Panic! We need…

Are you in the same boat as most of my clients and colleagues?

Fighting the February frenzy and just hoping March will settle down to give you some breathing room?

This year might have taken off like a rocket, but being busy isn’t an excuse for avoiding the planning that will set you up for long-term success.

And nothing rates as highly as attracting talent and building your team (unless you LIKE being stressed, panicked and stuck working IN your business…)

So let’s talk high-level recruitment strategy.

I’m going to describe two common (but polar opposite) recruitment strategies.

And I want you to think about where your business fits in…

Is your recruitment strategy:

a. Well planned, aligned to key initiatives and growth objectives, and designed to remove reliance from any one or more employees (so that you never get caught out accepting poor performance)…

Or closer to:

b. A panicked knee jerk reaction, where you wait until workloads exceed resources before scrambling to recruit, and get stuck with average performers because you don’t have a plan to replace them (don’t worry, I’ve been here myself!)…

Your approach can mean the difference between: 

– The confidence to take on new projects and invest in your growth (vs. worrying you’ll have the resources to deliver)

– Attracting high performers who are the right fit for your business (vs. settling for what you have because you can’t afford to rock the boat)

– Sleeping well at night knowing that you’re in control (vs. being stressed out and growing more grey hairs)

I think we can all agree recruiting talent is worth planning right.

In today’s article, the first of the March Attracting Talent series, I’d like to introduce you to my 9-step plan for moving out of reactive recruitment mode…

Build a Proactive Recruitment Plan in 9 Steps

Step #1: Align to business objectives

Review your business plan and budget. Clearly define what key skills will be critical to the successful delivery of your plan and growth.

Step #2: Review your existing team

Identify any poor performers or high risk employees and highlight their positions.

Step #3: Set your non-negotiables for new candidates

This may be background experience, types of organisations and culture fit. Clearly define the position description, salary and nature of the role (i.e. Casual, Part Time or Full Time). Be sure to set key success measures of the position for the first 6 months. This is useful to use for shortlisting and to share as part of the interview process.

Step #4: Define your why

Review your employer branding and value proposition. You need to be able to clearly define WHY people should work for your company. Try checking in with current employees to see how they define the WHY.

Step #5: Create your recruitment timeline

Do this in reverse. The recruitment process from go to whoa is not a short process. As mentioned in prior articles, try to recruit at any opportunity you have so that you can develop a ready shortlist. However, as a general guide the below gives you some high level timeframes:

  • Develop a clear position description, KPI’s and overview – allow 1 day
  • Place post or ad – allow at least 2 weekends for applicants to respond
  • Review and shortlist – allow 1-2 days
  • First interviews – allow 1 week
  • 2nd and 3rd interviews – allow 2 weeks
  • Reference checking and offer – allow 1 week
  • Notice can range from no notice to 3 months for executive positions

To note: additional time may need to be allowed for police clearance and/or psychological testing

Step #6: Advertise the position

Review best way to advertise. Some options include your company intranet, employee referral schemes, SEEK or other employment job boards, LinkedIN, Search, newspapers, a personal email to your network or social media.

Step #7: Work an interview plan

Where possible, use the concept of 3. See people 3 times, by 3 different people, in 3 different locations to gain team buy-in and different perspectives. This provides the best opportunity for both the candidate and the company to get to know each other.

Identify focus areas of each of these meetings so that candidates aren’t repeating themselves. For example: 1st interview, focus on confirming the right skills to do the job. 2nd interview, focus on cultural fit and provide further information about the role. And 3rd interview, focus on final questions that come out interview process and potential overview of contract.

Take notes during interviews and ensure you keep a hold of any great culture fit candidates (who may not be right for the particular position you are looking for but who may be appropriate for another future position) and stay connected to build your talent pipeline.

(To get help with your interviewing, this month I am sharing my customisable Interview Sheets).

Step #8: Ensure brand alignment

Have the interview process represent the type of brand experience you want to get across (treat candidates how you would want them to treat your customers).

Step #9: Communicate!

Keep people as updated as possible through the process and get back to non-successful candidates. You never know when you might need them in the future, so do what you can to build strong relationships with all impressive candidates!


Any questions?

If you have questions on this topic or any others, feel free to reach me by email or set up a free one-on-one consultation session, or drop me a comment below.

Thanks for sharing!