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Selecting The Right Recruitment Approach In Today’s Tough Market


The pandemic has ignited a recruitment crisis, leaving a UK-wide demand for workers. According to a British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) report, two-thirds of UK companies have found the talent pool dry, while in a recent survey by the Institute of Directors, 44% of UK businesses said they were encountering shortages. The issue is particularly acute in the professional services sector, with law firms posting strong earnings and looking to recruit but the limited number of candidates have so much choice.


It’s vital therefore that managers really understand what drives candidates to choose a particular firm and have the right support internally from their recruitment team but also from outside executive search consultancies that know the market and their business well. We spoke to Deborah Gray, Director at Totum Partners to find out more.


Understanding what drives candidates to choose a particular firm

As with any recruitment programme, the business in question must understand what drives potential employees to choose a particular firm and use that as a basis for how they can attract the top talent. Not only do candidates need to know they will achieve good personal growth while at the company, but they are also looking for a company with a strong company culture both internally and externally, made up of clear values and beliefs.


Equally, as a result of the pandemic, firms are increasingly having to show they have a good flexible working policy in place, with a wellbeing framework that helps safeguard employees’ health and mental wellbeing. Important too is the need to have the latest technology so candidates can be confident they will have all the right tools to do their job, as well as clear policies and, more importantly, activity to demonstrate the firm’s positive social impact.


Harnessing internal resources

As Deborah adds, “With swathes of companies struggling to plug the skills gap, it is no surprise that hiring managers are looking at alternative ways to entice the right talent. Referral schemes are certainly becoming more popular. These help to provide suitable candidates who come with endorsement from employees and industry professionals, in exchange for monetary reward or other incentives.”


“Also, companies are putting more emphasis on internal training and highlighting the opportunities for progression, which play a vital role in employee retention and attraction. According to a study by Willis Towers Watson, 70% of ‘high-retention-risk’ employees want to leave because they see no future advancement in their current job, so it is incredibly important to ensure your employees feel valued and have clear progression goals.”


Partner with outside search consultants

Given it is such a tough hiring market companies have also been partnering with good quality external recruitment and executive search consultancies, which have the sector, candidate knowledge and expertise to help.


Good consultancies develop deep and long-term relationships with their clients to ensure they have a strong understanding of the sector, but also of the business’ recruitment requirements. In an ideal scenario, the consultancy becomes an extended arm of the company they are working with, allowing them to offer a very tailored service.


Recruitment consultancies will often have access to larger pools of potential talent and know where to look in search of highly qualified candidates. With a deep understanding of their clients’ needs consultancies are able to provide small numbers of candidates who are closely matched to the clients’ requirements.


As Deborah explains, “With diverse workforces outperforming those with limited diversity by as much as 48%, we at Totum believe in sourcing from a broad and diverse pool of talent, to find the right fit for our clients.”


“Also, with a constant presence in particular job markets, recruitment consultancies have the knowledge to provide specific advice on salaries, bonus structures and more, and will know exactly how to tailor an offer to attract the very best talent.”


Right approach is key

Often, the best way to develop a well thought out recruitment strategy is to include a variety of methods, which complement each other to help give best results.


However, at the heart of any approach should be the human element. It seems so simple, but many companies fall short when they are trying to recruit the best candidates. It is so important that recruitment processes are efficient and that candidates are treated well at every touchpoint they have with a company.


As Deborah concludes, “In a market that is so competitive and where candidates have a great deal of choice, a business that goes over and above to make them feel wanted, whether it be a call from the CEO, or a lunch with the hiring manager, will be the ones that are chosen. It is the human touches that companies should consider having as integral to their recruitment process.”


“At bottom, if the recruitment industry is anything it is a human business, and in such a competitive market companies would do well to remember this.”

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