How to Recruit and Retain the Best Talent - Recruitment

There has been a great deal of news surrounding the uplift in recruitment recently, Jobsite stated that in a recent survey 43% of people in a new job, are already looking for their next role and the Reed Job Index,  showed that for the first time since their index began in 2009, all 12 UK job regions are showing both monthly and annual growth in jobs.

This is excellent, long-awaited news for the economy, job seekers and recruiters too, but what about employers? As the recruitment market and volume of jobs available increases, the challenges for employers to recruit and retain the very best talent reaches whole new levels.

Following on from the panel session, here were some of our takeaways and some key tips to help you recruit the best talent:

Review your Recruitment Strategy:

As a hiring manager, recruiter, or resourcer, when was the last time you reviewed how you recruit and how often have you changed your recruitment methods or approach? If you are struggling to recruit the skills and talent your business or, department needs, then you need to re-think and review your recruitment strategy.

Even if you have been doing well securing talented professionals these last few years.  With a limited number of job opportunities available, hiring across some markets has perhaps been easier, at least with regards to the volume of applicants received, but with more of the companies in your sector, or geographical area hiring similar talent to you, how will you set your business apart?

Now is the time to review your recruitment channels, partners and routes to market and put in place a contingency plan, or, alternative options for the year ahead, to make sure your business can attract and hire the skills and experience required.

How is Your Candidate Experience?:

If you are considering both your recruitment & retention strategies, the candidate experience you deliver as a prospective employer, is critical to helping you secure and retain the best talent.  Even if the candidates you are attracting are not right for your business today, they may be in the future and each applicant will have a pool of friends and family they will be sharing their experience of your business, or, brand with.  As recruiters, we will often hear from prospective candidates on how they would not go back to that company due to a bad experience or, bad interview.

Starting from your initial job post and application, right through to your employees first day and few months in their new role, make sure that every candidate has a good, if not great experience of your business and brand, so that even those with the longest memories want to come back to your business time and time again

Does Your Selection Process Exclude Great Talent?:

When recruiting, especially, but not exclusively within customer contact and customer strategy, the successful, or, desired candidate, is often chosen based on culture, attitude, values and behaviours. So why are we removing many of our applications by CV screening based upon industry, or, job match?  Even those employees working for your closest competitor will have different values, processes and ideals.  If you can train and develop many of the skills, processes and systems you think you need now, then you may be able to review the candidates you are currently screening out of your process, which might uncover some hidden stars or, leadership potential for the future. 

Review Your Expectations:

  Some job briefings and person specifications can be near impossible to find an exact fit in the current market due to the unique nature of each company’s infrastructure. 

In the last few years, with confidence at an all-time low across many sectors, we seem to have become more risk averse; we would rather wait for that ‘perfect candidate’ who can ‘hit the ground running’, with all the skills and industry experience, than hire someone who might not work out.

The reality is that with the right training, support and environment, a suitably experienced, good candidate, with the right attitude and IQ, will naturally flourish in most roles, or when thrown into most projects. Consider your own career, when you joined your business, or took on your current role, did you have all the skills and experience you presently have, or, require today?  Perhaps you could review your list of ‘must haves’ vs what could be ‘nice to haves’, when looking at your next short-list of potential applicants.  This could help you recruit better talent for your team and business.

What do you think?  Have you had any difficulties, or, real success with your recruitment strategy, or will you be reviewing how your business recruits soon?  Please do let us know we would love to see your comments and experiences:

Keep an eye out for Part Two of How to Recruit and Retain the Best Talent - Retention to be posted soon.  

You can contact Douglas Jackson on 0845 620 9720, or email;

Views: 448

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on January 20, 2014 at 1:37pm

Before a company wastes its time, money, and other resources going after people it can never reasonably expect to get (because it has nothing to offer except the deluded hype and expectations of the founders, CXOs, Sr. Execs, and Marketing people who believe that their company is “special”) it should sit down, take a double shot of reality, and figure out the people it CAN reasonably get (


Comment by Michelle Ansell on January 21, 2014 at 4:59am

Hi Keith and thank you for your comment, your article raises an excellent point and one which many organisations struggle with, we have reposted and pinned this across our network.  I do think every company or hiring manager has the right to want the best but sometimes the best, isn't the best, but the best for that business and it is the understanding of this and the market, along with realistic expectations that will help everyone get what they want.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on January 21, 2014 at 1:09pm

Thank you very much, Michelle. I'm flattered you reposted my article. I agree: everyone should try for the best they can get, and unfortunately that often isn't as good as they want.




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