• victoria@greenjaygroup

Using proactive recruitment strategies to keep ahead of your competitors

Updated: Aug 14, 2019

Recruiting is hard at the best of time but with employment rates in the UK at a record high (with the south west region boasting the highest estimate of 78.9%), it means that people aren't just sitting around waiting to be offered a new job.

Add Brexit to the mix and it could get a whole lot tougher, as employers who currently rely on individuals from overseas to fill their roles may find they face extra barriers very soon.

In a tight labour market such as this, it's down to employers to ensure that they are doing everything they can to attract and retain top talent. It is no longer as simple as posting an advert, interviewing the most suitable people and then making an offer to the candidate who best suits the role and company culture.

Employers now have to utilise all of the approaches available to them to fill their open vacancies.

So, what can you do to make sure that you bag the top talent?

1. Proactively identify skills gaps to reduce time-to-hire

Gone are the days when you could expect to receive hundreds of suitable applications for a new role. Now it's essential that you proactively hunt down and retain top talent if you want to maintain a competitive advantage.

Data produced by Workable (2017) indicates that globally the average time to fill a role in IT/design is 56 days. That's 56 days between you deciding you need someone, to getting them in place. This doesn't include the time it takes to get them onboarded and trained up.

The best way to overcome this skills shortfall in your organisation is to plan ahead.

Making a 12+month plan to identify your current skills and potential skills gaps means that you can start to pull together job adverts, post on job boards and make connections, so that you have a potential pool of recruits available when you need them. As long as you're upfront about your intentions, e.g. ‘we'd love you to join us but we are waiting until we win X, Y, Z project before we can hire', then people are usually flattered to be courted by a future employer.

2. Promote your unique culture

All hail the era of creative recruiting!

Social media enables you to have more fun with your brand and your recruitment in a low-cost way. Think about the exciting projects you work on, the great team atmosphere you have and the fantastic opportunities you offer, and put them out there for all future talent to see. Engage with your followers to start building relationships and personalise your approach so they feel special.

3. Use your talent magnets

If you’re struggling to recruit why not turn to your people to help you find hidden talent. A recruitment bonus scheme is a simple but effective way to both find new talent and also increase the morale in your current team. By showing that you trust your people to hire you next pool of talent you are showing them that you trust and value their judgement.

The money you can save on recruitment advertising and agency costs can then be passed on to your people in the form of a recruitment bonus. In addition, studies have found that people who are referred by your current talent are 55% quicker to hire than those who are sourced via recruitment advertising and agencies.

4. Widen your scope

Say you need a new software developer, so you post a job advert for a software developer, but you get zero applications from software developers. Argh! What do you do now?

Maybe it's time to broaden your approach.

Have you considered starting a returner programme, targeting service leavers or recruiting an apprentice? If the answer is no, then you may be missing out on talent that you've previously overlooked. Yes, it might take a bit more investment on your part, but it may also help you to recruit for previously difficult-to-fill roles and keep you one step ahead of your competitors.

Do you need some help to get a proactive recruitment strategy in place? Green Jay is a strategic HR consultancy that can help you to recruit, retain and develop top talent. Get in touch today for a free consultation and we'll help you with all aspects of your people management.

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