2022 has been a rollercoaster for both employers and employees - from Covid outbreaks to rumors of a recession, the one consistent has been inconsistency. So, if you’re an employer looking to expand your team in 2023 you might be looking for some more info on how to best go about it.
Below is a guide on industry standards and our tips on how to streamline your process so that you can secure the best talent heading into the new year and beyond.
The initial reach out
So, a team member has left, or you’ve realised you need an extra pair of hands, and now you’ve got the daunting task of finding the right person. Your first step should always be to assess your team, their outputs, demands and stresses to define what you really need to add. Then, it’s time to reach out to a recruiter, but which one? Well, us obviously, if you’re in the creative industry, but the most important thing is to do your research to find someone who specialises in the area you are looking for.
Pick one recruiter to partner with rather than having multiple working on this role at once. Why? Surely the more people working on this the faster it will be? Unfortunately that’s not the case. By having several people searching for your perfect candidate it actually means that candidates get overwhelmed with messages, your pitch to market is muddied, AND you have to spend hours chatting to different consultants and fielding resumes from multiple sources. Wheras working exclusively with one dedicated, specialised recruiter will see you benefit from:
Full commitment and partnership with your brand
Focus on quality over speed
More efficient and streamlined process, putting time back into your day
Cohesive brand image
No chance of multiple referrals of the same candidate
Keep it brief
Once you’ve found your number one recruiter, it’s time to brief them on the role in more detail. Whether it’s a full position description, dot points or your previous ad, the more information the better. They can help guide you on what is realistic too, so be ready for this to be a collaborative process where you may take on their suggestions and tweak the role to make it achievable.
Come into this part of the process with a clear idea of what you need, but also an openness to adapting where possible.
Ask plenty of questions: now is the time to clear up what the process will look like and establish effective communication with your new BFF recruiter so chat away.
We work our magic
This is the part you don’t have to worry about and we do! Leave it in our safe hands to do all of the ad writing, searching, vetting, interviewing, etc. etc.
Make yourself available during this time. The more promptly you answer questions the more quickly we can share the information with candidates, get them excited about the role and ready to meet you.
Trust the process. It can take some time (especially in this wild market) to gain traction. If your recruiter isn’t providing you with regular updates, then absolutely ask questions, otherwise know that they are doing all that they can to get the word out there. Sometimes it takes multiple points of contact and strategies to create a positive result.
Stay tuned for part 2 which goes through the next steps!
This article follows on from part one which covers the initial stages of the recruitment process, so head on over to read that first if you haven’t already.
But, if you’ve made it this far, you’re up to the fun part! Time to meet your potential new teammates. The next steps are not only key in assessing whether someone will be the right fit for your role and company, but are also a really important time for you to make a positive first impression. Increasingly, candidates are making employment decisions based on connection, personality, culture and values which I only see continuing in 2023.
Depending on the recruiter and the urgency of your role this part can look a little different, but no matter what it is important to get as much information as possible here. Deal-breakers or makers should always be shared, and a good recruiter will give you the inside scoop that you can’t tell from just looking at a resume.
Listen to your recruiter and why they put this candidate forward, ask questions and really understand the candidate and their situation.
Be open to left-of-centre or wildcard candidates. I’m not discounting the criteria you have that may be essential, but sometimes the right set of skills can be found in an unpredictable place and job titles and responsibilities can be so inconsistent across companies.
Don’t be afraid to give feedback. Whether you do or don’t want to progress this candidate, the more clear, thought-out reasons you give for either decision the better. This information is not only helpful in providing feedback to the candidates, but will also help our search moving forward, meaning higher quality submissions and a better fit for your team.
The dreaded interview! Whether it’s online or in-person, this is where nerves bubble up, personalities can clash and expectations can be let down. OR it can be when you connect on your values and approach, strategise, crack a joke and see potential for the future. The way you help candidates prepare can be key in ensuring it is the latter not the former.
