07/09/2015

By Simon Swan, CEO, Hiring-Hub

Hiring the right person should be easier than ever before. We no longer have to rely on a newspaper advert, networking, or who we know to source candidates and, what’s more, we can manage the process easily online.

So why is it that employers admit that one in three new employees are “less than ideal for the role”?

That’s a third of your workforce. A third. Wow!

These days, technology has sped the recruitment process up and created more opportunities than ever. Email, Google and social media now dominate recruiters’ lives. The internet has become the yellow brick road to finding a portfolio of suitable candidates. And when LinkedIn came along in 2003, recruiters and business leaders thought they’d hit the jackpot. For the first time, they could target candidates and new business directly, with the click of a button.

Why then, 12 years on from LinkedIn’s launch, are 91% of businesses compromising on candidate quality, according to a recent report?

Have tools like LinkedIn convoluted the approach? There’s now so many different tricks and tools to use that business owners and HR departments are either getting bogged down by the process, or they’re missing out to competition that are leveraging the latest technology to source candidates from a deeper pool of talent.

Whatever. Ultimately, the quality of a candidate should not be something that is compromised. Ever. We all know it’s expensive to hire a professional, but it’s even more expensive to hire the wrong person.

So how, in the digital age when our workload feels heavier than ever before, do you hire the right person first time? Based on the results of a recent survey we commissioned at Hiring Hub, and our subsequent report, here’s my top tips:

Time allocation: Over half (52%) of business leaders and HR directors said they spend more time vetting CVs and identifying/briefing recruitment agencies than actually interviewing candidates. And that’s all wrong. Want to hire the right person? Spend less time talking to recruiters and shuffling CVs around your desk, and more time face-to-face with each candidate.

Evaluate recruitment partners: “We’ve always done it this way”. It’s a terrible phrase overheard in offices across the country. Without doubt, this mindset is one of the most damaging for business and will prohibit growth. If you’ve been using the same recruitment agencies for a while now, it might be time to take a step back and think “are they really working for us”? It sounds simple, but a scheduled and regular review of recruitment agency partners will help re-affirm supplier relationships and ensure you’re getting the best from them.

Implement compromise thresholds: Let’s be realistic, you’re not going to hire the perfect candidate every time. But that isn’t to say that you should go beyond a level of compromise that you’re happy with. Introducing a clear threshold across the business on how flexible appointment quality can be will ensure your firm’s expectations on quality are never undermined. This can be done with a simple statement or a benchmark for appointments, which you review with your management team on a regular basis.

Improvisation to innovation: Recruitment processes across UK businesses are convoluted, inefficient, and unsustainable. We’re living in a digital age where innovative tools and techniques enable us to be more efficient and competitive. Use them. Reduce the time you spend reviewing CVs and managing agencies (in order to focus on interviewing and selecting the right candidates to grow your business) by replacing improvisation with innovation.

I believe that what we’ve identified as a ‘culture of compromise’ across UK companies will continue to exist while there is a lack of investment in the right tools and solutions to help the recruitment process become not only easier, but more effective. Business leaders and recruitment decision makers must shift their behaviour and mindset, and invest more time in the candidate. But this can only be done with the adoption of innovative technology to help alleviate the pressures they face.