunities you have coming up in your business that are unique to you. Tell the truth but be prepared to bring the opportunity to life for potential new employees, if you are not then somebody else will.   An interview in this market should be 50% the candidate selling themselves and 50% you selling the opportunity. Don’t get caught up in thinking that just because you work for a bigger more successful business that everyone will want to work for you, it’s not true.

4) Be Generous
When it comes time to make an offer to your preferred candidate, don’t mess it up at the last minute by getting the offer wrong. Throughout the recession people have been moving for similar money for better opportunities. In the improved employment market we are currently dealing with people wanting  a move in the right direction, not just in regards to responsibility but in regards to remuneration as well. This isn’t like a house purchase when you can keep going back with higher offers without offending someone, if you get the offer wrong first time the chances are that the candidate will feel undervalued by you before they have even started and they won’t want to work for you. People are moving for 10-20% uplifts on salary at present with the amount of opportunities far outweighing the amount of quality candidates. Get your offer right first time, don’t try to get people on the cheap or for the bare minimum, you want people to be excited about their new job and part of that comes from the salary they are offered.
5) Be Thoughtful
When you have made your choice and your offer has been accepted think about the candidates notice period and there first few weeks/months in their new job. Try to factor in a couple of occasions throughout the candidates notice period when you are in contact with them.  Don’t just leave them thought their notice period; recruiters are constantly calling them with other opportunities. A good strategy would be to get them to a less formal meet the team situation, drinks/social so they get to meet everyone they will be working with pre start in a less formal setting. This will cement the fact that you care about them and it will make it easier to start their new job knowing a few additional people.  Let them know pre start date what they will be doing in the first couple of weeks, this will make sure they are more prepared and gives them an opportunity to think in advance about things and maybe to do some work/research before the start date to get themselves up to speed quicker.

If you need any advice on slicker more effective hiring timetables or if we can help you with anything recruitment related then please get in touch.

Written by Aaron Drewitt, Managing Director, BTG Recruitment

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