In the past year businesses have faced a situation unlike any other in modern history. How businesses have been affected has varied greatly, with the impact on recruitment and staffing being perhaps the most diverse of all, with some businesses forced to downsize, while others have taken on additional staff to cope with an increased demand.
Oxford Innovation Cornwall’s Executive Placement specialist Sara Webb takes us through some of the challenges facing businesses when recruiting today, and how finding the right person for the role can minimise disruption when the going gets tough.
Using Time Wisely
Recruitment can be costly in various ways, from advertising the role through to the time taken to sift through applications, interviews and references. When a business is busy, recruiting can get put off until the need for the role becomes desperate and then there is a panic to find a person to fill that space.
It can be that you have two candidates who are suitable for various parts of the role and you find yourself weighing up the pros and cons as to who might be the best fit knowing that finding the addition to the team in a time efficient manner is the priority.
Although it might be tempting to make a quick decision, or to change the role to fit the strengths of the applicant, a cautious approach may pay off. Take some time to take a deep breath and again consider what gap the new role is filling. Will the applicant fill that space well? Will they fit into the team and add meaningful value?
Recruitment is far more expensive if the person is the wrong fit for the role, does not add value and in the worst case needs to be let go. That can be both time-consuming and disheartening for the business owner, the team and the person who is being asked to leave.
The Right Person for the Job & The Right Job for the Person
The right candidate in the right role will help the business to thrive. Do not just consider a person’s abilities to do the role: will that person fit with the team?
It’s important to be transparent about your business culture to anyone outside of the business. For example: if you’re a business where attention to detail, working set hours at your desk (albeit a home desk) and responding promptly to correspondence are key, then say that. Do not pretend you’re aspiring to be Google with sleep pods and flexible hours to entice people to apply.
Recruiting in a COVID World
It has been a strange year for recruitment. Employers have learnt to be more relaxed, facilitating home working, childcare and the need for some of the team to just get out the house and take a walk. For businesses that require staff to be on-site, creating space for social distancing and observing protocols presents its own challenges and logistical issues.
Through these hard times businesses have learnt that being adaptable is key, and that employees will rise to the challenge and performance can improve as the team member feels valued.
The landscape for recruitment is changing to meet this new normal, learning to use the virtual world to interview, coming up with new and innovative ways to create connections and to assess the potential candidates.
Now might be the time to take stock and work out the roles your team requires. For example, it may be that marketing has not previously been a focus, as word of mouth, reputation and a buoyant market has been enough. Has this changed? Are traditional word of mouth conversations still taking place with restrictions in place? Could you benefit from a competent specialist to design and deliver a new strategy? What about production? How have social distancing measures changed the process? Does this require further work?
Pre- and post-COVID, finding the right person for the right role is key. Always start with the gaps in the business and how they might be filled. Then consider a recruitment plan for the future based on predicted sales that will allow you the time to find those ideal candidates.