Tailored HR solutions West Sussex

Full Steam Ahead for the Recruitment Train

Ready to grow? It’s time to recruit. Take too long and you might miss your opportunity.

From our conversations with clients, it’s clear that a lot of companies are starting to feel more optimistic about what lies ahead. The cautious ones are just beginning to allow themselves to think about planning events, reopening offices and premises, and bringing staff back in from furlough. But there are others that feel this is not the time for caution. They’ve been careful for the last 11 months and now wish to take advantage of the world reopening and grow their business as best they can. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that attitude, particularly if it means the creation of lots of new jobs.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen in the news that Domino’s Pizza is to hire 7,000, Waitrose is to hire 800, and several city councils have unveiled grand plans to create tens of thousands of jobs in their areas to boost regeneration and growth.

This is fantastic news.

Our message to you is if you want to recruit too, then you must act now. Here’s why…

Recruit now or miss your chance

Recruitment is a complex process. Very few jobs can be filled via an application form and one meeting. It takes several interviews and in some cases, chemistry tests with the team and presentations too. Add in the fact that face-to-face meetings are still not possible and you’re looking at a minimum of several weeks to fill each and every vacancy with the right person. If, you even find the right person.

Once you’ve gone through the process of recruitment, and waited for the completion of their notice period – which is often as long as three months – there’s also the issue of onboarding. Its purpose is to get your new recruit up to speed and able to work in their new environment as quickly as possible but if you’re currently only able to offer a limited virtual version of your normal onboarding process, it will take a little longer for your new recruits to be where you need them to be.

This means that if you have aspirations to grow your workforce, it could take you four or five months from when you start the recruitment process to getting some value from your new employee. If you start now, that will be July or August.

Why is timing so important?

Let’s say you are reopening a restaurant. The moment you are allowed to reopen, you want to ensure that your premises is fully booked with eager, satisfied patrons. You don’t want to have to open at half capacity because you don’t have the trained staff in place.

The same applies for businesses outside of the hospitality industry. As consumers and businesses gain more confidence in making decisions, taking action, and spending money, you want to make sure that they do so with you. Take on more than your current staff can handle and you might find that mistakes are made and your reputation suffers in the long run.

Hopefully, you see our point that recruitment will take longer and therefore needs to start sooner, but what can you do now to make it run smoothly and get a bigger and stronger team in place as soon as possible?

How you recruit during a pandemic

The good news is it can be done, and with great success. Thousands of people across the UK have started new jobs during lockdown, conducting the whole interview and onboarding process virtually. Here are the basics:

  • Involve a recruitment agency or consultant – they will speed up the process by making use of their book of contacts and weeding out any time-wasters or unsuitable candidates before the interview stage.
  • Prepare a thorough job description – now is not the time to be vague about role responsibilities and progression. Take time providing the detail and you’ll attract more of the right people.
  • Consider existing personalities – don’t waste time taking candidates through to the final stage only to discover during the team interview that there are some major personality clashes. Think about the types of behaviors and values that will be a good fit in your team.
  • Fine-tune your interview questions – how many of your interview questions are any good? Ask your recruitment agency to help you prepare a list of expert topics to discuss in each interview and if possible, get their advice on taking notes and scoring answers so that it will be easier to compare candidates after each round.
  • Be clear about your expectations on working hours and place of work early on but also be mindful of the restrictions some of your candidates may have. If you absolutely need people to work in the office every day, then make that clear. However, do remember that this will mean that you are significantly reducing the pool of candidates available to you as many working parents won’t be able to work to those rules.

We hope this helps, but if you do need further support on crafting the right job spec or even identifying which vacancies should be prioritised, then we are here to help.

About Us – We enrich businesses by instilling our passion for developing people and organisations. Using our diverse experience and extensive knowledge, we flexibly support businesses with a pragmatic but personable approach to people management.

Disclaimer – The contents of this blog do not constitute legal advice and are provided for general information purposes only. We can only advise on the basis of specific client instructions and are unable to offer legal advice by email to anyone who are not our clients. To find out more about becoming a client of Lodge Court please talk to us.