How to recruit for business growth

Anyone who hires the wrong person knows about it fairly quickly. Businesses need to have a plan, whether it’s to grow or whether it is to contract. The demand for the IT recruitment market is dynamic. During a recession there’s less demand for skilled recruiters than when the economy is booming. We’ve seen some tough times where the strategic imperative for a business was to reduce staff and they brought in recruiters like us to place their own staff in other companies, giving some assistance to their own redundant staff. As we now move into economic growth, recruitment is also picking up. The number of permanent vacancies is higher now than this time last year.

In the recruitment industry, people often think the phone is going to ring and new business will follow, but it doesn’t always work that way. We don’t wait for it to come along; we go and find the business and find the right people. That sets us apart.

Hiring someone is a big investment, whether you are a large or a small company. People don’t often take into consideration what the total recruitment cost and time is. It’s critical to get the right people for the job. If you get it wrong, not only do you have to go through the whole process again, but what you’re trying to achieve in your business becomes stifled.

Finding the best talents

Here are our 5 top tips to source and bring in the right person for the job you need to fill.

1. Hire a professional to do the hiring for you. Often, when companies try to do it themselves they end up wasting a lot of time and money and have to go back to the drawing board.

2. Define your company culture. You should have something about your company that attracts people. Ask yourself if you are the kind of organisation that people want to work for. When we win a large contract, people want to work for us because we have been awarded the contract with a large organisation and people want to be a part of that success. Keep your staff happy; if they enjoy their jobs, they are more likely to vouch for your company.

3.Put thought into what is actually required for the role. Organisations tend to be lazy and produce generic job descriptions by adapting one used before. Sometimes we’ll get a job description that lists every possible skill which is unachievable to expect  a candidate to have. Sometimes we have found candidates who matched the description but weren’t successful because the description was wrong for the role to begin with.

4.Get the right people to write the job description. They often emanate from HR but the Line Manager or person working in the team is best suited to write the description. Elements such as the team size, the ethos of the team and company and what they will be responsible for day to day are key.

5. Make sure your interview questions are relevant to the role and the interviewer is qualified. An interview should be about determining if the candidate is a good fit for the company and vice versa. If you’re constantly trying to catch them out, the person can’t relax and can’t answer the questions properly. It gives them a negative feeling and it gives the company a bad reputation. We’ve recently seen some informal interview techniques utiltised, often in managerial roles and usually for the first round, so if your business allows it, try this more progressive approach.

Converting the hire

The interview went well and you think you’ve found Mr. or Ms. Right. How do you close the deal and hire that person? The straightforward answer is to look for the positives in your company, the ethos, the company culture, the clear career paths you have that might attract the right person to join your company.

If you’ve got some inspiring examples of how your employees have grown with the company then use that to cement the deal. For example there was a person we placed as a clerical assistant at a major telecommunications company 22 years ago and he is now Director of Branding at the firm. That speaks volumes about the company as it shows firstly that there’s opportunity to grow and build their careers within an organisation and that it’s a great place to work.

Candidates who have approached recruitment agencies spontaneously have already made a conscious decision to look elsewhere, which is of course different from when we go head hunting. This means they are in a more passive position and not really applying for the role. However, they’re possibly receptive to a counter offer from their employer.

As the economy is growing again, companies that are hiring have realised that they are also losing current employees as quickly as they are finding new ones. If a company is in growth mode it needs to retain staff as well as recruiting new ones. As a recruiter, we must have a clear strategy to deal with the inevitable counter offer.

It’s worth mentioning that salary isn’t the only incentive for people. Although when a candidate is weighing up the options of various offers, salary is important, they should also consider the bigger picture of a better work-life balance, working culture, the training and career growth opportunities as well.