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How to Overcome Recruitment Challenges in 2020

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The art of successful recruitment is a multi-pronged approach requiring flexibility all the way through.  It is truly a candidate-driven market in 2020 with the skills shortage in the UK is causing companies to spend £6.3 billion on temporary workers, higher salaries and further training. With candidates so reluctant to change roles, how can you overcome recruitment challenges? This article will explore both recruitment challenges when working with an agency such as Spotlight or when recruiting on your own.


1) Be focused on your goal

Effective recruitment is not just about the deadline regarding when you need your new starter on board, but also the deadlines your candidates have.  It makes no sense to stick rigidly to an interview schedule that allows for no flexibility.  We frequently have clients recruit over several months and then finally decide on a candidate who now has other offers on the table.  After such a delay they can be left feeling lukewarm about a company that is slow to react with positivity.  When you meet someone you think ticks the boxes offer them, don’t keep deliberating.  No decision is not the safest decision, when you have no one in the role businesses can start to struggle under the pressure. If you have been recruiting with no success for months on end, it is a clear signal that something is not working so step back, reassess and form a new plan.


2) Don’t tick all the boxes

Clients who are good at recruitment realise that there needs to be a learning curve for a new hire.  If you offer the role to someone who literally meets all the criteria and are reassured they can do the job from day one, you risk losing them quickly.  Ask yourself how long you would stay in a new role that was almost exactly the same as your previous role?  By offering the role to a candidate that might need guidance, while it can be a riskier move you are more likely end up with a more motivated candidate who will stay longer in the company and may have more drive and energy to succeed.


3) Communicate effectively

Whether you are partnering with an agency or going solo on recruitment, keep the relevant parties updated.  Some of our clients have worked with us for over ten years and we have developed close-knit relationships where we act as an extended arm of their own HR department. In these highly successful relationships, we are updated and made aware of business changes, any goalposts moving and anything that is relevant to the end result.  If candidates sense silence they can take it to mean lack of interest so keep your candidates updated in the process to keep their interest.


4) Expand your recruitment net

Think of all the sources the right candidate can come from and consider offering internal staff a referral scheme to generate new hires. This can be a cost effective way to find the right people but can also generate volumes of candidates who are not right so requires an effective management system to track applicants. As your staff know the culture and goals of the organisation you may find they are highly successful in recommending the right people.


5) Promote candidates internally

It can be very costly to recruit with the average cost to employers of replacing a single member of staff at more than £30,000, according to recent analysis from Oxford Economics.  The greatest expense, more than £25,000, comes from loss of productivity caused by the 28 weeks on average it takes for a new hire to learn the roles. Of course there is no algorithm to decide which employee gets promoted and which doesn’t (Google already tried that) so this is purely down to knowing your team and understanding the new role. With the right training and development you could promote existing staff and boost motivation all round.


6) Understand your market

One of the benefits of partnering with an agency is the information share.  We advise our clients on salary benchmarking, HR issues, psychometric testing, reference checking and contracts so when going alone you need to make sure you recruit correctly. Look around at other similar roles and the salary/benefits they offer and make sure your role stands out with a competitive salary. Ask yourself whether you think you can achieve all the things that you want for the salary early on in the process.  If you spend months searching, reviewing CVS and interviewing only to find out that you are not offering a salary that is attractive it can be hugely frustrating for all involved and a big drain on resources to go back to square one or lower your requirements.


7) Take expert advice

Recruitment can be a huge drain on time (revenue) and using an agency such as Spotlight makes the process efficient and goal orientated. According to LinkedIn, 70% of today’s workforce is passive, made up of Employees who aren’t intentionally searching.  As the leading Marketing recruiter, our team is made up of Ex-Marketers who can correctly identify and engage with the right people.  Recruiting without the help of an agency can make it extremely hard when relying purely on advertising and not on direct search and an agency can attract candidates in a unique way.


8) Make the right offer

When offering a candidate the role, do take into account several factors including their current salary, their interview process elsewhere (if you have that information to hand), their market worth and exactly how motivate you want them to feel.  If you offer them the same as they are already on be prepare not only to lose them as discussions from that point can be difficult.  We find many of the offers candidates receive via Spotlight result in a discussion on salary and don’t take it personally if the first offer is rejected.  Goalposts can move for the candidate as their interviews progress and an open and honest dialogue between both parties can be the start of a positive relationship.  It helps to also know exactly where else they are interviewing, for what salary and what stage they are at so you have all the info at your fingertips to get the offer accepted.


NICOLA MONGON is the MD of Spotlight Recruitment, the leading marketing recruitment agency in the UK since 2008. Read our 5* Google reviews from candidates and clients to find our more. We are members of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation who ensure member compliance for high professional standards. If you would like to discuss recruitment, you can reach Spotlight on 020 3008 4254 or info@spotlightrecruitment.com