With budgets under pressure in all areas, and CEO anxiety about strategic ‘Talent acquisition and retention’, are we really spending time and money on the things that deliver the best outcomes?
There are different ways of organising permanent resourcing, but maybe the first thing we need to ensure is that choice and delusion does not confuse us as to what ‘good’ looks like.
We need to start from a point whereby the permanent resourcing service delivers a reduction in the overall and ongoing need for recruitment. Doing things with this clear strategic objective underpins the likelihood of success here as it will inform the solution you put together.
The factors that are likely to lead to new hires adding value to a business are simple enough; they want to work for you, are capable of doing the job advertised and have potential for lateral or vertical progression, and they stay long enough to make a useful contribution to the business’ goals. That is probably the broadest definition of Talent and one that resonates with organisational capability and business success.
As we also know, good retention starts with good recruitment.
Attracting those with the right ‘fit’ and ensuring that’s what comes through the selection process can be problematic.
One of the best ways of achieving this is to capitalise on those who apply directly to the Consumer brand, because experience shows us that they are statistically more likely to tick those boxes for those factors you want.
Seldom, in my experience, however, do permanent resourcing models deliver much more than the efficient servicing of attrition regardless of who runs them or the promises made; whether an organisation runs a ‘Direct Sourcing’ model to capitalise on its own Consumer brand or creates a Preferred Supplier List (PSL) for agency supplied candidates or even if it outsources process management as well as candidate sourcing to a third party. It seems that the desired outcomes get overlooked in the face of doing something to achieve them.
There is no question that the rise of Job Boards and the use of Social Media coupled with the recent economic situation in the UK has led to an increasing number of organisations moving back towards doing it themselves – the availability of large numbers of cheap candidates is powerfully alluring. But internal recruitment pushes a lot of activity back into the client’s organisation.
The necessary technology and resources may not exist to do the job in a way that doesn’t tarnish the Consumer brand and being flooded with applications means that they have to be professionally handled. A lot of organisations seem to struggle with this and the activity involved can give us false reassurance that we are busy doing the right things.
Recent personal experience underlines the disappointing nature of being left completely in the dark about outcomes to, or even status of, applications for pertinent vacancies on a far too common basis.
Clearly, we need to ensure that the Attraction, Selection and Engagement components of the solution are aligned to delivering the outcomes we require.
This shouldn’t be difficult unless we treat them as piecemeal activities that deploy the latest fads, without understanding what contribution they make to the overall outcome; then we will create the illusion of good practice but deliver outcomes that are not exactly what we were aiming for.
Of course, if you have your People strategy aligned perfectly with your Business strategy and your Attraction strategy delivers the right numbers of candidates, of the right quality at a cost your business can afford, and in the right timeframe for your forecast needs, and you handle them and select/regret or ‘talentpool’ them using the efficiency that technology and applications can deliver whilst giving them a candidate experience that enhances your Consumer brand …..then the Emperor’s new clothes probably do look pretty ‘spiffy’.
For everyone else, we can either pretend there are new clothes and try to persuade others of the case or we can accept that now is the time to look at re-stocking the wardrobe!