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With personnel the key to business success it becomes essential that ownership and management look at ways to maximize the recruiting process. One of the most useful concepts I have found in recruiting has been continuous recruitment.
I first came across continuous recruitment while doing work for several large service companies with high turnover rates. I initially was asked to help with the turnover problem, which led to the recruitment problems and a close examination of continuous recruitment.
Continuous recruitment is not for every business but for many it can provide a considerable competitive advantage. The following are some thoughts on continuous recruitment:
- Continuous recruitment simply means looking for new and better employees all the time and not just when demand is high.
- Always know your staffing and personnel needs and give priority to the most important needs. If you do not know what you need you may not know it if you find it. Be sure to look at what areas in your staffing are 'ok' but could use improvement. Use the recruiting process to help determine and refine your business needs.
- Continuous recruitment requires that the basics of your hiring process -- ads, applications, interview process, etc. -- be smooth and focused on the applicant. Any obstacle in the process will hurt recruitment results.
- Usually the best time to recruit is when demand for employees is down in an industry. This means that layoffs or hour reductions are common with many businesses. Employees, sometimes good ones, will look for employment at this time.
- Keep your recruiting confidential. The best applicants are usually employed.
- 'Accepting applications' is a good way to start. Accepting applications does not mean every applicant gets an interview. The application can be a great way to screen out inappropriate applicants and focus on needs.
- Build a database of solid applicants for a 'rainy day'. Many successful businesses have 'back-ups' for every position. Sometimes several phone calls can result in a timely and appropriate hire.
- Current employees may be worried when first starting continuous recruitment. Tell them you are recruiting for anticipated growth and improvement. If they are fearful for their positions they may improve their performance. After a period they will become accustomed to continuous recruitment.
- Do not neglect any source for potential employees. These could include employees, colleagues, vendors, etc. Simply let them know what you are looking for on a regular basis.
- Consider using a finder's fee for tough recruitment. Find sources that are likely to come across such applicants and stay in touch with them.
- Act quickly and decisively. The last thing a skilled, motivated applicant wants to see is indecision on your part.
- If you have many applicants and do many interviews do not neglect the opportunity to find out about your competitors, industry and other important information. Applicants can be very articulate about how they are managed.
- Patience, patience. This is very hard to do if the need is severe. Just remember that recruiting gets easier when staffing is improved. The most difficult stage is the beginning stage.
- Practice, practice. Like anything recruiting is a skill that can be improved with practice. Don't forget to analyze why a poor hire did not work out.
Good recruitment is one of the hardest dynamics in business. Companies succeed or fail with their ability to recruit. Since people are involved there are many variables in the recruitment process. Continuous recruitment can give a considerable edge to the persistent!
- Jack D. Deal
Owner of Deal Consulting, www.dealconsulting.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 831-457-8806.