Why a recruitment plan is so much more than just numbers 

While it is true that the number of vacancies and budget you have form an important part of the recruitment process, it is about much more than numbers. An effective recruitment strategy revolves around good practice, with an ethos built in to ensure that you get the right people for your business going forward.

Create an effective recruitment plan

The first thing you need to do is create a recruitment plan that works for you. In order to do this effectively, you need to revise your job descriptions. These can change over time, so you need to talk to the people in the relevant teams and find out how the role may have progressed and what might need to be updated on the description.

If there is no existing description in place, then you may need to conduct a job analysis to determine duties and requirements. By all means create a job description template, but then speak to, or interview, staff to find out how this needs to be adapted to specific roles within the company.

As well as job description, you need to identify what skills you are looking for, both now and in the future. Talk to senior management about the current skill set and levels within the departments and use this to address where you would like to be in two, five and ten years’ time. It may be necessary to rate the skills you require in order to discover what is most essential in potential candidates. If the skills gap is too big between the levels that currently exist in each team and where you would like to be, this is a sign that you need to bring new people on board.

Overhaul your hiring process

Hiring new staff needs to be pro-active rather than retroactive. So, you need to be aware of any major initiatives or projects that the business is planning in the future. The last thing the business needs is for a project to stall while you take the time to bring in the right people. New employees need time to get up to speed with how the business works. It makes sense to complete the on-boarding process now rather than when it is too late.

An applicant tracking system can help you to keep an eye on who has applied and whether their skills may be relevant to upcoming projects or initiatives within the business.

You should review the hiring process and see how effective recruitment has been over the last year or two. Was there good communication during the process? Did the recruitment staff meet their targets and requirements? Did new hires work out well in their roles, and how did they perform in the probationary period?

A high turnover rate can provide information about how successful the hiring process has been in the past and can help to identify where work needs to be done moving forward.

Set a budget

An effective plan is more than about just numbers, as you can see, but they do play a part. Specifically around setting budgets. You need to calculate your cost per hire, which includes all internal and external recruitment costs. This is then divided by the number of new staff that have come on board in that period. This will give you a firm idea of how much it costs to take on new staff and allows you to budget for any future growth or staff turnover that is likely to happen.

Hiring culture

You shouldn’t ever focus on just one individual hire. Each recruitment should form part of a larger, company-wide, hiring culture. This means that interviewers should be trained and there should be processes in place to reduce bias and prejudice during the recruitment procedure. Structured interview techniques and blind hiring can both be used to reduce the risk of bias affecting the process.

The way you approach your hiring culture should determine what kind of company you want to be. Any business is just a sum total of the people that work there, so the recruits you take on form a massive part of your identity.

Professional recruiters

There is no one size fits all recruitment process. It takes time and effort to build an effective strategy and if you simply can’t do this in house, then it may be time to call in some help from professionals. Professional recruiters have all the tools at their disposal to help you find, attract and employ the right people. They are able to identify candidates that have suitable skill sets, matching them to both your requirements and company ethos. In short, they do all the hard work for you. Of course, you still have the final say and input into whether the candidate is suitable, but the leg work has already been done.

The aim of any recruitment strategy is to find the right quality and calibre of candidate, with the skill set that can drive the company forward. It’s about creating methods to help you discover this talent, bring it into the company and make sure it stays for the long term. The numbers can be an effective indicator that this process is not working or highlight that too much or too little is being spent on sourcing talent, but that is only half the story. The real work involves analysing these numbers and developing strategies that will drive them in the right direction. In this sense, the numbers involved in recruiting are the symptom and not the cure.

When dealing with people, numbers and statistics can only ever reveal part of the story. That’s why you need to have a comprehensive recruitment plan in place that takes into consideration every aspect – including the financial, technical, human and legal aspects – of employing new people. Once your plan is in place, or you have decided to work with external recruitment professionals, you can look forward to a business that is working in the right direction.