Sometimes you have to hire staff quickly. Really quickly! Maybe someone suddenly leaves your organisation without warning, maybe you have won new business or maybe your sales and marketing has suddenly created a glut of orders. Regardless of reason there are moments where you are pulling the emergency cord and saying you have to hire immediately. So how do you hire staff quickly?
Collapsing your recruitment timelines doesn’t mean you compromise on attracting awesome talent. What it does mean is you have to think smart and leave nothing to chance.
Start by telling all internal stakeholders how important this recruitment project is. Tell them you need to hire staff quickly and explain the reasons why. If you are not communicating the need for speed – guess what? Things will move at a normal pace.
Your HR department, your recruitment agency, those involved in the interviews and the decision-making process. Leave no stone unturned. If you are hiring staff quickly then recruitment has to be top of everyone’s agenda not just yours. You want those key decision-makers motivated, focused and with this issue front of their minds.
2. Check the Brief
Before you start the process at lightning speed – check the brief. This is of particular importance if you are replacing an existing member of the team who has been with you for a number of years. You can bet their role and responsibilities has changed overtime. Likewise for a brand-new role. Take a moment to flesh out the details and think things through.
What about the rewards package? Are you being competitive? Time to do some benchmarking activities and find out what the industry norm is. You do not have to pay top-dollar, but you don’t want to be so uncompetitive candidates dismiss the opportunity out of hand.
You did an exit interview – right? What reasons did your soon to be former employee give for why they’re out the door? Strip away the emotions, park your ego and be pragmatic. Did some information come out of that interview which should be translated into the latest job spec? It could be the role, the duties, the rewards. Have factors been revealed that the new brief need to take account of? If so – add them to the brief and job spec.
3. Be Available
There is nothing more frustrating than the decision-maker telling everyone how important a particular hire is and then they disappear. Phone calls and emails go unanswered, CVs gather dust, candidates disappear, momentum is destroyed. If you have made the call that this is important – then be available and be responsive. This advice is not just restricted to recruitment! If you say anything matters in the business (whatever it maybe) then be present.
Feedback quickly on applications, chase input from other decision-makers when required. You must see yourself as someone facilitating the recruitment process – not countering it.
Basically, hold yourself responsible. If you have told everyone this is an important hire and you need to hire staff quickly – walk the walk! Prove it and be prepared to put other issues on hold while recruitment takes centre stage.
Let me put it another way; a candidate also feels this is an important moment. Ultimately, they could be about to alter the direction of their career and join you. They are going to be dependent on paying the bills and feeding their family through this employment. Why would you treat their application without the importance and attention required? Be available.
4. Compromise the Skillset?
This is not a hard and fast rule. What I am saying is be pragmatic. The employment market is currently as tight as I have ever experienced. The UK has a skills shortage. Organisations across the country are struggling to find the right people. Recruitment is tough.
I ultimately find organisations that can hire on character and are prepared to train skills are best positioned to work the problem. I am not talking huge deviations here! If you need a finance administrator with 5 years reconciliations experience and the candidates only has 3 years…what do you think you should do? I’d suggest you look closer at the candidate. They could have other skills to bring to the table. A lack of specific knowledge or experience should not be viewed as a barrier and an immediate no.
In the same breath; skills are obviously important. Therefore, you need to make a judgement call here. Just keep an open-mind and figure out if you can compromise in certain areas for certain candidates. Remember – this is about hiring quickly. With an infinite amount of time, you can find the “perfect” candidate, but time is not what you have.
5. Use Technology
The fallout from Covid and remote working is technology has tried to fill a void. Granted, most of us now hate zoom meetings! But it’s here to stay. You can now embrace this in your recruitment process. It used to take days from the moment a CV arrives to actually meeting the candidate for an interview. I actually remember clients having trouble finding a timeslot to book the boardroom for an interview! Now it can take hours…and no boardroom required.
Scheduling a zoom interview is very straight-forward. This technology now allows diaries to be more flexible and for geography to no longer be an issue.
Speaking of geography…technology on a broader scale has maybe added something else to your recruitment process. Do you actually need the latest hire in the office? Could it be done remotely? Some employees are demanding remote working opportunities. If you can remove the geographic boundaries you are opening up a much larger candidate pool. You could have many more options available to you. Suddenly my point above about compromising the skillset could become obsolete.
6. Remember to Educate and Onboard
The most important aspect to remember throughout the recruitment process is that you should be aiming to continually educate the candidate about the role and organisation. The onboarding process begins as they read the job advert for the first time. Your goal is to instil a sense of belonging between the candidate and your organisation. You want them to feel socially accepted. You want them to feel an emotional connection. Time (or a lack of it) does not stop you doing this, poor communication does. Think through the contact points you have with an applicant and how and where you can continuously educate and enthuse them.
The more positive the candidate’s impressions of your organisation, the more you invest and communicate with them, then subsequently the more socially accepted they feel and the more bought into the role they become. It does not necessarily mean a candidate will automatically accept your job offer and start Monday morning. But what it does mean is if a candidate does decline the job offer they are more likely to tell you why it’s a no for them. And that gives you some clues as to what if anything needs to be tweaked in the rewards package. You’d be surprised, it isn’t always the salary that is the problem.
The better you onboard and educate a candidate – the better the chances that you do not have to re-run the recruitment process because you have been ghosted or a candidate declines the job offer.
When you are recruiting quickly the last thing you need is to have to re-run the entire process.
There you have it – a six-point guide on how to hire staff quickly. The real key to success is communicating that you want to move quickly and then sticking by those words. If your consistent and true to your word then you will find you can collapse your timelines. Now….what are you waiting for?
About The Author
Simon Royston is the founder and Managing Director of The Recruitment Lab (A recruitment agency with offices in Aldershot and Brighton that offers employment services across Berkshire, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, and beyond). Simon lives in Guildford and has worked in Recruitment for over a decade. He has a degree and a master’s in psychology as well as a diploma in Human Resource Management. If you would like to know more about anything written in this blog or would simply like to express your own thoughts and opinions do not hesitate to contact Simon through The Recruitment Lab website.