A good strategy for your business is nothing without the people to put it into action. From yourself as a leader through your direct reports and onto the rest of an organisation, everyone contributes to the execution of strategy.
Often, recruitment and human resources demands will inform an integral part of a company’s strategy, so it’s important for leaders to understand where their talent gaps may be and how they can remain attractive for future employees.
Understand your recruiting demands in advance
Ideally, you’ll be able to look at the strategy that’s guiding your business and know which positions you’ll need to start lining up candidates for. You need consider how your business might look in one, two and three years time and compare it with your current staff. Especially consider who has the potential to grow.
Building a succession plan to fill prospective gaps doesn’t just mean focusing on who you’ll have to hire. Take a look at which employees in your current staff can be developed to fill future roles as well. This will give you a better idea of which talent will come from internal sources and which you’ll need to recruit.
Build a bench of possible candidates
Just like sports teams have a bench of substitutes ready to enter the fray if someone drops out, businesses can also benefit from having a list of possible candidates or other people in the industry they can tap on the shoulder when a vacancy opens up.
You can create a list yourself. Remember to also pick the brains of your team. But this is where a recruitment company can also be valuable, helping you to tap into a network of passive candidates and nurture them before you’re even exactly sure when you might have space for them. You will probably go broke if you use a recruiter to fill every position in your company, but recruiters see people you don’t and have good industry connections and candidate networks.
Make your business attractive to candidates
Every part of your business has to be attractive to the talent you’re trying to appeal to. If you’re searching for people in areas with known skills shortages, any weak links will have an even greater impact.
It’s especially important to boost your digital presence, as the growth in online job advertisements means that people will be Googling you whilst applying for jobs. If your site looks out-of-date or is hard to navigate, it will send a strong message – and not a positive one.
You can also be active on social media to give a stronger impression of your role in the market. Many of the larger tech companies are masters of this. For example, a quick scroll through SAP’s Twitter feed makes it clear they’re an industry leader. This doesn’t mean you have to post about job opportunities all the time, simply communicating about your actions and achievements in your chosen industry can have a significant effect on how you’re perceived.
Find out what current and future staff think about the business
You need varied and honest feedback to truly understand how other people – whether they’re former, current or potential employees – perceive your business. When people leave your business, it’s essential to use an “exit interview” to understand why. However, to get a more truthful answer, you may need to follow up a few months after they’ve departed, as this is generally when they’re more honest and open about their real motivations.
I also suggest that you get feedback on your current recruitment efforts. Ask people what they think about your website, your social media presence and anything else that could impact the way people think about your organisation.
By: TEC Chair, CEO mentor and coach Graham Jenkins