Whether it is seasonal growth, temporary staff shortage or simply an increase in business due to new projects, finding skilled professionals in a short span of time is a common challenge many organisations face these days. These hiring surges may not necessarily arise at a pre-planned time, and can create a big challenge for companies to hire talent effectively, with a cost effective model that doesn’t compromise quality. Businesses who successfully navigate high volume project hiring, will adopt effective planning, forecasting, and create a clear hiring process with regular reviews leading to continuous improvement towards the goal.
Clear Hiring Process
Some companies I have worked with state that agreeing on a clear hiring structure ahead of starting the recruitment process has helped them to avoid delays, bottlenecks in the process, and the worst outcome - losing quality candidates to market competitors. Having a clear structure and process is important to complete the recruitment process efficiently and effectively, and prevent any unforeseen errors, waste and delays.The ability to successfully and repeatedly hire the right talent for the right role is made easier for growing companies if you follow these best practices which are critical to the success of the project hiring drive:
Firstly, it is important to develop a clear set of hiring requirements for each role this includes ‘must-have’ skills, preferred skills, and lists of previously interviewed candidates. Frequent communication between the project recruitment team and hiring managers is essential, and a weekly ‘progress’ meeting to discuss issues and concerns, and hiring updates is critical. These meetings create clear parameters for success, better working relationships with the line managers, and helps manage expectations of quality of candidate in the market, and timelines for the project to succeed. Often, bottlenecks that can occur downstream can be whittled out quickly during these frequent meetings. The status meetings also serve as a control to make sure that all parties are equally invested in the projects success. Being clear on agreeing what success looks like with the hiring managers, will ensure the recruiters find the best-fitting candidates.
Secondly, it is critical to adjust the team structure as the number of open roles increases or decreases. Deploying the right sized recruitment team will depend on the project timelines and volume of hires, and therefore, it is important to engage the correct numbers of recruiters for each project. In the recruiting world, clients are constantly adjusting their roles and needs, so being able to keep up with these changing requirements means the project can move forward smoothly.
Thirdly, it is important to talk with candidates early and often and not rely on only one sourcing channel. Mapping out all possible recruitment channels rather than just relying on Linkedin, for example, will furnish your clients with the confidence that market is well mapped. When a project requires a large talent pool, it is critical to keep the focus on candidates that meet or exceed the clients’ expectations and so, exploring all the avenues to build the talent pipeline will aid in this e.g. all relevant job boards, referrals, existing databases, conferences, alumni, social media etc.
Fourthly, sharing detailed and extensive feedback to the hiring managers, especially about how candidates perform during interviews is essential. The hiring criteria can be adjusted and refined throughout the process based on the experience and realities of the candidates in the talent pool. Being very transparent with the hiring manager will help keep the project moving forward successfully, including sharing statistics, trends, and unusual characteristics.
Finally, investing the time to really understand the candidates goals, decision-making process, life situation, long-term career aspirations, desired compensation levels etc. is best practice. This level of detail ensures that companies don’t end up wasting time on a candidate who only turns out to be a bad fit.
Plan a talent pipeline for such situations in the future
A talent pipeline or talent pool is a proactive recruitment method which involves establishing relationships with potential employees to build a talent base. A talent pool involves screening the best talent and ensuring that they are a good fit, interested, as well as, available. This curated pool of candidates will be easily reachable once a suitable vacancy arises.
Talent pipelines can be highly valuable to organisations during hiring surges as it results in reduced recruitment outflow and maintains quality of hire.
For planning an effective talent pool, it is important to:
Refer to the global business strategy which would help to identify the potential vacancies and the duration by which they need to be filled.
Use market intelligence and knowledge to understand current economic situation, future trends etc.
Engage with talent pools through blogs, social media and online communities. Nurturing relationships with potential candidates is key and in the long term, will ensure the interest levels don’t drop off.
Reach out to unsuccessful candidates on previous jobs particularly since they were interested to join before.
All the tasks mentioned above may seem simple, but these can also be quite challenging if you don’t have the time or resources for them. These activities can easily be outsourced, particularly during peak seasonal times. Peak hiring particularly places a very high burden on your routine tasks and may disrupt your time slotted for more strategic work to spend time managing the volume. Other than helping you focus on your regular work, outsourcing recruitment during peak hiring will also help you reduce overall costs, increase the quality of hires as well as have a consistent hiring process.
If you'd like to know more about outsourcing your recruitment on a project basis, watch this short animated video:
To conclude, when your business demands more resources, it is not only crucial to hire the right people, but also to complete these tasks on time. In today’s world, the recruiting environment is getting more candidate-driven and there are more jobs available than the candidates to fill them. Using some of the methods listed above will definitely help you fulfil the sudden hiring demands that may crop up from time to time.
If you’d like to learn more about scaling up your hiring and outsourcing your recruitment needs, please fill in this form to arrange an informal chat.