Continuity Is A Gift In Recruitment

You must live in the present, not the past

One of the most important factors within a company’s recruitment strategy is the idea of continuity. Continuity contributes greatly to candidate trust and also makes the administrative side easier too. There is no real reason for a business not to value continuity other than ignorance of its importance.

Let’s assume that you have a PSL (preferred supplier list) and you are farming out the task of tracking down the perfect candidate to multiple recruiters. That would be a very good guess as the majority of companies use this method, though not all have a PSL, electing to just contact recruiters at random whenever the need arises. Specialist recruitment partners are a pretty new concept so most have not even considered that as a possibility.

Now, nothing stops those multiple recruitment companies from contacting the same prospects at the same, or similar times, in order to attract them to the role. Having multiple recruiters working the same candidates is a failure of your recruitment processes. Firstly, those recruiters have wasted their time chasing the same person. Recruiters working on a no win, no fee basis only have so many hours they will spend on a job role before binning it off in favour of something that may offer a better chance of payment, and if they are contacting individuals who have already expressed interest or chosen not to go ahead with the opportunity, it can lead to a lack of both recruiters and candidates. Secondly, to that candidate, your organisation appear disorganised. There is no joined-up thinking going on, and if that is the case, why would they desire to work with you?

As the market for quality candidates heats up, one of the major factors in securing said candidate is speed. How fast can you find them, how fast can you screen them and how fast can you secure them? Having more recruiters on the case should by rights make the task quicker but that is rarely the case.

Responsive employers are worth their weight in gold and a few are working out that the way to overcome the stalling within their hiring is not solely to throw larger money offers at the candidates, but to rethink how they recruit.

If you were building a house, you would not use more than one architect at the same time or a few sets of builders, hoping that some how the plan would coalesce all by itself? In no other industry would this be classed as normality, yet within recruitment, it is. Perhaps, until now, no one has offered any alternative.

The frustration a candidate will feel being put forward for a role, only to find out they are not a good fit, and then to have it happen all over again, will sour them on your company. Multiple points of contact are where miscommunication happens and where alienation can occur. There is no excuse, in this day and age, for this to happen.

Exclusivity is a scary word for organisations looking for recruiters. This topic comes up again and again. A hiring manager may know they need to switch up the way they are doing something, for better results, but are not sure how. Wary of making it so that they have no back-up, they ignore the parts of their current strategy that are not working or that are causing headaches.

The added continuity that specialist recruitment partners bring to the table usually never crosses the mind of someone who is obsessed with recruiting fast. The false economy of destroying continuity is not an issue they wish to face. Yet face it they must.

The big question is: how far does it have to go, and how long does it have to go on, before the continuity issue is taken seriously? Next time you make soup in your kitchen, think about that old saying and decide whether you want to invite around a lot more cooks to try and get it done quicker, or if you are better off with just the one.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Why You Will Choose A Recruitment Partner Over A PSL

One takes you back the way you came, the other takes you on to your future

The transition to a different way of doing things is always a long and drawn-out affair. Recruitment has not changed in many decades and yet, is anyone really satisfied with it? Is it free of headaches and false starts and miscommunication and abandoned jobs?

Specialist Recruitment Partners are a relatively new concept, born out of the need to guarantee results. As the job market becomes more and more candidate-driven, generalist recruiters just skimming the job boards for active job seekers is no longer the guarantee it once was.

Waking up and recognising the benefits of this type of recruitment will place your company in a great position for the future. Change is hard. Convincing people that the way they are doing things is not the best way, even though nearly everyone else is doing it, is part of the challenge.

The generalist recruitment firm will assure you that they have dedicated departments in the specialist area you need, such as data, AI, Cloud, etc. but how true is that? Do they have external recruiters called up just for that job? No matter what is going on, if you need a very niche candidate, why would you not select a niche recruiter?

Recruitment Partners are a different breed. They are dedicated to a client and delivering to that client what the client needs, no matter how difficult. The atmosphere of mutual respect allows the best work to be done.

Deadlines are important. Using their resources in the best ways possible to deliver the best results. Finding those hidden gem candidates is no easy task but, when allowed the freedom to adapt their search until they find them, Recruitment Partners will hit their targets.

Are generalist recruiters willing to turn away with work to get your job done? There will be exceptions, of course, as there are to every rule, but the majority will not turn down work because, and they absolutely have our sympathy here, they have no choice, always chasing the most stable of the unstable work, the best bet in the gamble. Exclusivity is not their priority.

The hesitance to adopt the newer way of doing things would make sense if Recruitment Partners cost more than generalist recruiters but they don’t really. The structure of payments is just different that is all. Split into 3 staged payments that are released when each stage of the recruitment is completed. It actually benefits the recruiter to perform these tasks to the absolute best of their abilities. They have something at stake.

