Sunday, June 28, 2009

Recruitment Strategy Development Approach

Recruiterguy believes that many companies do not understand how to approach developing a recruitment strategy. The Human Resource Department is pulled in many directions and formal recruitment strategy development can be pushed back until it’s too late. Then the decision is made to “do the same thing we did last year.” This is a very costly way of recruiting because recruiting is a very fluid dynamic, unlike benefits or compensation where you may have black and white contracts or ranges.

In addition to cost, why is developing an effective recruiting strategy important?

What is a business’ most important resource? Many times I have heard intellectual property or capital as the response to that question. Those resources certainly are important. Who controls or develops those resources? Who meets or interfaces with your clients? Who manages your capital? Who sets the marketing direction? Who develops new intellectual properties to keep you ahead of your competition? Who manages the people? People. Shouldn’t the attraction and retention of people who can make positive, measurable impacts be a priority? If it is a priority, shouldn’t there be a formal plan to attract them? This is one of those quiet fundamentals that determine whether your company will be wildly successful or another company that will simply run its course.

What is the first step? How do we develop a budget? How do we decide what resources to use? The purpose of this blog is to get you started. After this blog, we will not answer why develop a recruitment strategy any longer. We will focus on the work – and it is a lot of worthwhile work. In our last blog of the RecruiterGuy recruitment strategy development series of blogs, we will put it all together for the budget.

In developing a recruitment strategy, the first step is to take inventory. What is your culture? Do you like very creative people or very steady conservative people or someone in between? Will you agree that someone who is an Impact Performer in a very creative environment may be very frustrated in a very conservative environment? Of course they will. Therefore, in order for someone to be an impact performer in your business, everyone has to agree on your culture – or in a larger company, in that division or department.

What do you feel was crazy successful in your recruitment effort last year? What was not so successful? Why not? How did the economy affect your recruitment effort? Has it changed now? Is management the same or have you had a management change or “shake-up”? If so, how does the new management want to approach recruitment? Did you have a recruitment budget last year? If so, how did you do versus your budget? If you “blew your recruitment budget”, what did you learn from that experience? Did you track the sources of candidates you hired? What worked and what did not work? In the 1980’s, I once had a large company tell me that they were not going to use my contingent services any longer because I did not introduce enough candidates to them. However all five IT professionals that I introduced to them the prior year were hired by that manager. The manager was a little upset to find out that the Human Resource recruiter refused to work with me any longer. Not sure what metric they were using. Later they did come back as a client.

One way of approaching your sourcing strategy is to understand the levels of new positions that are in the budget for the next year. Begin at the higher level positions. Ask the CEO/CFO/COO if there are internal candidates who are being considered for those positions? If so, do they want to backfill the position the internal candidate is leaving? Work backwards until you finally reach the level where someone will be hired from the outside. Obviously you can’t tell the lower level managers that they will lose someone prior to the interviewing process. In seemingly casual conversations with them you can get a sense if they believe someone is prepared to move up. Just get them used to you asking those kinds of questions by doing so regularly. If you do that what other benefit do they gain? You are casually coaching them on succession planning. See how something simple may impact your recruitment strategy? If the C-level manager is seeking someone outside of the organization, do they have someone in mind? Do they have a method of sourcing that they prefer or are they leaving that up to you?

How is your employee retention? Do you have one or more managers who typically have more difficulty keeping employees than other managers? Do your executives understand the cost and social impacts of having to continually recruit for the same positions? What are you doing differently to improve retention? Are those costs included in your recruitment budget? In order for them to attract the needed attention, shouldn’t they be included in that budget?

Once you have a handle on these areas, it’s time to consider sourcing for the different levels. We will discuss the sourcing plan in our next blog on Monday, July 6, 2009.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Why Develop a Recruitment Strategy?

Recruiting is a Sales process. It is very dynamic. Recruiting today is driven by your competition, by technology (Facebook, Twitter, Internet Postings), and more importantly by the economy. Every 8 to 10 years our economy goes into an economic correction called a recession. You can plan for a recession if you watch the signs.

There is an interesting impact in this particular recession. Since 2003 different groups have been discussing the potential impact of the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation. There have been government studies on the retirement preparation by the members of the Baby Boomers and many news articles like this one that discuss the impact of these mass retirements on businesses.

The good news for business is that they got a pass in 2008 and 2009 because the crash of the financial markets also crashed many 401(k) and pension funds to the point where people could not afford to retire on what was left. What do you think will happen when these funds recover? After experiencing the stress of working through this recession do you feel the Baby Boomers will remain in the workforce for a long period – or will they retire?

This is my generation. I talk with these people regularly both professionally and personally. You know recruiters are people magnets (or should be!). Trust me. Unless there is a compelling reason for them to remain in the workforce, i.e. they love what they do or need to pay off their children’s college loans; they will retire when they can enjoy retirement. We have seen our fathers pass away right after retirement without enjoying the fruits of their work.

As a business, how much time do you have to develop a recruitment strategy? My feeling is that you have until January 2010. Unless all of the government spending brings too much weight on business through additional taxes, my feeling is that we should be scratching and clawing our way out of the recession in 2010 – this recession just as every recession since World War II will run its course.

This series of blogs is a service to you to give you a blueprint to base your recruitment strategy. Every blueprint may be changed, and most probably are. However, you will have the tools to develop a recruitment strategy that best matches your company and culture. Developing a recruitment strategy takes time and diligence. The positive, measurable results are worth it.

Each blog will focus on a specific segment of the recruitment strategy. This will be fun for me to develop; and hopefully will be useful for you. RecruiterGuy will help you through this process!

Since I am currently consulting with a client, my blogs will be written on weekends. Look every Monday for the next installment.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Recruitment Strategy Development Series of Blogs Beginning This Week!

Since our last series was focused on job seeking candidates, it is time to create a series of blogs that focus on corporate Recruitment Strategy Development.

The economy is slowly, very slowly improving. Is your company prepared to begin recruiting again?

What will happen when the much ballyhooed retirement of the Baby Boomers begins to kick in again? Remember, this past year companies received a pass as the Baby Boomers could not afford to retire because their 401(k) tanked. Therefore a buildup of soon to be retirees is being created – and now they Really want out of the workforce!

The foundation of every recruiting program should be a plan. We will discuss elements of that plan in the series on Recruitment Strategy Development.

Look for our series to begin later this week.