Your team member’s just pulled you aside for a “quick word” before dropping the bombshell: they’re leaving. (Or maybe you saw it coming from those doctor’s appointments.) You’ve wished them well but inside you’re panicking.

Your team’s already stretched to capacity.
What do you put in a job description that actually sells the role? (Whilst weeding out those who waste your time.)
How can you cope with politely smiling your way through another interview with a candidate you know won’t fit?
How do you avoid losing another top-class candidate at the last minute?

Now what? Well, here’s a quick-fire step-by-step hiring guide for managers to get the talent you really want on your team.

First things first: keep your leaver sweet

Inside you may be thinking, “Great, we’re in the middle of a tight project – you’ve really left us in the lurch.” But if you want your leaver to give it their all until the end, here are a few tips:

  • LinkedIn recommendations & endorsements: Confirm you’d be happy to offer these after they’ve left. (We all know how important that is in today’s world.)
  • The handover: Set out exactly what you need in the handover but be realistic with your demands. Try to get a candidate to start before they leave so that they can do the handover in-person. (We know, that’s not always possible.)
  • Keep them feeling part of the team: Arrange a night-out in advance, so that they feel that you valued their time with you.

Consider interim measures

If you know that you’ll be over-stretched by any hiring gaps, do you have the budget to hire a contractor? Have these handy tips at your disposal if you think it will be an uphill battle to get sign-off:

  • Productivity costs. Proudfoot Consulting’s research found that absence accounts for 20-40% of net lost productivity. See The HR Director.
  • Contractors aren’t always as expensive as you think. Not by the time you factor in time-to-hire costs, training, holidays and sickness.

Should you rethink your talent acquisition strategy?

With the widening skills gap and Brexit uncertainty, is it time to reconsider how you replace your leaver?

Could the hiring costs be better spent on upskilling other team members?
Upskilling is the number one initiative CEOs are taking to plug the skills gap at 46%, according to PWC’s Talent Trends Report 2019.

What would it cost to get the skills you need?
For example, the APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional costs £2,099 exc VAT. (Although the time take to complete it reflects its advanced level – it takes 6 days to complete.)

Is it a better ROI to use a contractor on a longer-term basis?
Contractors’ highly specialised skills can help businesses compete in fast-paced markets. They can also increase agility and flexibility and even upskill the rest of your team. (Check out our guides to decide what’s best for your organisation and team: Pros and Cons of Employees and Pros and Cons of Contractors).

How to draft a job description that will attract your ideal candidates

If you want to win the “war for talent” (yes, we’re tired of that expression too), then you need to attract them in the first place with a stand-out job description. So here’s some tips:

What can you offer candidates that makes you different from all the rest?
(Your Employee Value Proposition.) Use the opening paragraph of your job description to communicate this, rather than a “we’re looking for this type of candidate” intro.

But you still need to benchmark your salary.
Bear in mind that what really matters is much more than your compensation package. BUT you need the foundation of a decent package before the other things matter.

Mercer Pyramid:

Check out our Salary and Benefits Guide 2019 to see the average salaries and desired benefits right now across Supply Chain, Procurement, Logistics, Buying & Merchandising

Be specific with your salary range.
Jobs with a salary displayed on the job ad attract up to 20% more applications (Total Job research). A competitive salary’ will make you anything but competitive to candidates.

For more help, read our blog: 9 steps to writing a job description candidates won’t bypass

Why does it take SO long? I keep losing candidates…

Quite often, bad processes aren’t to blame for a recruitment process that drags on. Sometimes the job brief or advert means that you’re not attracting the right candidates, so it will take much longer to hire.

But if you’re attracting enough quality candidates, there may be other issues at play (aside from your recruitment agency/in-house recruiters not knowing what to look for).

It could be that you’ve failed to sell the role and organisation during the interview, or made a low-ball offer. Or maybe your recruitment processes could be slicker.

Either way, reducing your time to hire is crucial if you want to hire someone you’re excited to have on your team. So get your complimentary guide on how to stop the hiring process dragging on (and losing top talent): A line manager’s guide: