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Explaining the importance of recruitment to non-HR stakeholders

July 15, 2019

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Explaining the importance of recruitment to non-HR stakeholders

Are you regularly faced with having to motivate the importance of recruitment to business stakeholders? You’re not alone! Recruiters regularly have to defend the value of effective recruitment when hiring managers raise objections. Particularly around issues of time and budget constraints.

The main problem is that hiring and line managers often don’t understand the objectives of recruitment and selection processes. Remember that although they’re part of the hiring team, they’re specialists in their area of skill, and most have little, or no HR knowledge. That’s why you, as a recruiter, have to understand their perspective and be able to respond to their objections like a sales pro.

Explaining the importance of recruitment in a way that convincingly overcomes their doubts is essential to get internal stakeholders on the same page as you are. To get that right you’ve got to put yourself in their shoes and see the picture from their viewpoint. If you can understand why they object, you can explain the importance of recruitment with irrefutable facts, not just a list of why you think your job is important.

Engage hiring managers with realistic scenarios

Recruitment isn’t just a matter of putting butts in seats. It’s not uncommon for hiring managers and even executives to place extreme pressure on recruiters to “just find someone, and quickly!” That’s really frustrating, isn’t it? Like recruiters are all magicians or have a secret genie in a bottle we can call on to find the best talent instantly.

But if you think about their attitude differently, you’ll see that their tunnel vision is actually your cue card to convincing them of the importance of recruitment. There are always people in the job market, and plenty of them will gladly accept any job just so that they can get paid. So, in theory, you can find someone quickly who’ll fill the empty seat and then sit there and wait for their paycheck on payday without doing very much.

Seize your moment of strength! Calmly propose this scenario to reluctant hiring managers (sans the magic and genie), and ask them what the probable outcome would be. “So we appoint just anyone, without knowing much about them or their motivations. How do you think that choice will work out for you and the company in the long run? Recruitment isn’t Russian roulette.” 

They’re all ears now; the floor is yours, so make the most of it!

Focus on business success, not on the importance of recruitment

Obviously, how you go about selling the importance of recruitment and get your reluctant buyers to understand why their investment is in their own interests depends on who you’re speaking to.  But it’s actually much the same as selling a great job opportunity to passive candidates; focus on the benefits for them to get their interest and then keep them engaged.  

Here are our top 5 killer whys and wherefores to get hiring managers to recognize the importance of recruitment, and buy into the objectives of recruitment and selection.

1. A business is only as good as its workforce

No matter how great your products or services are or how many investors you can attract, your company won’t go far if employees are unproductive and disengaged. Investors might only be interested in the bottom line, but business management must be focused on investing in human capital if they want to grow their organization (and keep investors happy). 

Continually evolving technology and globalization have completely changed the business landscape. Even small businesses can compete internationally and grow exponentially in a very short time. To achieve profitability and expansion goals, though, employee buy-in is crucial. But buy-in isn’t a given just because you give someone a job. To ensure success, you have to get the right team on board and then get their buy-in for your vision.

2. Hire for cultural fit and not just skills

If business success is all about employee buy-in, how do you know that that’s what you’ll get from a potential employee?  This is where the importance of recruitment comes in. If you don’t have a recruitment and selection process policy in place, there’s no way of predicting whether a great candidate will make an excellent employee.

The steps built into your hiring process allow you to identify whether shortlisted candidates will be a good cultural fit. Matching someone to your company culture and vision isn’t very different from building social friendships. If you have little or nothing in common, the partnership won’t go very far. Skills and accolades aside, if there’s no common human thread, people aren’t able to see one another’s vision let alone buy into it.

Usually, it’s better to hire a candidate who doesn’t have all the skills you’re looking for but shares the same values and can see the company’s visions and goals. Upskilling someone who’s keen and engaged is much better than hiring someone who’s well qualified for the job but doesn’t fit into the organization.

3. Haphazard hiring damages your employer brand

We live in a connected world, and things no longer happen in isolation. According to Glassdoor’s recruiting stats for 2019, 51% of job seekers prefer to visit job boards, and 35% go to a company’s careers site for new opportunities. That means that your employer brand is out there and people are checking you out before applying.

Your careers site and all the content is the public face of your employer brand. Detailed job descriptions, easy application processes and the quality of automated responses tell candidates a lot about you. Information on job boards, social media and review sites tell candidates what others think of you. All combined, this forms a candidate’s perception that dictates whether they want to work for you or not. And this all happens behind the scenes without you even knowing!

If you’re projecting a weak employer brand, or worse still, have accumulated some bad press on social media and review sites, candidates will be put off. If you want to attract candidates who are a great cultural fit and will immerse themselves in your business goals and vision, you’ve got to project an honest and professional image. Employer branding and candidate experience can make your company and employer of choice or a definite no-go zone.

4. Hire for the long-haul

Recruitment is costly and unfilled vacancies even more so. In general, 75% of new hires are replacing workers who’ve left as a result of natural attrition, but it’s still costly. With an average cost to hire of $57,968 excluding training, we’re not talking about small change. Replacing non-performing employees who abscond or are dismissed is even costlier because there’s usually a mess to sort out. You might have to bring in temporary help to catch up or pay existing staff over time. Then there’s also the disgruntled colleagues whose work performance has been affected and potential brand damage. Can you afford that?

The ideal is always to hire employees who’ll fill the position, contribute to the company’s success, grow and develop personally and move through the ranks to more senior positions. Training and upskilling existing staff who’ve proved themselves is always a better option than continually replacing and training new people who you don’t really know.

5. Technology gets the best results

Automated and data-driven recruitment tools make all the above easy and very possible. An ATS brings your hiring into one place and is accessible to everyone on the hiring team. Automated responses save time, but, more importantly, acknowledges applicants, so they know their CV hasn’t fallen into a black abyss, never to be reviewed. Pre-assessment tools filter out unsuitable applicants and shortlist potential candidates in order of suitability.  

HR metrics help you make better hiring decisions by providing up to date data on recruitment activity as well as vital statistics on cost per hire, time to hire, time to fill and much more. Metrics feed into analytics that can, over time, lead to predictive hiring data to improve planning and allow for more informed decision making. Data-driven hiring, appropriately used, leads to transparent processes, unbiased decision making and long term cost saving on recruitment costs.

Stakeholder management just takes a bit of persuasion

Justifying the importance of recruitment with facts that benefit the company as well as hiring managers will win over even the most skeptical of faultfinders. Finding the right people means that the business will flourish and individual stakeholders can focus on their area of skill. Poor hiring decisions are disruptive, costly and negatively impact productivity and customer service. In a time of chronic skills shortages worldwide, no company can afford to lag behind in the race for winning over top talent.

Organizations need to have innovative recruitment ideas to attract candidates’ attention away from their competitors’ job opportunities. Getting that right takes time, skill and dedicated employer brand marketing that considers the candidate experience. This is the importance of recruitment! 

Bev has enthusiastically worked to match top employers and candidates for almost twenty years. An endless curiosity of the human mind, HR tech development, how to help people reach their goals and the ever-evolving hiring landscape is what keeps her fired up.