In the seven years since Quarsh was founded, we have questioned, discussed and designed every model of recruitment you could imagine. From an SME with 10 staff, to a Medium Size organisation hiring anywhere between 50-500 people a year, we have been able to help the HR Director, CEO or COO implement a process that works for them financially and to future-proof their business not just for the calendar year, but for the foreseeable and sometimes unpredictable long term.
The reactive approach
When we meet and discuss with said roles, the biggest challenge I come across is that the company is growing rapidly, from a model where directors and founders could previously sit and discuss what sort of talent they require (and often take their time to acquire), to a much more reactive recruitment set up – often leading to a quick decision to find an agency to suit their needs and fill those vacancies as quick as possible.
Why this becomes an issue
Now there are several issues that occur with this situation. Reactive recruitment can often look a great short term solution but a nightmare in the long term – the papering over the cracks if you like – but what happens when your recruitment spend suddenly shoots up due to agency fees? What happens about the employer branding? What happens if you can’t find the staff (a direct increase in salary as quoted by the REC Chairman, Kevin Green resulting in "increase in starting salaries for permanent staff at the fastest pace in nine months" )? How do you create a sustained talent pipeline which will enable your HR Director to do exactly that, direct, rather than become part of the reactive process? What happens if you don’t have anyone in a HR Director role to look after this issue at all? These are all issues we challenge on a daily basis, and it’s nothing to be afraid of when you take a consultative approach to your long term strategy.
Cementing the cracks for good!
Ok, I’ve touched upon just some of the issues that could be facing an organisation, but how do you fix this solution? Firstly, breathe, take a step back and address. If you are a relatively small but growing business, the one tool that can allow you to understand what to do next is an audit – how did the recruitment process look, how do you want it to look (if you know, not everybody does) and what are your plans in terms of growth. At Quarsh, we take great pride in our audit tool, as it allows us to get a true understanding of your business in a way an agency simply put, couldn’t. Compared to a traditional out of the box RPO solution, this audit process allows us to deliver back to you, on a consultative basis, to highlight any areas we think you can improve prior to making big changes, whether that is moving forward with us or another organisation – another thing you wouldn’t get from an agency.
If the organisation is larger and is growing rapidly, there is an office move or indeed a new office being opened around the UK or even the world, then it becomes much more of a partnership approach with the People/HR Director, or Chief strategist. In these troubling times around us, with the dreaded Brexit word everywhere, including the recent FT Article on an 8% fall in UK Graduate Recruitment and uncertainty in organisations, it is a must to have a strategy in place to deal with this.
By implementing a process that exists whether staff migrate internally or move out of the business, the risk is minimised and the company stays secure. Once again, we simply like to take the time to understand a business and often from our work and case studies, you can see that where an issue is said to exist, the problem ends up being something completely different and overlooked. One thing the past 7 years has shown us is that “reactive never beats proactive”.
I think the thing to summarise is, “STOP!” It’s ok to take a step back and look at the bigger picture, because in the long term, it will make or break your business. There looks to be unsteady seas on the horizon, and making sure that the team is right to steer the ship through these rough waters will get you through to calmer tides.
I appreciate that many of you who have taken the time to read this will have your own experiences and approaches, and as Head of Insights, my role is to listen and discuss as many viewpoints as possible, so I welcome your feedback and thoughts. If after reading this blog you feel a conversation could be worthwhile, please reach out to me directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your time and have a great day!