Recruiting ‘key personnel’ in an uncertain climate

As an executive head hunter with many years’ experience in engineering and manufacturing recruitment, I’m pretty well placed to understand the intricacies of strategic hiring decisions within organisations, and the drivers for those hires.

There is a topic that keeps coming up of late in the conversations I’m having with my clients and contacts, and that’s about future strategic planning.

It’s a difficult topic because of the unknown waters we are in but none the less, can’t be ignored now the initial shock of all this change has sunk in.

As businesses, we still have to plan ahead as best we can. We have to work out how we can survive and weather the storm so that when the market turns, we are at the fore with our products and/or services.

Recruitment is part of that future planning and not something that should be held off if key strategic hires were needed in your business, before the pandemic.

So this is for companies who might be looking/thinking of holding off their recruitment because they aren’t sure where the market is going to go or what is going to happen.

Now that we’re a few months down the line with this new world, you might have a slightly better idea about whether your key hire requirements are still really going to be needed after this is over.

If you’re doing your planning still (and you should be, regardless of the changes that you’ll face daily), then you’ll know whether that key hire requirement has/is likely to change.

You will also be starting to understand better about what it’s likely to change into, and the odds are you’re still going to need that person to help drive your business forward in some capacity.

With that in mind, it is really worthwhile sitting back and taking a look at how you can manage this process so that you get ahead of the curve and ready for action with those key individuals that you want driving your business forward when the economy starts churning again.

Once the wheels start turning a little faster, if companies have held off their recruitment (for three months lets say) whilst they work out what’s going on, it’s not going to be three months that recruitment has stopped for, it’s likely to end up being six months.

It takes a long time to move a good quality candidate through the recruitment/talent pipeline and to make sure they align with your company and have the skills, capabilities, personality and experience for the business.

Losing that kind of momentum is time consuming at best, costly at worst.

The odds are that the people that you want to recruit, with the skill set that you need, are still going to be in demand regardless of an increase in unemployment due to the pandemic.

It should also be noted that your competitors are likely to be looking for the same kind of people that you are looking for too. These people are likely not easy to find in the first place and as above, take time to find, time that you may not have.

Holding off for longer than absolutely necessary can be to the detriment of the long term strategic goals of a business.

The good news is that you can still be progressing both existing and new recruitment requirements in this climate. Remote interviewing is rapidly becoming the new norm.

It is incredibly cost effective, helps maintain engagement in an isolating world and can rapidly move or remove individuals in your pipeline.

Companies are doing first and second stage interviews like this and it’s working incredibly well. There are some pitfalls to be aware of but a good recruiter should help you manage that, even if you decide to recruit yourself.

This style of interviewing can also be done over a reasonable time frame that keeps everyone engaged and also gives both parties time to make informed decisions… THEN you can go ahead and make best decisions as the landscape settles.

So, once you’ve established a key strategic hire is still going to be needed in some form, start the recruitment process as soon as you can, and potentially secure those golden handcuffs round that candidate, so that when the time is right, they’re coming to you and not your competitors.

Things ARE going to change and the way we work together will change, so by staying ahead of the curve for when everyone wants staff back again, you’re likely to be able to operate effectively and start generating income quickly.

If you would like some help to navigate the strategic hire recruitment needs of your business, give me a call on 07775 700707 (mobile) or 0161 3593111 (office) I’d be happy to discuss.

Or book into my calendar for an initial consult:

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