We speak to Charlotte Clark and the Head of Talent Development at The Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo). She is responsible for positioning APSCo’s UK & International Talent Development division as the recruitment profession’s ‘go to’ source of high quality, credible training and talent development courses. All of which are developed and delivered by recruitment and training experts and lead to recognized qualifications which help individuals achieve their full potential throughout their recruitment careers.
So we wanted to use her nouse and expertise to truly understand how to help you find top talent, what challenges and mistakes to look out for and maybe pick up something useful that will better your recruitment routine.
How do you begin the journey to finding top talent?
Have a meaningful company mission and vision and be a great place to work. Build a talent pipeline to include passive and active candidates and teach your teams to spot talent. Assess prospective hires on a blend of their soft and hard skills – hire for fit and train for skills. Give candidates reasons to choose your company, there is a lot of competition out there! Review candidates quickly and don’t hang about with the interviews.
What talent challenges is the industry faced with?
Competition for talent is fierce and staff retention can be an issue. In fact, according to the latest APSCo Deloitte Recruitment Index, recruiter churn has increased consistently over the past three years: in 2017 26% of new starters left within 12 months.
At the other end of the spectrum, recruitment is seldom positioned as a ‘career of choice’ for entry-level talent, despite the opportunities it offers. This is something that APSCo is working hard address to secure the future of our profession.
What mistakes should we avoid?
In my experience, recruiters often fall down due to a lack of business planning and strategy, not picking up the phone to build relationships with clients and candidates and a lack of understanding around a candidate’s priorities and interests. Not addressing counter-offer possibilities right from the start and failing to follow up with interviewed candidates are also common downfalls.
What’s the one piece of advice you give to HR departments?
Find a recruitment partner who will create a recruitment strategy with you. Be clear on who does what, for example, whose responsibility it is to manage salary negotiations. Your chosen partner should have in-depth knowledge of the market you operate in and should know where to source candidates and how to engage them. They should also have the knowledge to be able to promote your EVP and give potential candidates an authentic insight into your business.
What hard lessons can you share with us?
Being a working parent with three children has been a real challenge for me. Whether it be arranging child care, dealing with mum-guilt when a child is sick or missing a sports day, the list is endless. However, working for a great employer which offers flexibility means I can spend time with my family when I need to.
What are your top 3 tips to recruiters?
- Believe in what you are talking about: the market you work in, the candidate you are representing and the client you are supporting.
- Ask tough questions. Dig deep and make sure you have defined the candidate and clients’ needs and wants.
- Listen – really listen – to every candidate and client you are helping.
What’s up next for recruiting?
Recruitment is changing at lightning speed, and while no one is sure what the future holds, there are certain areas which are particularly hot. In terms of technology, video interviewing, chatbots, and the automation of tasks (not jobs) are on the rise. Elsewhere, an increased focus on diversity in the workplace will continue to accelerate.
Connect with Charlotte on Linkedin