Connect with us on LinkedIn Follow us on Twitter

Vying for talent in a hyper competitive market - Planning (1/4)

Vying for talent in a hyper competitive market - Planning (1/4) ­­

In a recent report commissioned by the Open University they identified “More than three in five senior business leaders in Scotland (64%) find that the recruitment process is taking longer – with most of those (89%) saying on average recruitment is taking at least a month longer this year than in the year previous.

While the process is taking longer, when talented workers with in-demand skillsets are identified, they are able to take advantage of their strong position, driving employers in Scotland to spend an additional £81 million on salaries.”

So, what can individual businesses do to combat the increased recruitment cycle time, remain competitive, positively affect and mitigate against the demand for higher salaries?

There are 4 key stages to the hiring cycle:

  1. Planning            
  2. Candidate attraction
  3. Selection/Interviewing
  4. Offer/Negotiation

Stage 1.

Thorough planning for any new hire, is the best opportunity you will have to significantly increase your chances of securing the right person in today’s hyper competitive market:

  • Develop and write-up a bespoke job spec for the role (Don’t be tempted to use the generic one on file, that was written four years ago by Mary who left the business 18 months ago)
  • Understand exactly what you need this individual to contribute to your team (Ask yourself, what is not currently being achieved, that this person will be tasked to do?)
  • What are the absolute critical skill sets and experience level required to fulfil the role (Don’t get fixated on the Holy Grail)
  • Can there be flexibility on the level of experience of the individual (Is there resource available to up skill/mentor/train?)
  • Truly understand what the budget limitations are for the role (Can there be movement for an exceptional individual – try not to exclude potential candidates or limit search efforts with artificial ceilings)
  • Understand who will be involved in the hiring/interviewing process and their availability (Complete all stages of interview in one day – one onsite interview if possible)
  • Secure interview dates and block relevant diaries (would suggest 2 – 3 weeks from job release date)
  • Agree on attraction strategy, internal review/promotion, direct advertising, engage recruitment partner/s etc. (Fully brief external / internal recruiters prior to job release)

You will already be one step ahead of many of your competitors when the role is released to market.

Distinct advantages:

  • Recruiters (internal/external) will be able to target their search much more effectively and efficiently (Increasing response rate and reducing futile searches)
  • Potential candidates will have a clear up to date picture of what and why the role exists (Not discouraged by a generic, familiar advert they have seen many times before)
  • You can manage candidates’ expectations with a clear timeframe on interview dates and protect your brand in doing so. (The fact there are set interview dates will naturally create a sense urgency and potentially increase interest)  
  • As you are interviewing in less than 3 weeks from release date this should decrease the likelihood that interested parties will have multiple offers by that point. (Reducing unnecessary competition and subsequent salary negotiations)

Remember, be flexible. If you discover the perfect candidate within the first 24 hours of releasing the role, expedite the whole process as much as possible to further mitigate against external competition.

Current industry averages:

  • From CV receipt/submission, the current average interview process is taking a further 4 – 6 weeks to schedule, complete interviews and move to verbal offer.
  • After 4 – 6 weeks on the market, the average “technology” candidate has 3 – 4 verbal/written offers to choose from.

Finally, manage your own expectations. Gone are the days of receiving 5 or 6 suitably qualified candidates that you can shortlist down to 3 for interview. In today’s market you may be lucky and have 2 strong contenders to interview.

Food for thought

Always consider, how long you could be looking for the perfect fit versus how long it would take to upskill the candidate in front of you.

Stage 2. Candidate Attraction, coming soon…

­­­­­­­You might like to read the Open University report: