Sally Denbigh

Aug 9, 2018, 8:00 AM

Finding and Recruiting the Hottest New Candidates

It’s August. It’s Summer (and boy, has this one been a scorcher!). The sun is shining, the bees are buzzing, and quite likely your mind will be on matters other than work. (Barbecue anyone? Pimms or Prosecco?...). Meaning that if you’re anything like me, you’ll be finding it hard enough – and too hot! – to be thinking about your own job, let alone hiring for new ones. So why on earth am I writing about recruitment now?

Well quite frankly, because if you are able to think about it – even just to start preparing yourself and your organisation, jot down a few notes about your employee ‘dream team’, put out preliminary feelers to a recruitment specialist, etc. – then come early autumn when the ‘recruitment season’ really hots up, you and your charity will be fully ready to find and hire that top (and hot!) new candidate.

Best Times to Recruit

Traditionally, the busiest times of year for recruitment – when organisations are advertising for vacancies, and potential candidates looking for new roles – are September/October and January/February. During the former, many people are returning to the office after their summer holidays; during the latter, they are just back at work from the festive break. Some may be looking to fulfil their new year’s resolution of finding an exciting new job; while others may be doing a ‘Shirley Valentine’ and chucking it all in to open that long-dreamed-of bar on the beach. As an employer therefore, around these times of year in particular you should be prepared for possible resignations.

Equally, your organisation should be ready to take advantage of these ‘peak’ periods to consider carrying out your own recruitment. Which may be for an entirely new role (recent successes or funding opportunities may have enabled your charity to create a new position); or perhaps there’s an older vacancy that to date you have been unable to fill. With a good selection of cream-of-the-crop candidates to choose from, early autumn – this autumn - could therefore be the ideal time for your charity to start your search. The right time for your charity to find the right person.

Successful Recruitment

Successful recruitment is however about a lot more than just finding the right person. Although that’s always the objective, of course! For starters, how should you go about doing it?

Would it be better for your organisation to manage the process in-house, or by using a recruitment consultancy (or both)? And if using a specialist, would full- or part-service be the most effective? Should you employ a head-hunter? Where are the best places to advertise, with so many possibilities to choose from nowadays (charity websites, your own webpage, social media, LinkedIn, etc.)? What should the advert say to attract the best candidates? What should the salary be - will this need bench-marking? - and how much can your organisation afford? What wording do you need to include in the job description and person specification (both crucial documents that you absolutely need to get right)?

Will applicants be required to send in just their CVs or a cover letter too, or perhaps they’ll need to complete an application form? What are you going to do when the applications come in, does your charity have the HR capability to cope with this increased workload? Who’s going to read them all, sift through, do the short-listing? And the interviewing? Then follow up the references for the successful candidate? And what about the unsuccessful applicants, are you going to contact them all to thank them for applying, or just not respond.

And…? And…??

Start Thinking About Recruitment!

I do apologise! It is August. It is Summer. And it’s hot! You’ll surely have other things on your mind than work. You certainly won’t want to be thinking about recruitment at the moment, will you? Early autumn is such a long time away. Except that it’s not!

In a few weeks’ time it’ll be September. People will be returning to work; some will be resigning from their jobs, others looking for new ones. It could be the perfect time for your charity to seek out and recruit the hottest new candidates.

If you do nothing else as you lie on your sun lounger, think about that…

Action Planning offers a full- and part-service recruitment consultancy package. This can include preparing adverts, drawing up job descriptions and person specifications, placing and running adverts, head-hunting, short-listing, helping with final interviewing, amongst other activities. Talk to us, and we will work with you to work out what’s best for your charity. If you would like to discuss recruitment – at any time of year – and how we could help your organisation, please contact us at office@actionplanning.co.uk 

David Saint

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