According to Forbes, all economic indicators show a favorable view of the U.S. economy in 2018. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the unemployment rate will continue to decline from 4.3% in 2017 to 4.2% in 2018, with an overall projection of 20.5 million jobs being created by 2020.
Companies are adding new jobs, only to now find it more challenging to hire the workers they want. There continue to be signs that companies of all sizes are preparing changes in recruiting demands and there is quite a bit of decision making that goes into evaluating infrastructure needs to address fluctuating demands.
The ebbs and flows of recruiting demands have been on the minds of HR and Talent Acquisition teams since the recession. After the hiring freezes, staff had to be rebuilt quickly. Now it's years later, and there is less movement because people have become comfortable in their current jobs. This is making recruiting for all companies significantly more difficult. They want to hire more workers; the problem now is what recruitment resources and processes do they need to find them?
There are a few steps that you can take to best address unexpected changes in talent demands. These are by no means comprehensive, but should serve as helpful considerations to help facilitate the development of exactly the sort of recruitment infrastructure you need to best meet the demand of your organization.
5 STEPS TO REBUILD YOUR RECRUITMENT INFRASTRUCTURE
The first step should be an evaluation of the current recruitment processes that are in place. If your organization dropped to a bare-bones recruitment staff, what happened to your processes? Was the entire discipline shelved, or was an effort made to examine the process that was in place? Now, what do you do if the team needs to be ramped up?
It is likely that a cursory examination of the process took place to well define it when the time came to either scale down or ramp up your staff. If that is the case, then it's also likely that the old process, even if it was working well, is not structured in a way that will help drive efficient recruiting and on-boarding of the changing demands you are addressing now.
To move forward, determine where recruitment and candidate sourcing dollars should be invested, how metrics will be collected and evaluated to gauge recruitment success, and how to integrate recruiting with the business to quickly address the most pressing hiring needs. This level of analysis will reveal how well the process is optimized, and identify any areas of the recruiting foundation and infrastructure that need to be addressed immediately.
Surprisingly, we still meet firms that continue to isolate their talent needs from their recruiting process. While recruitment is clearly a service to the business, it is essential for the two to behave as mutual partners rather than customer and provider.
The best level of cooperation between the business and recruiting occurs when specific objectives are placed central, and used to articulate the specific talent needs associated with those objectives. Such collaboration inherently improves other areas of the employment process, including onboarding, speed to new employee productivity, and in many cases, clearer succession plans.
Watch this webinar for recruiting strategies to effectively scale your resources to meet fluctuating hiring demands.
Hand in hand with collaboration should be the categorization of the talent demand. What is the projected duration of the most pressing need? What contingencies affect those needs? Will the natural development of the position be easily applied to expected growth during the upcoming business quarters? Are the skills required associated with specific deliverables?
These types of questions will help uncover how to best satisfy needs and define the level of recruitment power needed.
Defining the overall cost of recruitment to establish accepted cost-per-hire metrics is critical. This will help you build a recruitment infrastructure that will deliver the appropriate level of quality while also ensuring cost efficiency. The hiring of full-time recruitment alone is an expense that too frequently is not factored into the desired cost per hire of talent.
Calculating a range of acceptable costs per hire helps when deciding how to hire in 2018 -- whether to use an internal recruitment staff, hire contract recruiters, or partner with a Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) company, or use a one-time RPO project targeted to your most pressing needs.
Cross-Functional Analysis of Skill Sets
The funny thing about economics is that it seems the smartest economists in the world are rarely 100 percent accurate with their projections. Too many external and increasingly global factors impact the direction of the economy.
Therefore, it is necessary to evaluate recruitment talent for skill sets that will be applicable in all states of the economy, whether you are in a talent surplus or deficit. A fully-skilled recruiter isn't worth much when you aren't doing any recruiting, so it's smart to ensure their skills are transferable to other areas of workforce management.
Again, these recommendations are by no means comprehensive, but they should hopefully serve as common sense reminders to help make investments in recruiting infrastructure. Applying them where they make sense for your firm is likely to result in not only improved recruitment processes, but in sound decision making on how to quickly and cost-effectively satisfy the ever-evolving talent needs of the business.