Year-end recruiting and staffing actions typically involve less of the mandated reporting and administrative activities that are common hallmarks of other functions like finance and accounting. Even so, CEOs and those concerned with attracting, landing, and retaining key talent for an organization should view it with the same level of importance. Below, we dive into key recruiting and staffing considerations to help you close the year strong and set a course for building the workforce you’ll need to achieve your organization’s objectives moving forward.
Understand Strategic Goals and Align Plans Accordingly
As executives engage in strategic planning for the year ahead, those tasked recruiting and staffing should be involved in the process as much as is practical and possible. An early output of this work should be a clear and shared understanding of where the company is and where it wants to go. Without this understanding, leaders will not be equipped to develop a hiring plan that aligns with the organization’s desired direction.
For example, hiring strategies and plan components will differ greatly for organizations that are pursuing an organic growth strategy at a relatively modest rate versus those that are aiming to aggressively move from $20 million to $200 million over the next two years through a mix of organic growth and growth by acquisition. Other organizational factors that significantly impact how one will approach recruiting and staffing in the coming year may include potential entry into a new market, international expansion, or adjustments in the types of services that will be offered or products that will be manufactured by the company.
With a comprehensive grasp on the organization’s strategic direction, recruiters can then properly explore the multi-faceted question of “what does that mean for us from a hiring perspective moving forward?” Depending on factors like those just described, this could mean only surface level adjustments from previous hiring approaches or instead compel significant shifts. Either way, recruiting and staffing leaders need to answer this question fully and as soon as possible to develop an effective plan for ensuring the organization has the talent it needs to achieve its objectives.
Assess the External Factors that will Impact Recruiting
The limited availability of talent is perhaps the biggest external factor affecting recruiting and staffing efforts today. The US unemployment rate has hovered around 3.5% for much of 2019, shrinking the pool of individuals that are actively seeking a job. That doesn’t mean though that individuals already employed aren’t also open to new opportunities. It does mean, however, that it will likely take more to lure them away. And while future economic projections are seldom perfect, it’s important to review them nonetheless to ensure that the right preparations and contingencies are in place for the foreseeable future.
A natural outcome of a low unemployment rate is increased competition for available talent. With that being the case, it’s important to keep tabs on what competitors for the same talent you seek are doing to try and attract them to their business instead. If others are passing you by in what they’re offering to prospective employees, it may require you to consider new hiring incentives, higher compensation packages, or even new retention programs to keep current employees in place.
It is especially important to assess these factors at year-end because this is typically when budgets and operational plans are being prepared for the year to come. New or expanded incentive programs and higher compensation across key talent categories will need to be funded. These needs should be identified and communicated as early as possible so that they can be considered in the broader context of strategic planning.
Ensure You Have a Candidate-driven Recruiting Process
Smart leaders have recognized that candidates have more options and more control than ever when it comes to selecting where they choose to work. This holds important implications for organizations and should compel executive and recruiting leaders to ask and answer several key questions in the year-end period, including?
- How well do we communicate our company’s culture and brand? Evaluate how effectively you articulate a healthy work environment, work-life balance, positive social values, and attractive benefits and address any gaps.
- Do we follow recruitment marketing best practices? Smart recruiters build relationships with prospective employees long before they need to hire them. Provide company updates plus value-added educational and informational material to show you value their development.
- How can we improve the candidate experience for our organization? Map out and evaluate every element of your candidate experience – from job description clarity, to resume submission, to in-office interviews, to post-interview follow-up and everything in between.
Gone are the days when employers can put up job postings on their terms and expect that a deep pool of qualified candidates will come running. Recruiters should compete for candidates just as the companies they represent compete for new business.
Use Your Year-End Period Wisely
Arguably, it’s never been harder for employers to attract and keep the talent they need to achieve their business objectives. As organizations actively engage in strategic planning in the latter part of the year, CEOs and other executives must be certain that recruiting leaders are deeply involved in the process. In addition to ensuring full alignment on the organization’s goals and objectives, leaders must assess the external and candidate experience factors that will impact the organization’s efforts. Armed with this information, recruiting leaders can then communicate concerns, advocate for needed changes, and emerge with effective hiring and retention plans.
Have questions on how to put your recruiting efforts on the right path for the year ahead? Request a free consultation from a vcfo expert who can help.