Written by Robin Rayburn
This is a continuation of Put Your Recruitment Strategy on a Diet, Part 1:
12 ‘Diet’ Tips to Keep your Recruitment and Interview Process Healthy
Diet Tip No. 7: Eat foods in season.
If you know you have the same recruitment needs year after year, over time you should be able to start aligning the business needs with seasonal cycles in hiring.
Try to time certain recruitment efforts when it makes sense: if you need to hire a workforce of entry level job seekers you can train, look to hiring at the end of a school year when these applicants are actively looking for full time jobs, or alternatively, start them part time during the year and cultivate the best employees into full time positions as they finish school.
The same goes for partnering with technical and trade schools or certification programs. Partner with these institutions to help filter great applicants into your recruitment funnel so that your needs are met year round and you don’t have to wait for talent to come on the market.
Looking for an intern, there’s a reason most internships are during the summer. If you really want one in the off season, change the job requirements and your expectations to fit the market as well as to give other types of individuals a chance (like people in a career transition)–you never know you might be pleasantly surprised by the results when you shift your thinking and try something new.
Diet Tip No. 8: Stock your kitchen with healthy convenience foods.
The best recruitment strategies are those with contingency plans. Make sure you aren’t just recruiting for right now, but that you’re also building a pipeline of candidates for future roles that may open up or contractors who can fill gaps when you haven’t found the right fit.
Just because you may not be hiring doesn’t mean recruitment should shut down. Being proactive and continuing the process to bring interested talent into your funnel can help save your organization time, money, and effort when business needs grow and you’re in a crunch.
Conducting informational interviews, keeping candidates warm with phone calls, emails, and continued follow-up, or keeping general company job postings up are all ways to keep talent ready an arm’s length away for when you need them.
Diet Tip No. 9: Swap a cup of pasta for a cup of vegetables.
It may be time to do a re-vamp on job descriptions and evaluate your needs. The criteria that worked for the role three years ago may not be what is actually needed to be successful now in the position. And this may be causing headaches and turnover without anyone realizing why.
It may feel good to stick with what you know, but realize when it’s really just causing dead weight and bloated salaries or positions. Re-examine needs and reevaluate what’s necessary for the business to succeed. It could mean that you only needed a junior candidate versus a senior-level one or that you require an applicant with a more robust and diverse skill set than you originally thought.
Examine the qualities in your most successful employees: what makes them great and what don’t you like? Make sure you’re eating your recruitment veggies and filling your plate with the ideal candidates for your needs and not getting distracted by sugar coated resumes or sitting in your comfort zone.
Diet Tip No. 10: Don’t deny your cravings/Don’t starve yourself.
If in the back of your mind you keep saying you need to hire a graphic designer or social media expert, you’re not going to fix that need by focusing on hiring more account managers. Understand your business needs and evaluate if it’s time to indulge in making a hire that is going to support the work being done.
On the opposite end, don’t starve your recruitment process either. Even if the economy has cause cut backs learn the art of substitution in your hiring practices. Feed the business needs where necessary. If you keep cutting back, eventually just like the human body, what’s left won’t be enough to support or sustain one left to support the business.
Diet Tip No. 11: Eat the same lunch every day.
Sure variety is the spice of life and there are times to change things up, but if you find a system that is working well for you, stick to it. It’s easy to slip out of good recruitment habits when you’re distracted by an assortment of chaotic efforts.
The less steps there are and the more consistent you are with your process, the easier it is to identify the problem areas and know what solutions to impose to bring about positive, focused change where you can manage the results.
When you’re throwing spaghetti at the wall and trying things haphazardly to improve your process, you’re more likely to get off track. While it may not be as exciting, you’ll see better results when you’re consistent with your course of action, rather than biting off more than you can chew.
Diet Tip No. 12: Be physically active.
Be engaged in the recruitment cycle. Yes, let everyone do their jobs, but know what’s going on. If you’re not active in the results, you can’t be proactive in seeing problem areas and helping to find solutions. When you’re reactive to these things, it creates more stress and rash decision making that can throw a healthy plan off-track. Any steps taken to improve the process are only worth the amount of action they are met with.
You can buy new software, implement new interview techniques, or re-write your recruitment advertising message, but if you don’t implement the new steps, train those involved, and insist upon the use of new methodology, people will backslide into their comfort zones. Everyone must be on-board and actively involved in the change.
Just like dieting, there are no quick miracle fixes. Sure you can crash diet to shed some weight or eliminate a problem with your recruitment funnel, but developing healthy, consistent habits are the key to a robust recruitment strategy for the long term.
What healthy habits do you or your team practice to ensure you stay on track and meet your recruitment goals?