Most recruitment processes begin when a role needs to be filled. Either a person resigns or a new role is created because a team is growing. Either way, this can create a number of challenges, particularly if the role needs to be filled quickly. We’ve all experienced it – when there is a gap in the business, anyone will do, which is when the wrong people are hired, either because there is a poor culture fit or because the chosen candidate is lacking the necessary skills or experience for the role.
There’s an additional issue. When businesses wait until they have a skills gap before beginning the recruitment process, the result is a team that is not only under pressure, but probably inefficient and unproductive as well. Current employees end up saddled with heavy workloads and trying to fill additional roles, and the business cannot operate optimally because of a lack of skills.
There’s a retention angle as well – current employees may consider leaving, but new hires also won’t have a great experience if there is pressure to fill a role immediately. Onboarding tends to be rushed and, long-term, the new employee’s experience might lead to them moving on sooner rather than later as well.
So, what’s the solution? Like all strategy, a great recruitment strategy should be proactive.
What is a proactive recruitment strategy?
In a nutshell, proactive recruitment is all about sourcing the best employees for roles within your organisation that aren’t available yet. Your growth strategy will include a roadmap of where each business unit is going. In our experience, most companies plan the roles that will be required once certain growth milestones are met – but don’t necessarily focus on who will fill those roles until growth milestones are met. The result is often existing employees who start doing the work until a crisis point is reached and then the job role is handed over to recruiters.
It’s a highly reactive way of recruiting. On the other hand, proactive recruitment focusses on sourcing, engaging, and attracting candidates before a role needs to be filled.
By identifying talent before its demand, businesses are able to establish contact, nurture relationships and ultimately attract the best talent based on culture-fit and the requirements of a role.
Here are 5 benefits to consider when planning a proactive recruitment strategy.
- Find the best fit for your business
Proactive recruitment strategies give you more time to really get to know candidates – and for them to get to know you. If we consider how important the right culture fit is for teams to work well together and for employees to feel happy and satisfied with their work, the more you know about a candidate before you hire them (or choose not to hire them), the better. You also have more time to connect with references and to vet potential employees.
- Increase the calibre of candidates you attract
High calibre employees have a huge impact on the work that each business unit and team produces, and they set the standard for future recruitment. How does proactive recruitment increase the calibre of your candidates, however? First, because when you aren’t under pressure to hire the first available candidate, recruiters and HR staff can afford to be picky, only hiring the very best in terms of company culture and skills.
- Become an employer of choice
When it comes to attracting top talent, one of the errors we often see companies make is assuming that they are the only ones doing the interviewing. When you are recruiting, candidates are vetting and interviewing you too – particularly highly-sought after individuals who know their worth. Proactive recruitment is nurturing. It’s all about relationship building, which ultimately results in a far better experience for candidates. It’s also a long-term strategy – if a candidate chooses not to join your company today, they could be open to future possibilities, and they are likely to share their great experience with your brand with other, equally talented individuals in their networks.
- Reduce your time to hire
While proactive recruitment may sound like a longer turnaround between connecting with and actually hiring an individual, in reality it decreases the time it takes to new employees because recruiters have a list of candidates already in place. Interviews can happen quickly, streamlining the hiring process and allowing HR teams to make offers to candidates quickly.
This reduction in timelines even extends beyond the initial hire. When employers take their time to proactively find candidates, the result tends to be skilled, highly qualified hires who are ready to jump into their new roles with minimal training.
- Reduce your recruitment and onboarding costs
One of the reasons why businesses don’t always think about proactive recruitment is costs – why be in the market, investing in talent before you need to? The simple answer? Because when you attract the right talent and nurture them, ensuring a great culture fit, you reduce costs in the long run. Teams that share the same values and buy in to a company’s culture work well together, even (or especially) when they come from diverse backgrounds. They are happy employees who are loyal to the business and they want to not only give their best work, but they don’t move on. High employee retention is one of the best ways to reduce HR costs – you aren’t constantly recruiting, onboarding and training new employees – not to mention the lost productivity and efficiency of new hires. It’s win win.
If a proactive recruitment strategy aligns with your growth strategy, there is no better time to start than the present. Make sure your recruitment plan aligns with your strategic workforce planning and start building your network of potential future hires. Visit Quest by Adcorp today to find out more!