The unscrupulous recruiter who spends time seeking out candidates only to then basically auction them off to the highest bidder, unbeknownst to them? The organisations who are putting their trust in that type of recruiter are left spinning in the wind, more time is ticking down, desperation sets in. That kind of recruiter does not desire the scrutiny that naturally comes with partnerships. They are not beholden to anyone and don’t really want to be either. Specialist recruitment partners do not pitch the prospective candidates to all and sundry, because they are dedicated to your quest.

The candidates, who are so integral to the process, but who get treated like a secondary thought by the unscrupulous recruiters must be shown that they are valued. If they are approached by someone who tells them that there are a number of opportunities available, they will not feel targeted. They will not believe that they have been contacted because they are special, but that a scattergun effect has been applied to find them and a further scattergun approach is now being applied to which jobs are suitable. This is alienating behaviour and does nothing to build trust.

Specialist Recruitment Partners are a way to break away from the short-term thinking that has left many companies in trouble during the pandemic. Making a change for the better has to start today.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Recruitment: Opportunity & Upskilling

Encourage upskilling to make sure your employees can climb the ladder

Whilst the role of the recruiter has always been viewed as one of seeking out and selecting candidates with the requisite hard skills needed for the role they are tasked with filling, it should now also be seen as the job of ascertaining which candidates have the requisite soft skills that aid in their interpersonal communications and problem-solving.

This is essential now that working from home has become normalised, in the wake of Covid-19. Teams need to communicate better and managers need to be able to get to the bottom of problems at a distance from their workforce. Productivity suffers otherwise.

The skills shortage is not just within the hard skills, it is within soft skills too and upper echelon management are rightly concerned about it. If you are desperately seeking the right candidate to unlock your data project and, try as you might, you cannot find one, or find one who will commit to your company, you don’t have many options open to you. The C-Suite knows this and that is why around 80% of CEOs are stressing about it.

Offering opportunities and guarantees of upskilling to prospective candidates is one way to win them over from a competitor’s offer. Soft skills have now come to the fore more than they have in the recent past and the impetus is on the honing of them, in order to prepare the workforce for the next steps in their careers.

Invention, intuition, innovation and ingenuity are major factors in the rising need for upskilling. Whereas the C-suite used to view these attributes with indifference, with a pandemic that has not yet ended, the benefits to a company’s health of collaboration and communication are now seen as important. With that comes the desire to upskill the workforce.

Jobs that revolve around the understanding of technology and a need for highly technical skills, are no longer immune to the need for personal skills too. As projects grow larger and more complex, so do the teams, which means that they must operate like well-oiled machines.

On top of all of this, the teams may be working at locations in different cities, or even different continents, which means that communication breakdowns will hugely inhibit a productive working environment. Empathy must be present in those who are working in that environment.

Upskilling is already having an impact on recruitment. Businesses are already starting to focus on whether a candidate has advanced organisational skills, is friendly, thrives in difficult situations. Yes, these are always on job specs, but now there seems to be a move towards profiles that display this information as equal to the hard skills that are required.

Leadership qualities, emotional intelligence and resilience are two other major soft skills needed to take these businesses into the future and that also applies to current managers. Covid-19 has exposed a soft skills gap within management, which needs to be filled quickly before it becomes a real detriment to firms. The more diverse a company becomes, the more management need to upskill to understand where employees are coming from.

A programme of upskilling within a company not only strengthens the workers but it strengthens the company. Employees who have been encouraged and helped to upskill are much more likely to respect that company and to stay with that company. While upskilling costs money, it saves money in the long run. Lower turnover, in turn, saves time and money on constantly on-boarding staff. Upskilling builds confidence and leads to heightened productivity too.

The paranoia that the C-suite execs have that they are just spending money to train the next company’s workforce must end. There is no evidence that that ever happens. Workers want to feel valued and respected and upskilling is a way both parties can win.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

Recruitment: Quality Over Quantity

Don’t get distracted when you are looking for five stars

It may sound like the most obvious thing in the world but when you are recruiting and are looking for candidates, the best way about it is that of prioritising quality over quantity. Pretty standard idea, so how come it doesn’t always work out that way?

When exploring a recruitment strategy, especially within a sector like Data or Cloud, it behoves a company to understand that if their strategy is not correct, it could cost them more in time and money, than it gains them in business success.

Competition is often an important driving force for a business and can result in benefits, such as the advancement of technology or marketing, opening up new avenues to explore, keeping prices at an appropriate level and so much more. As the hiring of in-demand individuals heats up in a marketplace with too few prime candidates to fulfil those demands, this can lead to precious business resources going straight down the drain.

So many businesses are tackling data for the first time and it can result in confusion as to what kind of team, what size of team, what structure and what the achievable goals are for the team when it begins working on the necessary data projects. If there are no internal experts who can oversee and tackle these issues, this problem can be solved with an external consultant, or even an experience recruitment partner.

