This month, I am going to address some of the burning questions we have received from recruiting professionals who reached out to me for some insight after reading my last couple of articles (here and here). One question has to do with the concepts of continuous versus need-based recruiting. Another topic I’ll address is campus recruiting.
Continuous Recruitment vs Need-Based Hiring
It’s the age-old question, isn’t it? Should I have an appetizer, or should I save room for dessert? No, I’m not going to try to tackle that question, but rather one nearer and dearer to our hearts: “Which is better: continuous recruitment or need-based hiring?”
These differing philosophies are shaping the recruiting field, and will continue to do so for years to come. There are arguments for and against each type.
Continuous recruiting — recruiting on a regular basis — can provide you the opportunity to find top talent in an instant. Meanwhile, need-based hiring — or waiting to recruit only when you have a specific need, an open position — may save on resources, but puts you at the mercy of having a limited number of candidates.
Which is the best way? Let’s look at each one, and let you decide which model is better for your needs.
Continuous Recruitment. Continuous recruitment means looking for new and better employees all the time, and not just when staffing needs are high. In this model, managers must always know their staffing needs, and give priority to the most important. Continuous recruitment is only effective when used in conjunction with the other parts of your hiring process, i.e., ads, applications, the interview process, and so on. It’s sort of a human “treasure hunt” that never stops. Even if you find a good applicant and do not have a current position open, you should recruit the applicant as if you did. In today’s volatile markets, conditions can change rapidly — and that includes staffing needs. This is talent acquisition in a very pro-active way, but requires continuous resources to be successful. To use your time most efficiently, a service like VeriKlick can be of great value — imagine someone sitting next to you and verifying each candidate’s information for you with only a couple of mouse clicks! You’ll have the security of knowing that you are building a solid base of qualified and verified applicants.
Extended vacancies can hurt companies’ ability to grow, maintain productivity, and even keep existing employees engaged. One solution is to anticipate turnover in high-skilled positions, and be prepared to meet challenges quickly. While it takes an investment, companies that continuously recruit and build a pipeline of talent are able to significantly reduce their cost and time to hire. Eighty-three percent of employers who currently have unfilled slots say vacancies remain open for two months or longer, on average. More than one in five (22 percent) say those vacancies go unfilled for six months or longer, on average.
The continuous recruiting model means having a shorter vacancy time by having a pool of talented applicants ready to choose from! Instead of feeling rushed to find and hire someone, you can choose from a pool of applicants you already know are a strong fit.
A March 2013 study in the International Journal of Business and Management Invention found that there is a significant relationship between employee motivation and job stress. Simply put, the higher level of job stress, the less motivation an employee feels. When there is an extended open vacancy, it’s the current employees who have to pick up the slack and shoulder the burden of extra work in order to ensure that everything gets done. Continuous recruitment cuts down on this. Instead of two people doing the job of three, the work is spread out evenly; and having a manageable workload leads to less stress on employees, making them more motivated.
Need-Based Hiring. Need-based hiring is all about filling a specific need at a specific time, which every organization experiences from time to time. If you operate a lunch counter and your counterperson has the flu, you need to find a replacement right away — or else your business suffers the loss of revenue. Unlike the continuous recruitment model, the need-based model doesn’t require you to have an at-hand database of potential candidates salivating at the thought of becoming employed by your organization. But this model does require you to have some excellent, trusted contacts within various professional recruiting firms; people who will quickly put you in touch with candidates who closely align with your immediate need, and hopefully ones that employ a tool like VeriKlick to verify their candidates’ information and veracity ahead of time.
The concept of need-based hiring is most closely correlated to “temporary” workers, though this is a common misunderstanding of the term. Certainly, some need-based hires are intended to be brought aboard for only a specific engagement, or for a specific amount of time, but the philosophy applies much further than that. Need-based hires could be project workers, contractors, sick leave fill-ins — there are myriad reasons a company has an immediate need for an employee, whether temporary or permanent.
Just because there’s a need to be filled, that’s not an excuse for shoddy recruiting practices! From a recruiting perspective this type of hire is the most important, as success (or failure) garners you immediate recognition: Your candidate won’t be waiting six months to find out if they got the job, they’ll find out much sooner! In this model, the sooner the better for all parties involved.
Since this kind of hiring model generally (though not exclusively) focuses on contract or temp roles, the majority of candidates are likely to be people comfortable moving quickly into new roles, acclimating themselves to their new surroundings easily, and already familiar with the ins and outs of their new role.
Campus Recruiting – Yea or Nay?
Campus recruiting can be tricky, as it does come with built-in advantages and disadvantages. The main, obvious advantage is that you are basically handed a pool of excited, motivated possible workers who are educated and ready to enter the workforce. The primary disadvantages are almost the same — these fresh, eager faces are ready, willing, and able to work (even if just to pay back their student loans), but they probably have zero experience and will require all manner of training before becoming successful members of a company or organization. Even while campus recruiting, using a service like VeriKlick can help keep costs down even further, by helping you to weed out fake or fraudulent resumes, and verify the information given to you by the candidates.
Cost Efficient. Campus recruitment is an extremely cost-efficient activity! Recruiters need to visit just a few colleges, and spend only a day or two at each to end up short-listing hundreds of candidates.
Targeted. If you are seeking great entry-level engineers, then you can visit colleges with great Engineering degrees. The same holds true for candidates for every industry: You can easily research and locate those institutions of higher learning nearby which offer specialized courses in your field, be it Nursing, Database Design, or Civil Engineering. Engage the audience that fits you best.
Failure Can Equal Success. Even if you don’t leave your recruitment trip with the number of qualified applicants for which you’d hoped, you DID achieve some measure of name-recognition for the future. Your company is likely to be the first one sought out by these students when they are available and ready for employment. It’s like free advertising.
Training. It is extremely likely that the talent pool at the college has NO experience (beyond their education) in your particular field or industry, and will thus require the upfront costs of training and on-boarding. It’s reasonable to assume these some of costs are associated with ALL new hires; but the ones who haven’t worked in a professional setting like yours likely require additional training beyond the immediate needs of an open position.
Retention. You run the risk of hiring people for whom this position is not their “dream job” and whose eye might wander as they delve into the day-to-day responsibilities associated with their role. Careful attention must be paid to ensure they are engaged, challenged, and satisfied — much like the rest of the workforce!
Remember: The best applicants and the best companies usually have lots of choices, and they respond best to those recruitment professionals and organizations who communicate most effectively, and who operate most efficiently.
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