Tom Hacquoil Pinpoint

You’re Recruiting all Wrong

Pinpoint’s CEO, Tom Hacquoil, is changing the recruitment industry. Here, he talks about why companies need to completely evolve their approach to recruitment.

I’m sure you’ve been wondering why recruitment has become so hard recently. Why is it your competitors seem to be attracting all the good people and you’re left with the candidates they rejected? What you’re offering in terms of benefits is probably identical – you’re just not selling yourself right.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat in meetings with recruitment or HR teams that tell me they’re spending hundreds of thousands of pounds a year on recruitment agencies for “ok” candidates; but they still haven’t worked out why they’re struggling to attract good direct applicants. Then even with a simple solution sitting in front of them, changing their ways is too daunting, or not what their peers are doing; so they carry on with what they know … stick with the status quo. But there’s software out there that can make their lives much easier.

The recruitment world has changed, the way people think about work has changed, but what hasn’t changed is the way that in-house recruitment teams are approaching recruitment. I consistently see global organizations struggling to attract top talent but failing to see what they need to change in order to fix this.

According to the office of national statistics, in December 2018 there was a record high of 812,000 open vacancies in the UK, with it taking an average of 52 days to fill a vacancy. The main reason for all of these jobs not being filled? Not enough of the right people applying for the right jobs. But trust me when I say that it isn’t because the right people aren’t out there.

Here’s the problem

Most likely your recruitment problems will boil down to one or more of the following:

  1. Not getting the right roles in front of the right candidates in the right way
  2. Offering an outdated candidate experience
  3. An allergy to change

But these issues are easily fixable with the right knowledge and support.

The biggest challenge in attracting the best candidates is usually a lack of in-house understanding of how to get the right opportunities in front of the right people. This results in a lack of quality applicants, an assumption that it’s not possible to get quality direct applicants, and defaulting to seeking help from a third-party recruiter. Recruitment marketing that results in a good choice of high-quality direct applicants is a specialist skill that HR teams, in-house recruiters, and even most marketing teams, can’t be expected to have. Posting on your LinkedIn page isn’t going to have the best CVs flooding your inbox.

To attract the best, your recruitment process needs to be an experience; one that leaves a positive lasting impression on the candidates you’re engaging with from start to finish. Every step of the journey needs to be seamless, or you risk losing them along the way.

CEOs and business owners need to understand that in order to overcome their recruitment issues, they need to make some changes. Is there someone stopping that change in your team? If you think there’s nothing wrong with your current approach, or someone’s telling you there isn’t anything wrong, can you tell me why you aren’t attracting the right candidates (without telling me they don’t exist)?

It comes down to something quite simple - If you suck at selling, you’re going to lose, if you’re good, you’re going to win.

Recruitment is about selling not buying. You’re no longer buying talent; you’re selling opportunities to work at your organization. This means you need to treat jobs like products. The better you sell them, the better the candidates you’ll get.

Would you buy something from a company that talked more about what they wanted from you than what you were going to get from them? If you walked in to an Apple store to buy a phone and they started running through a list of all the skills you need to use the phone rather than showing you how it could help you, their sales would drop dramatically.

So why treat hiring any differently?

If you’re presenting a list of skills and demands to your prospective candidates without telling them what they’re getting in return, you’re setting yourself up to lose.

The same goes for your application process. There’s no longer an excuse to make applying difficult. Candidates should be able to apply without answering never-ending, irrelevant questions, and they should be able to do it quickly from anywhere, on any device.

Go and have a look at your recruitment advertising, job descriptions, your careers website, your application process and tell me if you’d be interested in your company if you were a sought after candidate? Are you packaging your roles in a way that’s appealing? Are you providing a hassle-free candidate experience?

Remember, everyone always wants to know what’s in it for them, which is especially true for the most sought after candidates.

So many of our clients come to us not understanding that in order to attract the best candidates, they have to make sure that every element of their candidate experience is part of the sales process and is quick and easy. This might seem like a mammoth task, but actually it’s pretty simple and it really doesn’t have to take up a huge portion of your recruitment budget. Start with your Employee Value Proposition (EVP) and really get to the root of who you are as a company and why someone would want to work for you. Once you have that in place, the rest of it will flow. Just remember, it’s about you selling to them, not the other way round.

The future of the industry

Once upon a time, recruiters had to shuffle through a mountain of CVs; wait… we still do that! If you’re not in a position to move away from this style of recruiting in the next 5 years, you’ll never be able to hire the candidates that you want, or any candidates for that matter and slowly, your business will cease to remain competitive. Complacency is killing so many organizations. It’s insane if you think about how far we have come in other areas of business, yet not in recruitment.

Automation, automation, automation! Unless you have the budget for a vast in-house recruitment marketing and talent acquisition team, you need to be able to find a way to automate as much of the recruitment process as possible. But done in the right way, automation doesn’t mean losing the human element.

After years of in-house recruitment teams being left behind in terms of technology, new software is now available that needs to become the backbone of your talent acquisition strategy. By using good recruitment marketing automation tools, you get access to large datasets that mean your adverts are optimised automatically from day one and get smarter over time as the system understands the type of candidates you like to hire. What’s even better is that they’re not as expensive as you think, certainly not in the region of what you will be spending on recruitment agencies. All of this means that your recruitment process will become simpler, faster and more intelligent as time goes on.

It is crucial to start planning for the future. The longer you delay making the changes you know you need, the more difficult it will become to attract and hire the best talent. Make the necessary changes now; invest in your recruitment processes to ensure the future of your organization. After all, we’re all only as good as the people we have supporting us.

Are you struggling to attract enough great applicants? Are you resorting to recruitment agencies to fill vacancies fast? Take our free recruitment assessment and get tailored advice delivered direct to your inbox. Get started here.

About the Author Tom Hacquoil

Tom is the CEO at Pinpoint and he's passionate about building world-class teams.