Promoting your business correctly during the times you interact with candidates is the best way to convince in-demand candidates that they are in safe hands with you. During the ‘reaching out’ phase, whoever you have handling the initial conversation, usually a dedicated specialist recruitment partner, will sell your company and allay any fears the prospect may have. Using a specialist recruitment partner is a good idea for this as they are not ‘company men’ and have been through what the candidate is going through: they have encountered your business from the outside, and have asked the tough questions about your operations. They can give the prospective candidate the lowdown on the company and honest answers about why they should choose you over your competitors.

During the video interviews, are those conducting the interviews giving the best impression of the company? Are they reading emails on their laptop screen as they interview? Are they using their phone to interview from, rather than a laptop? Is their background untidy? Are they prepared, having read the candidates CV? Have they prepared appropriate questions? All of these things are red flags that can lose you a candidate.

When already-busy hiring managers have to sift through resumes themselves, this can result in great candidates being missed, or too many candidates, who are not right for the job, being interviewed. This is not an effective use of time and can also lead to wastes of other resources such as money. The recruitment specialist you partner will pre-screen in order to save you time. How many times have interviews happened with ten candidates when they could have been pre-screened and reduced to the best three? Add to that waste of time, the fact that with ten candidates to deal with, instead of three, a business will not be as agile in its decision making and will lose those candidates to competitors who actually have their act together.

Tasking multiple generalist contingency recruiters with filling these roles can be a double-edged sword. You can either get very few CVs sent over when the prospects are hard to find, or not active on the job market, or you can be spammed with any CV that is even slightly suitable. When working with a specialist recruitment partner gives you much more of a white-glove service, and costs you the same amount of money, why go for quantity, when you can enjoy the quality?

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.

What To Do About The Skills Shortage?

TIme ticks by to fix the skill gap

With over 90 percent of companies finding it difficult to find and hire candidates with the correct skillsets and business leaders complaining that the situation has worsened over the previous year, this has led to organisations paying over the odds to ensure they have the hires needed in order to guarantee that their firm will be able to run, uninterrupted.

Remaining productive during the pandemic has become harder and harder, and now with the skill shortage exposed, and a probable additional cost to businesses of over £6bn a year, the big question is now: “How do we solve it?”

Well seeing as we cannot retroactively change government or private business policy, we must deal with the situation as it is and find ways around the problems thrown up by the current challenges:

1. Recruitment

Short term recruitment in order to fill the gaps in your workforce may seem like the simplest solution but it is a false economy. The amount of resources that are poured into a new hire are really quite large, and if the turnover of staff starts to speed up, you are out of pocket. Yes, the recruitment process is now starting to take longer than it did previously, but getting the right candidate saves in the long run. How can you plan for the long term when you hire with a short term mindset? Engaging a specialist recruitment partner should be your first course of action here. The candidates may very well be out there, but you need to know where to look and how to approach.

2. Interviewing

As previously mentioned, the hiring process is taking longer, on average around 55 days, and it could well expand beyond that soon too. Businesses are spending more on recruitment because desperation is setting in. How many of these companies have really reassessed, or brought in a specialist to assess, their hiring strategy? In a world where the power pendulum has swung away from the employer and has swung back to the employee, in a way not seen since the early 2000s, how can they afford not to change their way of dealing with candidates? Processes must be streamlined and the company must become more agile in its hiring or it will keep missing out on the highly-skilled prospects it needs.

3. Fledgling Talent

Some firms have given up on finding the talent they need and are falling back on lower or entry level individuals. This isn’t necessarily a bad idea if you can’t find the candidates that you crave. If you truly exhausted every avenue and came up empty handed, then the next logical step is looking for fledgling talent looking for work in your sector, perhaps university graduates. But this is no quick fix, easy answer, as all grads are not made equal and you will still need to sift thought their resumes or applications in order to find the best ones. If you have engaged a specialist recruitment partner, they will find the best CVs and pre-screen the prospects to separate the wheat from the chaff. The worst thing that a company can do is leave a role vacant just because they can’t find someone to fill it.

4. Training

Spending just under £1.5bn on training to bring their existing employees up to the required skill level, organisations are certainly attempting to reverse the skills gap. This, of course, has a knock on effect throughout the whole job market, meaning that the workforce as a whole is better positioned and businesses by extension have more choice. This speaks to a need for longer term planning not just within individual businesses but across whole industries, who have become complacent again since the early 2000s.

There must be more planning, more responsibility, more strategy, a focus on the importance of recruitment and career progression must be at the heart of it all. If you require a candidate to be agile and to upskill, then your business must have that very same mindset.

Curious about how Zenshin Talent can help your organisation? Contact us today for a no-strings conversation about your needs and our experience.