Alfred Mayaki Senior Executive Recruiter EMEA,  Energy & Infrastructure Finance, Impact in Business Recruitment

Improving practice.

Whether you happen to be an agency recruiter or an in-house (internal) recruiter, you might be wondering what steps you might need to take to improve the performance, processes and ultimately the results of your departmental function this year. 

1) Experiment with New Frameworks 

Kanban, for instance, which is a part of the Agile family, can be very useful. It acts as a visual system that helps compile work as it moves through a process. Kanban is a framework related to lean and just-in-time, when used to schedule workflow. The results can be remarkable, when used correctly. 

Turning-over your job orders in a way that can optimise client outcomes is perhaps the most important balance to emphasise within any well-performing recruiting department. The number of job requisitions your team handles may very well be a function of how scaled your organisation is or has become and how efficient and effective your internal processes are. 

To achieve this balance, why not think about organising the internal workflow of your business or department so as to ensure your candidates are engaged, while optimising (and preferably minimising) key performance metrics such as your time-to-interview and time-to-shortlist. 

To meet these objectives, I would certainly recommend testing a Kanban framework, if it is not already part of your internal processes. Kanban frameworks are very conducive to recruiting and are an interesting toolkit in the armoury of the very best recruitment teams. 

How the agency recruitment industry continues to grow from strength-to-strength is as much about the way recruiters work, as it is about the industry’s ability to embrace change and optimise its unique position during times of economic uncertainty. With the REC predicting that upwards of 50 per cent of vacancies in the next 12 months are to be filled by agencies, the role of the recruiter is pivotal. 

2) Revolutionise Your Comms 

Communications, Communications! Communications! It’s the easiest ingredient to get right. An amazing website, an effective structure to your job briefs, up-to-date social media channels, these all fall under the part of your process which determines the messages you communicate to your various audiences. Are these elements all optimised to reach the correct audiences and most importantly, do these messages resonate with your audiences or signify the adequate intentions of your business? 

What about your introductions? I have always felt that great agency or search businesses seem to always get their introductions right, in my opinion. Through experience, the right approach to take when making a formal introduction through e-mail or InMail isn’t to freestyle, but to generously serenade your discourse with a variety of font styles and sizes, call-to-actions and plenty of personalisation. 

Have quirky categorised templates in place to welcome your new LinkedIn connections or for new introductions reached through e-mail. Try out new approaches by refreshing the content of these introductions every so often. 

A top sales tip for high-volume recruiters in industry is to separate new LinkedIn connections into potential clients and new candidates, then to make very personalised introductions using prepared and selective greetings and scenario responses. I’m not saying you should automate everything, but make sure you make the most of every exchange. 

Converting new connections into CV submissions for your requisitions shouldn’t be difficult once you have a world-class structure and process to follow. 

3) Be More Selective and Less Flexible 

One should never let a difficult situation, or one that is impossible to overcome, drag on the confidence of yourself or your team, either because of structural issues in the labour market specific to the role or for any other uncontrollable reason. 

I mention this because one of the worst experiences I have had in recruitment involves not being able to provide the right level of candidature after promising a client I would get the job done within a specific time period. 

Taking on a hard-to-fill job requisition is an important decision for a team lead to make and should ideally be a decision taken by an entire team. Even so, the recruiting team lead must ask the right sort of questions to the hiring team or department. Is the client pressed for time? Can the job order requisition be filled within the time period? These are all questions that should be asked by the team lead when documenting a proposal for a new requisition. 

One of my favourite examples to use to depict this issue of selectivity is the commissioning of pieces of historical art. Would a prestigious monarch such as the esteemed Charles I in the prime of his reign have requested that Van Dijk, the painter of his self-entitled portrait, hurry the portrayal of the masterpiece which hangs as part of the Royal Collection if he wanted the artwork to resonate? My suspicion is no. Why? Because, a great artist would require time to plan in order to superimpose their subject. A rushed piece of art that is not revered is no good to a Monarch. 

Likewise, a process for hiring a new starter that is not thoroughly planned and executed because of unrealistic constraints on the time of the process is bound to result in a sub-optimal outcome. 

4) Self-Evaluate Your Colleagues 

At Impact in Business, we have a peer-to-peer performance evaluation process in place which works for us. Teammates can come together to assess their successes, failures and contributions immediately after every closed requisition. 

It’s important to us that mistakes should not be punished but consistency should be rewarded. What that demonstrates is that our team have the right attitude in relation to the contributions we all put forward. The essence here is not to criticise or create conflict, but it is to make sure that the business continues to grow and improve day in and day out. 

Now, this list is not by any means exhaustive, but it will get any recruitment team asking the right sort of questions this year about improving workflow and results. 

Build on these tips by listing the attributes that are unique to the business functionality of your firm then proceed to question the nature and feasibility of these processes. 

Above all else, remain sternly committed to the fundamental operative framework that underpins the work of the department or business. 

And remember, there are no easy wins in the cut and thrust world of recruitment, it is all the product of laborious hours of experimental wisdom. 


More info: Impact in Business Recruitment

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