Hiring and recruitment. It can be fun, exciting and oh so worthwhile at the best of times, and frustrating, time-consuming and costly at the worst of times.
In either case, it’s a crucial aspect of the current work-environment, so much so that drones of people (much like myself) have made entire careers out of it, and the internal departments that overlook this are getting bigger.
As more leaders come to recognise that attracting and maintaining top talent is one of the biggest challenges they face, a lot more focus (and capital) is going to ensure that firms stay on top of their recruiting game.
But what’s the best way to spend this capital? Should you add more responsibilities to your HR team? Should you go in-house and build your organisation’s own talent acquisition team? Or should you reach out to an external recruitment agency, so they can help you get the talent?
As you can imagine, there’s no clear answer, each situation would have its own best approach. I’ll aim to give you some insights into the pros and cons of each method and you can decide which one might be appropriate for you.
Researching the market. How hard can it be?
Firstly, it takes time to get to know who is available on the market (contact us to find out who is currently open to new opportunities) and what it’s like out there. You’ll have to do research into figuring out what the market standard is for salary/day rates for any given role and what skills are heavily valued and in demand. There’s a plethora of information out there for free, and there’s not much difference between an internal talent acquisition team and an external agency in regards to getting this information.
Generally speaking, talent acquisition teams (both internal and external) should be up to date on this, but if the HR function of your organisation is looking after the recruitment, it’s another bit of research that they’ll have to be across, which could impact their other responsibilities.
Writing a job description and job advertisement
Once the research is conducted and you have a better understanding of your “ideal” candidate, the next step is to write a job description (or download a free template).
After writing a best practices job description, you need to write a job ad. Job ads are the front line when it comes to attracting talent and you will need to have a detailed and appealing advertisement.
In order to attract the right talent, you shouldn’t be using standardised job ads. Writing appealing job descriptions and ads, and including the right information (such as benefits, values, opportunities), will increase the likelihood of getting applicants coming through, but this can take a fair bit of time and you will have to do some research.
This is where internal recruiters/HR department can really shine. Their in depth knowledge and understanding of the nuances of the organisation is hard for someone external to get a hold of, and they can really use this to best sell the organisation.
External recruitment agencies can help tailor your ads and your external value proposition in order to help appeal to talent.
Once the job ad is approved, it’s about making sure it’s uploaded to all the important job boards. To upload a job ad costs money (how much depends on the job board and country) but it can get quite expensive, with some job ads costing upwards of $200. When you’re hiring for multiple positions, you can imagine the monetary costs racking up, something that you will have to keep up with when recruiting internally.
Finding passive candidates
It’s important to realise that you will not necessarily get the right candidate applying to your job advertisement. The chances are, the best talent, while they may be open to new opportunities, are currently in a job and not actively looking.
Looking for candidates?
Most candidates won’t reach out via a LinkedIn post or respond to a job ad, they need to be actively pursued. Job boards have millions of profiles, however searching through them to find the right one can be very time consuming and sometimes (read often) fruitless. (As a recruitment agency that's what our consultants focus on and here's some candidate profiles of the professionals they have managed to find!)
It also pays to grow your network by reaching out to people in organisations that you know have good people. This is called headhunting, but approaching people like this requires a delicate approach. It’s not just about the immediate position that needs to be filled, but rather keeping in touch with people to see how they are going. In most cases, this is just relationship building, as it’s likely they won’t even be looking for a position, but when they are, they will reach out to you because of the relationship that’s been fostered. This is usually where internal recruiters and HR fall short. They simply don’t have the time to build these relationships, and if they do, it generally means there’s already a lot of pressing work to be done within their organisations.
In comparison, this is where external recruiters have it in aces, they (the good ones at least!) spend time with candidates to get to know them better, to understand what the candidate is looking for now and/or in their future careers.
What happens if the wrong person gets hired?
Let’s say an offer has been made, it’s been accepted and the apparent star candidate has started. Now what happens when the star candidate isn’t what they seemed to be during the interview?
This is where the costs can get really high. If you have to re-do the entire process again, from job ads to CV screening to interviews, you’ve essentially doubled the time costs of hiring. Not to mention the stress of having to find someone else, more time constraints around deadlines and deliverables, and a bad hire can also have a significant effect on the morale of the company and/or the team.
At the end of the day, sometimes bad hires can’t be avoided and there’s nothing anyone can do. Depending on the terms, using a good external agency will generally mean a refund or they will immediately start working on a replacement, so at the very least you can avoid that round again. Bad hires, like all mistakes, generally have something to learn from and will assist (in some way) in making the next hire all that better.
So what should you do?
As you can imagine, there are pros and cons to each side.
Internal talent acquisition teams, while initially can seem like the more affordable option, have more costs associated with them that aren’t initially realised. But as they are working with the organisation every day, they can offer a good understanding of who will be the right fit.
External recruitment agencies and outsourcing, while being costly, are constantly on top of the market and are able to potentially get you talent is not yet on the market. In addition to this, they can give you extensive market information on the current trends within the talent environment which often takes time and dedication to gather. At the end of the day, when dealing with a recruitment agency, you should preferably be dealing with a consultant who will not only provide the best talent, but also one that will advise you on how to attract and keep the top talent.
If you’d like to learn more about making recruitment easier, contact us today.