Whatever your specific objectives, your staffing strategy must follow a plan. You must understand the fundamentals that will ultimately govern your success.
Understand The Ownership Points In Your Process
In every process, ownership changes hands. Between Human Resources, Functional Management and Line Management there are a number of competing interests and priorities. These are all equally valid and represent healthy, but often competing interests of the business: for HR, there are the issues of process and compliance – to both internal and external rules; for Finance, there is budget; and for Hiring Managers, decisions are governed. by the practicals of day to day operations.
Within your hiring process, ownership will change with each stage. It’s wise to be sure you have a process that takes account of the points where ownership changes, because it is here where effective recruitment lives and dies.
Let’s create a hypothetical example:
A Facility Manager has identified a need for a Mechanical Engineer at the Springfield plant for which they oversee day to day operations. Their functional manager (the Regional Director based in Cleveland) has approved the need and the HR Department in Dallas has received and approved the necessary documentation. The company has a contract with a single agency locally who look for direct hire staff. The requisition has been passed to them and they will begin the search locally.
Logically, Responsibility for progress lies with one stakeholder at a time, how your process tracks the flow of responsibility is critical to its effectiveness.
Understand What's Happening Outside Your View
To use a sporting analogy, all eyes follow the ball, the question you need to answer is what all the other players are doing when they haven’t got the ball. This is where most effort is wasted and duplicated. There are a number of potential pitt falls. Maybe Line Management is doing their own recruitment within their own network; Perhaps your agency is not prioritizing the task. Maybe the candidate is looking for other jobs more actively than you know. You have to make sure you’re asking the right questions, so you can do as much as possible to limit the factors that lie outside your control. If you can’t be in control, at least be in the loop.
Make Sure Your Tools Are Fit For Purpose
It’s worth understanding exactly how your teams are communicating, and structuring a plan around the reality, not the ideal. What we find most often is that mobile technology is being significantly underutilized. Reasonable estimates suggest that 65% of emails are opened first on mobile devices. That means that attachments – particularly resumes – can slip through the cracks. Nobody wants to read a document on a cellphone, so they skip over it until later, and we all know what’s likely to happen after that.
If your process currently involves emailing resumes and waiting for feedback from busy managers who spend a lot of time outside the office, then it’s likely your process could be improved immediately, with significant results. You just need to apply the right technology.
Don't Limit Your Focus To Inside Your Organization
Your staffing strategy is not operating in a vacuum. Your business is affected by movements in the market, new products and services, and changes in your competitors approach. What do you really know about what’s happening in your market, and most importantly – what your competitors are doing about it. Remember your competitors are not just companies that are like you; you are also competing with an ever expanding range of competing products and circumstances. They all matter. As an anaology, a taxi driver who makes money driving people to the airport may find it obvious that he or she is competing with Uber, but they are also competing with public transport, gas prices and the price of airport parking, all of which affect the decision making of his or her potential customer. Positioning the service could factor in any number of things that don’t seem directly relevant. ‘100 cars a month are broken into in long term parking lots’ becomes a strong marketing statement for taking a taxi. Pay attention to the whole picture, rather than the narrow view of your immediate surroundings.
Get Help Where You Need It
Ultimately, this is an area of almost infinite complexity, and the right support is vital. You need expertise in your corner as early as you can find it. Get the right people, and listen to their advice. You are not a recruiter; nor are your managers; nor are the staff who drive your projects. If you spend your time trying to be something you’re not, all roads lead to failure.