In the midst of a tough economy, defining your recruitment strategies and methods will result in better hires in less time. Why? Because you are following a plan. The investment in time and effort put into defining your plan will pay off big time if you take it seriously and follow it.
Where to Begin?
Assuming you have done a proper job analysis and know exactly what type of skills and requirements are going to be demanded of the person filling the position, the next step is to decide which resources you have available to you. These may include job board, subscriptions to posting sites, databases of candidates, advertising budgets, referral programs, and more. Additionally, you need to assess what manpower resources are available.
Once you have a firm understanding of resources, you can decide on your strategies. If you are lacking resources or manpower, you may consider outsourcing some or all of the function. It is acceptable to outsource some or all of these functions to a recruitment firm or employment service.
Implementing the Plan
Once you have decided on your resources, you need to implement your strategies. You do this by documenting the process. Each step should generate a summary report of some sort and data that can be tracked. Why? So you can adjust your plan and make better decisions on allocation of resources.
Using a Recruiter
If you are using an outsourced solution, you may want to use two or three firms at first and measure which one provides the better candidates. This can be done by measuring the quality and speed of submission. How on-target are the resumes that are submitted? How quickly can they turn around an order? To do this, you need to measure and keep track of results. This accomplishes two things: You can narrow it down to one or two services, or in the future, if you use another firm, you have a benchmark for how a service should perform when filling a particular type of position.
If you are doing this in house, you may want to consider a recruiting management software solution to keep track of some of the data. This type of service records and tracks all kinds of data. From collecting candidates to tracking interview results and hires, this software can be a powerful answer to managing your in-house recruitment effort.
If you choose to do it manually, keep track of a few important parameters such as where candidates are coming from, which source provides the best candidates, and how many candidate submissions it takes to develop an interview pool, etc. Measuring this will show you in the future the best way to recruit for a given position.
Putting It All Together
Making your efforts pay off means starting out and taking action. By measuring results, you can quickly ascertain which methods are more effective and increase the chances of finding better candidates while reducing the time to hire and the costs involved
Top 3 Critical Pieces of a Superior Recruiting Plan
A recruiting plan is your roadmap to a successful hire of top candidates. Just like a roadmap, you need to know your destination; you need to know how you plan to get there; and if you want to go there again, you’d better write down how you got there.
Brian Tracy says, “Action without planning is the cause of all failures. Action with planning is the cause of all success.”
Here are the top three elements of a successful recruiting plan:
1. Needs Analysis: You need to know your destination so you know where to go. The needs analysis is the description of what type of person you are looking for to fill the position. It is in a very real sense your destination. To not know your ideal candidate and start an interview process is like going on a road trip without a destination. You will come across some interesting places but you won’t end up anywhere. Similarly, if you don’t do a needs analysis, you will find some great people but not necessarily the one who fits the position. The question is, why spend all the time and resources searching for someone to fill a position only to be setting them up for failure?
2. Methods and Strategy: If the needs analysis is the “what,” the methods and strategy is the “how” in your recruiting plan. Going back to the road trip analogy, this is your form of transportation. It is how you are going to get there. In both instances, it requires understanding the resources you have available to attract great candidates, or in the road trip scenario, how you will get from point A to point B. There are literally hundreds of methods available, but the best method depends on a variety of factors, including your company, the type of position, the importance of the position, etc.
The job here is to collect the methods that make sense, evaluate other potential methods, and develop your strategy. Not to say it can’t change, but you need to have a starting point.
3. Document and Track: Finally, you need a way to document and track your results. Whether you are creating a recruiting plan or going on a road trip, if you want to repeat the process, you’d better write it down. In your road trip, you would write down where the traffic was bad, so next time you could pick a better route. In your recruiting plan, if you don’t have enough candidates, you could look for other ways to find or attract more candidates for the next recruitment.
This may seem tedious, but there are two important reasons to do so. First, if you go to the trouble of finding candidates, you should collect those resumes and hold on to them. A candidate may not be a perfect fit for the job this time but may be a fit for future openings.
Second, you need to know your numbers. If it takes you three months to fill a simple position, you need to understand why. Are you starting with too few candidates? (Maybe you need to source more candidates.) Are you interviewing and rejecting lots of candidates? (Maybe you need a better screening process.) You get the picture.
Aside from these improvement and efficiency reasons to document and track results for your recruiting plan, there also may be government regulations that require you to keep candidates on file for a certain period. These laws vary by location, and size of company. Best to check with a local authority to find out what is required of your company.
Like a well-planned road trip, a recruiting plan that guides you through the process will result in attracting and hiring great candidates. Just be sure to follow the process and use the information it is providing to continuously improve it.
Kennith Fletcher is an executive coach and business consultant from BidForWriting. He has been learning and teaching about leadership and management for more than 10 years. He also has experience in the areas of business development and sales management.