Last year when Bill O’Malley opened the doors of his executive search firm, Connector Team Recruiting, the recruiting efforts of many companies were still sluggish despite a rebounding economy. Today, O’Malley notes business leaders are worried about ramping up hiring as the marketplace shifts to a candidate-driven status. Through Connector Team Recruiting, an affiliate of MRINetwork®, one of the largest executive search and recruitment organization in the world, O’Malley is helping companies that have a recruiting plan in place, in advance of their competition, gain a distinct opportunity to lead the pack.
“When companies wait to develop a plan until hiring freezes are lifted or until budgets are increased, it’s too late to gain a competitive advantage,” says O’Malley. “During economic recoveries, organizations that quickly react, historically pick up market share from competitors who are not quite as agile.”
The key is to ramp up recruiting efforts at the right time. “If you start actively recruiting too early, you’ll leave candidates waiting too long before you can take action,” says O’Malley. “If you start too late, you miss out on the forward-looking talent who are among the first to be willing to assume the risk of a new position at a new organization.”
O’Malley suggests that a recruiting plan devised after a prolonged economic downturn include the following key elements:
- Revise strategic goals. Your plan should allow you to ramp up from little hiring activity to maximum capability in 30 to 60 days. This means prioritizing jobs based on their impact on your business and improving your employer brand to attract top performers and innovators.
- Conduct competitive analysis. A critical part of your plan is analyzing your competition’s plans. Try to forecast when they are likely to ramp up, which positions will receive the initial focus and what tools they are likely to use.
- Set up a timetable including the key HR KPI “time-to-fill”. Including key milestones and accountabilities ensures that everyone knows what to do and when to do it after the recruiting plan is activated. The “time-to-fill” metric is an industry standard for representing the number of days from when the job requisition was opened until the offer was accepted by the candidate.
- Prepare managers. People in your organization who have responsibility for hiring will have their own issues within their departments so make sure you have a workable hiring process and support material in place before they’re needed.
- Anticipate candidate expectations. It’s a mistake to assume that candidates’ expectations and their criteria for selecting a job will remain the same as they were before the recession. Survey a sample of the most desirable potential applicants to identify their current wants, needs, and expectations.
- Devise a retention strategy. As the job market improves, you are likely to experience as much as a 50 percent increase in employee turnover as a result of your competitors’ renewed recruiting efforts. Identify specific employees who are most at risk of leaving and develop a blocking strategy to counter your competitors’ efforts.
- Re-energize your referral program. Focus on seeking out your top performers for referrals, which also reinforces their critical role in helping to strengthen the team.
- Build a talent pool. Identify potential applicants and building relationships with them so that when a position opens up, you already know individuals who are both qualified and interested in your company.
“Until recently mobility within the workforce was the lowest it had been in 60 years,” says O’Malley. “But now more people are willing and able to move to get a great job. Even employers who have been steadily hiring have gotten used to restricting their searches. Now most of them are able to ignore the geographic limitations of the past few years.”
# # #
About Connector Team Recruiting:
Connector Team Recruiting provides nationwide executive search in support of America’s leading companies in the retail industry. Our client base includes leading furniture, electronics and department stores, as well as leading consumer manufacturing plant operations. Visit us at http://www.connectorteamrecruiting.com.
Management Recruiters International, Inc., branded as MRINetwork®, is one of the largest executive search and recruitment organizations in the world. MRINetwork has approximately 600 offices in 35 countries. Visit MRINetwork at . For franchising opportunities, visit http://www.mrifranchise.com.