Readying Yourself For The Hiring Upturn – A 5 Point Checklist

By Tony Restell

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Do I dare put this in writing? Might I jinx the recruiting industry by stating what we’ve all been whispering to one another?!

The hiring market is bouncing back.

Yes across many geographies and a variety of industries I’ve been hearing the same thing – companies are increasingly turning the recruiting taps back on and confidence in the recruitment industry is higher than it’s been for many years. Recent economic headlines certainly support the notion that the long overdue pick-up in hiring activity could finally be upon us.

Readying Yourself For The Hiring Upturn - A 5 Point Checklist

But the bigger talking point isn’t whether the hiring market is picking up. It’s whether companies are well positioned to make the necessary hires as that recruiting demand gathers momentum. With this in mind, here are five things I hear forward-thinking companies turning their attentions to:
 


Let’s look at each in turn.


Rekindling Your Relationships with External Recruiters

There’s a huge shock awaiting any internal recruiters who have cut back on their use of external recruiters these last years. Significant changes have taken place. You’ll find many suppliers have disappeared from the market altogether. Huge numbers of recruiters have moved on or moved in-house.

Put simply, you cannot assume that your old PSL will deliver today as it did 5 years ago. Nor can you assume that the rock-bottom fee rates you’ve negotiated these last years will have external recruiters fighting your corner as the market recovers.

In short, it’s time to rebuild your relationship with external recruiters and ensure that the partnerships you have in place are fit for purpose more than 5 years since you last called on them in earnest.


Making Sure Your Employee Referral Program Is Fit For Purpose

Is your employee referral program the very best it could be? Do you have near-universal buy-in and participation in the program from your current employee base? Does it leverage social networks to maximum effect? Has it become one of your most significant sources of hires? If not, it may be time to investigate the employee referral programs your competitors are starting to implement and assess how you can achieve similar results in your organisation.


Reducing Your Reliance on LinkedIn

Let’s face it, we’ve been spoilt by LinkedIn these last years. It’s enabled internal recruiters to proactively research and approach shortlist candidates in a way that hadn’t previously been possible. It’s meant that hires have been made in-house that previously would have been sent out to recruitment agencies to handle.

There’s a fly in the ointment though. Recruiters report that this approach is becoming far less effective. The service has been sold so comprehensively that candidates are increasingly being overwhelmed (and irritated) by the volume of approaches they are receiving. In some sectors recruiters even report candidates are removing content from their profiles to make it less likely they’ll be found.

Does this spell the end of LinkedIn’s impact on the hiring sector? No. Does it mean you should pull back from using LinkedIn to approach candidates directly? No. Does it mean you now need to invest more time to achieve the kind of LinkedIn results you’ve become used to seeing in recent years? Almost certainly. At which point, other avenues for attracting candidates start to become more viable and more attractive routes for meeting the increased hiring demand in your business.


Getting To Grips With Alternative Social Networks

Various recruiter surveys have shown how overwhelming LinkedIn’s lead is in terms of being the social network that companies turn to to recruit. In part this is a branding triumph. In part it reflects the fact that the platform has been developed these last years with recruiting centre stage.

Yet there are distinct advantages that the other platforms can offer. Google+ and Twitter are both free. They both have user numbers that are a multiple of LinkedIn’s and so allow recruiters to tap into a far larger candidate audience. They make possible same-day or even same-hour conversations with candidates, such is the user responsiveness level they enjoy. Yet they’ve been largely overlooked by the mainstream of recruiters. If you haven’t at least explored the results that other social networks could deliver for your business, maybe now is the time to assess your social recruiting strategy with a fresh pair of eyes.


Planning Your Job Board Activities

Finding ways to approach passive candidates has been a major focal point for recruiters over the last years. But as hiring demand picks up, companies will also need to be effective in the channels where active jobseekers are most likely to be reached. From all my conversations with recruiters, it seems that job boards continue to be the most effective means of reaching this active candidate audience. Yet many employers have de-emphasised this channel during the last years and aren’t on top of how to get the best results from the job boards they used to rely on (or indeed aware of the deals that may be available to them to lock-in at present). If that sounds like your company, you may want to consider re-engaging with your job board suppliers to establish which still perform strongly in your sector and to plan out the kind of activity you’d need to be factoring in to get maximum results from them when needed.


These are the 5 issues I see you may want to address, based on everything I've been hearing in the market of late. What might I have missed? What will you be focusing on? Please do share your thoughts in the comments stream below!


Image Credit: Recite

 

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