Planning for the unplannable – the strategy behind your recruitment strategy

The annual business planning process – the holy grail of planning. At best you’ll have access to insight, intelligence and decision makers; at worst you may get some numbers on a spreadsheet that make little or no sense.

It’s looking up though; recruitment and retention is back on the board-level agenda with over a quarter of organisations looking to increase their recruitment budget and over a third increasing their talent management budgets in 2017/18 (CIPD survey in partnership with Hays).

So how can your recruitment strategy stay ahead of the game?

Bring in the experts

This isn’t the hard sell it may seem; if your HR department doesn’t have a dedicated resourcing team then you’re missing out on specialist expertise that is critical to achieving strategic success.

Working in partnership with an expert recruiter on a retained basis brings many benefits. You’ll have access to a wealth of insight, from market intelligence to support with attraction strategies and talent management as well as advice and guidance from a team that wants to help you succeed. The very best partners will not only deliver for you but anticipate your needs, saving you time, headcount and budget.

Make business plans your business

Even the most relaxed of department heads will know what they need to achieve in the next 6-12 months and whether they have the right people to achieve it. Tap into this to understand how it might translate to recruitment needs.

We all know recruitment is admin-heavy and time-intensive so having an ongoing relationship with a recruitment partner who can relieve some of the burden will maximise your ability to respond to your business’s needs whilst ensuring you can remain focused on more strategic issues.
Protect your employer brand

Applicants have access to far more information about a prospective employer than ever before thanks to the web and social media. Add to this a candidate’s ability to post online about their application and interview experience, and all of a sudden your reputation as an employer of choice is out of your hands.

Make sure you review your recruitment process from an applicant perspective and respond appropriately to feedback – are you communicating effectively, is your process timely, are you being consistent? The CIPD/Hays survey shows that 41% of HR professionals believe they have lost good candidates because of the length of their recruitment process – have you, and if so, what are you doing about it?

Use personal development plans to your advantage

Knowing the ambitions of your people can be a significant advantage when resource planning. A culture of sharing future plans and aspirations will allow you greater oversight of what may lie ahead. Whether an individual wishes to upskill, retrain or is simply happy where they are can tell you a lot about their future within your organisation. You can use this insight to help plan where attrition may occur or where support should be provided to make sure you develop your strongest talent.

Create a talent pipeline

We have all come across the ‘right person, wrong role’ scenario. Cultural fit is increasingly as important as ability to do the job so when you find good people during the interview process it can pay to think a little differently about how to manage them.

Whether you use a spreadsheet, software or recruitment partner, finding a way to create a relationship with those candidates who remain of interest to you should the right role come up means you already have a rich pipeline to look at when you need it.

Regardless of how good your plan is, as HR professionals we must accept that elements of recruitment will always be reactive. However, in our experience, finding the best people doesn’t happen by accident so being ahead of the game can only put you at an advantage in a very competitive space.

If you want a chat about accessing our proactive, human recruitment expertise, do give one of the friendly team a call on 01709 717212.

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Planning for the unplannable – the strategy behind your recruitment strategy