Do we really have to spell it out?

When it comes to encouraging sensible ideas within recruitment, it may feel like we are like a stuck record. But consider recruitment as a whole and how much it resembles a stuck record. Over and over the same mistakes are made, and over and over the opportunity to change is missed.

How many companies take the employee churn rate seriously, for example? Do you even know your company’s churn rate? Churn can be costing your business serious cash plus draining other resources. It can cost around half a year’s salary to replace an employee and that is before you factor in lost productivity, lost customers and the negative impact it has on the employees who remain.

When it comes down to it, churn is a problem originating in the hiring process. It is not the only one. Currently within Data, AI, ML and Cloud, there are not enough quality candidates for the amount of roles to be filled. Organisations are not heeding warnings about this and are ploughing ahead as if they are still in the dominant position.

Obviously, how a company hires is totally up to that company, but when seeking very specialised candidates, it is advisable to engage the services of specialist recruiters. They can find the candidates you want. If we can liken it to the housing market, there is a great house in a great location. Now if you want to find what is on the open market, you go to zoopla or rightmove, which are the equivalent of a contingency recruiter. The house may be available on a few sites, easily searchable. Which means a bidding war could kick off, and if you don’t have the most money, you will miss out every time.

If, however, you wanted to find a house that was not yet on the market, you would engage a specialist who knows the area and uses methods other than waiting for the house owner to approach them. No matter the magic methods they use, they are likely to know about amazing properties before anyone else. That way you get in before your rivals.

Even when it comes to negotiating for the property, the specialist who has knowledge of the local market will likely impress, and has perhaps already met the owner face-to-face, so will be in a better position. This is the same for a candidate being more likely to accept a job offer.

Like the record, the hiring process can go round in circles. Recruiters can send cherrypicked resume after resume only for the client to reject them as if they have not been carefully selected. This process often happens over and over and it often happens with generalist recruiters because they find it hard to find the hidden gem candidates.

When great candidates are selected to move forward to interview, interview processes lag behind what is needed. The candidates who are in demand need to be processed quickly but often they are not. The processes are still in place from the past, when the market was employer-driven. A company can update its IT systems or how it orders lunch but how it interviews is generally never up for examination or discussion.

This turns what should be a streamlined pipeline into something more akin to a lottery. In demand candidates choose another company, or to stay at their current company because it appears a better option than an indecisive business. This causes the wheel to start spinning again. Every time, missing out on the prime candidate, wasting time and resources but sometimes getting lucky so the system is ever really questioned.

If your hiring reminds you of the movie ‘Groundhog Day’, that might be a clue that more common sense needs to be employed, so that more amazing hidden candidates are employed too.

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