“In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.” So said Ralph Waldo Emerson in the 19th century, proving he knew as much about human nature as he did about the physics of mass and gravity. It’s a call for measured progress to stop caution turning into inaction. And you guessed it, it applies to the current recruitment climate too, which is thawing fast.
In 2014 Skills for Logistics published its Logistics Employer Skills Survey 2013. Its message of optimism about the near and medium-term future of logistics recruitment (half a million new jobs by 2019) was tempered by a warning that too many companies are still in a recession mindset when it comes to planning for new logistics managers and executives. In short, they are leaving it till the last minute.
At Cast UK, we’re forever advising our clients to get the ball rolling as soon as possible after the need for recruitment becomes obvious – in fact, we suggest that it should never stop. Just as important is ensuring your recruitment process is as efficient and speedy as possible. The Skills for Logistics published Logistics Employer Skills Survey reported that 57% of companies surveyed have lost potential candidates due to the length of the recruitment process.
Here’s our list of top tips for reducing your process timescales to secure the best talent for your team:
- Think long-term. Economies always have their ups and downs, as do individual sectors. But waiting for the ups before going recruiting will lead to disappointment. Planning ahead is essential if you’re to hit the ice speeding.
- Keep the interview process nimble. A two-stage process should happen quickly for you and for the candidate to maintain focus and enthusiasm. Block-book interviewers so the gap between the first filter interview and the final one is as short as possible.
- Don’t waste time on the maybes. If you’re not sure about someone’s CV, it’s unlikely the candidate will suddenly become the runaway favourite after interview 1. Be brutal, follow your instincts and only interview the ones you’re genuinely tossing up between.
- Outsource your recruitment. OK, we would say that, wouldn’t we? But think about all the other companies you hire to supply critical parts of your business, from its fuel to its IT infrastructure. Recruitment is a distinct skill with techniques and expertise that don’t necessarily come naturally to all employers. Outsourcing it brings in the best practices – and the best candidates.
- Form a real relationship with the recruiter. Let them in, let them see how you operate, and you’ll probably find your recruiter will be your most valuable partner, identifying potential talent long before you’d considered taking someone on.
- Don’t lose your focus on your internal assets. For every experienced new recruit there’s a company somewhere that’s lost an employee. If you’re experiencing a high turnover of staff, it could be that you’re not paying enough attention to their career development. A good retention and talent management scheme will make staff feel vital to your company and can increase the chances of your finding the next manager or executive from within.
You might not be looking for anyone right this moment, but that’s no reason not to get the groundwork under way. Follow the six steps above and when the time comes you’ll already have a plan in place to land the best managers and executives.
Don’t wait till you can hear the ice cracking under your feet – keep moving and feel the benefits.