how to effectively navigate rapid recruitment periods


Hiring in a rapid recruitment period requires a different approach to standard hiring techniques

Any hiring process brings challenges as we are dealing with a highly emotive decision-making process involving multiple human beings, competition and money, for starters! Organisations undergoing transformation, however, often hire in large numbers over a compressed timeframe, and this presents a unique set of challenges to any company. Below we look at some of the steps you can take to mitigate the risks associated with hiring in high volumes at pace.

Establish a project-management approach

Any large body of hiring needs to be managed as a project. At a basic level that means appointing an overarching project manager, creating timelines and milestones, setting a budget, engaging stakeholders and identifying accountabilities. Having one person responsible for project management, whether they are internal or an external consultant, creates a single source of truth around reporting while ensuring continuity of messaging and efficiency with respect to ad spend.

Establish and communicate the ‘why’ as your context

Understanding why you are hiring new people is rarely just about adding headcount. Hiring projects need to be clearly aligned with the strategic goals of the business and if you are recruiting for a significant number of roles, there have been strategic, long-term decisions made at the ELT and board level. Has your why been appropriately shared with the hiring managers? For example, do they view this as simply more budget to grow their team, or part of the group-wide goal to become the most customer-centric service provider in the market?

Consider the secondary impact

Part of the hiring project plan should be to consider the secondary impact on culture and short-term performance that results from an influx of people in a short period of time. Onboarding, manager training time and culture dilution can all derail what seemed to be a successful hiring campaign. The project needs to look ahead for the softer issues. For example, the emotional impact on existing employees (which can be addressed through early consultation and engagement) can be as important as desk configurations and IT infrastructure capacity.

Keep internal and external messaging aligned and on point

The impact of large-scale hiring will affect internal employees (as noted earlier) as well as the broader candidate market. Sudden upticks in hiring can be viewed negatively externally if they are not explained at every stage in the process. Conversely, they are huge opportunities to positively frame your ‘why’ and your USP’s to the candidate market, as well as the company overall. Controlling this message and ensuring it is consistent will fall under the remit of the Project Manager. Given the (likely) increased budget it is a great opportunity to employ more advanced employer brand techniques such as developing an employer branding video. This also allows you to engage candidate communities on a longer-term basis, ideally in advance of your recruitment-specific marketing.

Hiring in volume and at pace does require more planning and brings some unexpected challenges, but by implementing the above steps it is possible to mitigate most of the risks.

Find out how prepared you are for large scale recruitment with our obligation free Talent Acquisition Capability (TAC) Review.