Never Recruit By Numbers

Never Recruit By Numbers.

Mould your recruitment campaign like a piece of plasticine. Don’t succumb to the security of painting by numbers.

“My company has a 21-step process for hiring a new employee. It takes a minimum of four weeks and can take up to 3 months for a senior hire. We have strict assessment criteria – both for professional and cultural fit. Every senior hire has to be approved by a minimum of two Directors. In this way, we ensure that we attract only the best talent.”

I hear this sort of speech regularly when I talk to clients. Nothing in life is so linear….

Nature has some basic rules, but what makes nature amazing is that there are always exceptions. These exceptions help her to become even more astounding. Life always throws up conundrums; there are blind alleys, unexpected events, chance meetings – you have to react accordingly depending on the situation. There can be no plan; you just have to react to the circumstances and do your best.

Likewise, there is no standard model to search for a new hire any more. The recruitment industry desperately needs to reassess some of its accepted norms.

Social media has brought candidates closer to clients, and availability of information about the candidates online has increased vastly. There is still a requirement for a considered assessment, but the risk that a given candidate could be approached by hundreds of potential employers directly now means that speed and efficiency are of paramount importance to secure the best talent. Sometimes you really do need to hire that candidate right now – so throw your “process” out of the window.

Hiring companies also need to be more flexible in their requirements. Do they absolutely need a permanent hire when I have a perfect interim candidate who could do virtually the same job for three days a week? Would they be open to creating a position for an industry leader who would be a perfect fit for their team?

As recruitment becomes even less linear, companies will simply need to become far closer to their recruitment partners. Recruiters will become trusted advisors, they will sign longer-term agreements, and they will be involved at a strategic level in helping a company deal with their talent strategy.

At the moment, very few people in the world see recruitment as a strategic occupation, but this is very much the future of our industry. The closer a recruiter works in partnership with a company, the better they will understand their plans and the more successful the outcomes.

As each specific candidate market becomes ever more diverse, companies will no longer be able to handle the broad spectrum of recruitment in-house. Generalist agency recruiters are a dying breed, and the generalist in-house recruitment teams will follow them. They simply won’t have the expertise.

There is no one way to recruit anymore. Every recruitment campaign starts with a blank piece of paper, no numbers in sight. To use my second metaphor, the best recruitment partnerships are where both recruiter and hiring company mould the plasticine together until they are happy with their final creation.

You can create some pretty amazing shapes if you work together!


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