• 6 crucial steps to securing talent | Consumer goods recruitment

    Posted on 28-02-17 by Jack Woolsey

    JGP_3156 (3)In today’s employment marketplace there is a genuine shortage of top talent available. This means that the best candidates can afford to be very selective about which companies they join and which offers of employment they decide to accept. Terry Batty, Clear Edge Director and Consumer Goods recruitment specialist explores how to tackle this.

    There are few things in business more frustrating than finding the ideal candidate who you know can help take your business forward, only to lose them to either a counter offer or an alternative suitor.

    So, how do you get the very best candidates excited about joining your business? Let’s tackle this ongoing consumer goods recruitment challenge.

    1. Speed of process

    If there is one thing that’s most likely to put off your favoured candidate, it’s a slow recruitment process. Taking too long to make a decision once all interviews have been conducted, or running a recruitment process that has large time gaps between first stage, final stage and offer stage are big negatives. You risk losing candidates to other opportunities, or alternatively they can tire of the process – becoming frustrated and wrongly judging your recruitment process as a measure of what it’s like to work for you. Remember, talented, driven people generally like to work in organisations that are fast-paced, have an entrepreneurial feel and where decisions are made quickly.

    To avoid a sluggish process, plan ahead. Speak to all colleagues who need to be involved and synchronise diary availability in advance. Block out time for both first and second stage interviews and try to ensure they are just a week apart. Share the timings with any consumer goods recruitment partners, as this will enable them to effectively structure the process with candidates.

    Consumer goods recruitment - securing the best talent

    6 steps to securing the best talent | Clear Edge Search & Selection

    2. Effective communication & trust

    It’s incredibly important that you communicate effectively with candidates – ensuring feedback is given quickly, and that they’re aware of your timescales and next steps. If using a recruitment provider, they should give you a detailed synopsis of each candidate’s views on your business and their level of interest in the role after the interviews.

    Honesty and transparency between you and your recruitment provider is vital. The recruiter is providing a service to your business, so you need to be able to trust them. After all, it is your business that will pay their fees, not the candidate! If you have reservations about a candidate, prefer another from a different source, or there is an unavoidable delay, share this with your recruiter. Good consultants are trained to manage such situations to the client’s benefit and can also offer invaluable advice.

    Recruitment processes always work far better when there is a collaborative approach and a high level of trust between the recruitment consultant and client.

    3. Direct contact between hiring manager & recruiter

    The HR contact is central to any recruitment campaign, as they will ensure the process is well-structured, so it can run smoothly. In addition, direct communication between the hiring manager and recruitment provider is an essential part of a truly effective consumer goods recruitment process. This direct contact enables your recruiter to really understand the brief, ensuring shortlisted candidates truly hit the spot in terms of skills and experience. It also allows the recruiter to see the personality of the hiring manager, which is vital in identifying candidates that will gel into the culture of the team that the manager oversees.

    Taking this approach further, you could invite your recruitment provider to visit your business and discuss the role with both the HR contact and hiring manager. This level of collaboration can really make the difference when it comes to finding and attracting the best talent to your vacancy.

    4. Interviewers need to sell

    It is not just the candidate who is being interviewed in today’s competitive employment world. Great candidates are also interviewing you. So, how do you avoid the disappointment of meeting your dream candidate only for them to knock you back?

    When interviewing, ensure you are well-presented, use positive body language and try to build rapport with your candidates. Ensure you paint a positive picture of your business and the role.

    Great candidates will want to learn about career development opportunities – and what training and development can be provided. They will want to hear about your culture and any corporate or social responsibility programs you run. They will also be keen to learn about your organisation’s success stories and long term stability. And most of all, they want to like the person who is interviewing them and who may become their boss!

    5. Make the right offer

    Whether your chosen candidate is actively looking for a new position or they have been headhunted by your recruitment partner, it’s crucial that you make a strong offer first time. Your recruitment consultant should have a good understanding of the candidate’s current and expected package and will be able to guide you on this. They will also have managed the candidate’s expectations to ensure they are realistic.

    Great candidates want you to make them feel special, so try not to ‘go in low’ and get into a negotiation. Remember, if you don’t make them feel special, then someone else will (perhaps another suitor or even their current employer with a counter offer). Avoid this by making an offer that they can’t refuse first time.

    6. On boarding – forging a bond

    Mid-management and senior level candidates will typically have a minimum of 3 months’ notice to serve with their current employer. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking the recruitment process is complete once your chosen candidate has accepted your offer. If they are as good as you think, you can bet their current employer does too – so they won’t let them leave without a fight!

    During this notice period, be proactive and start forging a close bond with your soon-to-be colleague. Maintain regular dialogue and try to meet every few weeks for a coffee… or even a glass of wine or a pint!  Make your new team member aware of your plans and encourage them to start thinking about their first few weeks and months in the role. You could even take your future colleague and their partner out for dinner… getting ‘the other half’ on board will go a long way!

    Attracting the best people is key to a successful business

    Identifying the best talent is only half the battle… attracting them to join you is what really counts. Clear Edge Search & Selection is a consumer goods recruitment specialist. Find out about our services or call 0113 205 4970 for an informal chat.

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