Be clear and upfront about what the interview will look like - is it a formal panel? A casual coffee chat? Do they need to prepare or bring a folio? Being able to respond to questions off the cuff is important, but no one likes to go in completely blind.
Follow the natural path of the conversation. Yes, you may have a prepared list of questions for your candidates, but sometimes the most interesting and enlightening discussions come about from follow-up questions or unexpected topics. Go with the flow and you might learn something new.
Listen! It sounds simple, but taking the time and care to really hear what people are saying will give you a much better understanding of them, and create a better connection.
We totally understand that a sample task is necessary in some circumstances, however with the speed and level of competition out there, it is always a good idea to ask yourself if you really need it. Remember that every hoop is a point at which you could lose your dream candidate, and every day you wait to make an offer is one that someone else could be making one to them too. “But if they’re really excited about the role and they want to work with us, they will be happy to do a task. We don’t want someone who isn’t invested anyway” I hear you saying. Sure, that may be true, BUT having loads of spare time isn’t necessarily the mark of a high-quality candidate. You want the recruitment process to be about skills, not just which candidate has the most time to spend on their application. Investment and a willingness to do unpaid work aren’t always one and the same.
Keep it short! A sample task should only take 1-2 hours to complete in order to maintain fairness and keep it accessible.
You cannot use unpaid work commercially. This is not only illegal, but candidates will see it as a huge red flag and it could damage your reputation. If you really want them to do work on an active project, then pay them as a short freelance assignment.
The bulk of the process might be over but there are a few key steps before they sign on the dotted line, so stay tuned for part three.
So, you’ve debriefed after the interview, assessed any sample tasks and now you’re ready to make the decision on who to add to your team. Work closely with your recruiter here and don’t be afraid to chat about any reservations, questions or ideas. Look at how the candidates will help fill the holes in your team and achieve your goals. But remember, the deal isn’t sealed until the contract is signed so don’t stop holding your breath just yet.
The key to successfully making it through these last few steps of recruitment? Communicate, communicate, communicate.
From reference checks to police checks, working with children, visa or qualification checks, these elements of recruitment can be absolute deal-breakers. Most candidates are happy to complete the necessary checks, but it is always best practice to ensure you are only asking candidates who are extremely likely to get the role to do any checks that will take considerable time or cost.
Know your internal processes and compliance from the get-go: ask your HR and recruitment team what will be required.
Clearly outline which checks candidates will need to complete from the start of the recruitment process so that your recruiter can manage expectations.
Get the ball rolling with these checks as early as is practical to ensure they don’t hold up the final steps - a great recruiter will help you with this.
2.Seal the deal
A traditional hiring mindset might have you thinking you’re in the home stretch once you have your chosen candidate, but unfortunately in 2022 and heading into 2023 that is far from true.
Whilst unemployment may rise in 2023, we are still dealing with a disproportionate number of vacancies to candidates, meaning your preferred candidate may very well be someone else’s preferred candidate too. The reality is they may have other offers on the table, a counter-offer from their current employer, or there may be non-negotiables in the contract or employment details that turn them away.
Working closely with your recruiter and communicating clearly and promptly with your potential new teammate is key here.
Know how long it takes for contracts to be generated in your business and clearly outline this to your recruiter.
Pre-warn your HR team (if you have one) that you will be requesting a contract so that they are ready to go as soon as you do.
Put an offer in writing if you know that a formal contract will take a long time to send out.
Work closely with your recruiter to give updates to the candidate so that they know you are committed.
Overall, keeping the candidate engaged and excited about the role is key, which a skilled recruiter will assist you with. But, they can only work with the information you give them so make sure to stay in touch all the way through.
Congratulations, you made it! Now, and only now that the contract is signed, the start date is set and a resignation has been made, can you finally celebrate the excitement of bringing on a new hire! Start planning for their first day, induction and any handover to set yourself (and your new employee) up for success.