Recruitment is Dead – Long Live NEW Recruitment

Recruitment is Dead – Long Live NEW Recruitment

a electrocardiography exitus illustration in dark screen background

Some of my contemporaries are going to dislike what I am about to say and will no doubt defend their positions fiercely. But that’s ok, because my message is not for them, it’s for you: the hiring manager.

So here’s the thing; in today’s tech world where everyone can find everyone else and where most have a digital footprint, why is it recruitment companies continue to trade on their ability to find candidates. Does that really offer value? (I didn’t think so). Today a trained monkey can do that, or more accurately algorithms created by people far cleverer than I. The point is: the ‘talent’, those 20% of employees in any given market who deliver exceptional results, no longer hide in that special place only accessible by those recruiters in the know (if that mythical place ever existed). The talent hides in plain sight.

But this creates its own challenges:

  • How to identify them amongst the rest
  • How to attract them (bearing in mind, if they are good, they’ll likely be well taken care of)
  • How to assess their suitability to do what you need done
  • How to recruit them (after all with limited supply why come to you?)

Let’s concentrate on the first point. I’ll have to address the rest separately another time…

If the people you really want to hire (the top 15%) hide among the other 85%, you can do one of two things.

Number 1…

Continue to do what you’ve always done. Put out the same old adverts, ask your recruitment supplier to sell the same old job specifications, attract the same old candidates and accept mediocrity. Or best case; stumble upon a top candidate by luck, and fool yourself that your recruitment message actually works and is scalable (until the next time).

Number 2…

Make a fundamental step change. Find out what truly motivates top performers to change jobs, and then align the work you want them to do to those motivations, describe what success looks like, deliver that message to the market and see what happens.

Clients I work with systematically do this and here is what happens for them.

  1. Candidate quality increases 60% (which mitigates the ‘kiss a frog, find a prince’ syndrome)
  2. Mediocre candidates are deterred from applying (too much like hard work), which has the same effect as point 1.
  3. Employer brand is positively affected – attracting yet more top talent
  4. Hiring managers spend less time hiring – allowing them to add value elsewhere in the business.
  5. New hires have a positive influence on the rest of the team – upping output.
  6. Time and money is saved
  7. Identifying top candidates becomes a scalable hiring model – giving predictable outcomes.

Now don’t get me wrong – this is not the silver bullet for all your recruitment ‘woes’. There are definitely additional steps that need to be applied. (In fact there are five, of which this is the first).

And guess what, it’s not for everyone! Some hiring companies just aren’t serious about hiring top employees; some don’t have the stomach for change; some will believe hiring differently is just too much like hard work (it’s not by the way). But this is ok because there are not enough top employees to go around anyway.

For those of you who are serious, can change and are prepared to; ask yourself if your hiring strategy is truly effective. Ask your recruitment supplier what they are doing to meet the challenge… If the answers are not what you’re looking for – maybe it’s time to do things differently.

Jon is the director of Affinity Automation whose mission is to help great Control and Automation firms achieve commercial success through building world class sales, engineering and management teams.