Today, 75% of companies that have a hard time recruiting attribute their struggles to a lack of qualified candidates*. To overcome this issue, and to offset the drop in activity, certain companies have opted for outsourcing by hiring employees overseas. This shortage of qualified candidates has multiple causes: a lack of specialised skills, an overemphasis on university education, a blurring of professions, a lack of training structures, etc.
Beyond these factors, with a well-structured recruitment process, plus the ability to adapt your expectations to meet the current market and to reflect on the skills required, you will be able to significantly counteract this shortage.
Here are 3 ways to optimise your recruitment process and to find top talent every time, without fail.
Set clear expectations
The real challenge for recruiters today is knowing how to shift focus away from work experience and academic credentials and concentrating instead on the candidate’s actual skills. Most companies continue to recruit solely on the basis of years of experience or study, with the belief that these two elements are intrinsically linked to people’s skillset. However, this is by no means a hard and fast rule, and many leading companies have already come to realise that a candidate’s skills and personality traits need to take centre stage.
Hone in on skills
We can divide skills into two types: technical skills (hard skills) and non-technical skills (soft skills). Hard skills are knowledge-based, they are learned and can easily be identified by looking at a candidate’s academic and professional experiences. But as we mentioned above, it is by focusing exclusively on these hard skills that we can end up missing out on the best applicants. Hence the importance of analysing soft skills, or non-technical skills, such as creativity, negotiation skills, or emotional intelligence.
When recruiting for a role, outline four or five key skills. It is important that you name and identify each one clearly. Be specific, but also leave yourself some leeway when defining which skills are essential and those which are highly desirable, but not absolutely necessary. This will stop you wasting time looking for unrealistic candidates. Take a risk on some more unconventional applicants, because even if they operate outside of your domain, they might have the soft skills that will make them easily ‘trainable’. This method will breathe new life into your hiring process, as well as foster diversity among your new recruits.
Set up a competency framework
Competency-based recruitment consists of identifying the skills required for a position. Drawing up a competency framework, a document compiling all the skills found within an organisation, is therefore highly useful. This resource allows companies to have a more accurate grasp of their skills pool. A list of hard skills and soft skills is associated with every position, providing a clear and precise overview of what is needed to take on each role successfully. It is then easy to match the skills required with the skills your candidates possess, via psychometric evaluations for example. This makes identifying suitable candidates much more straightforward, beyond the ‘classic’ or generally accepted background for a given role.
Effective recruitment has long posed a challenge and the rapid development of modern technology means we must constantly adapt and shake up our current routines. However, there are solutions out there which can allow us to tailor our recruitment processes to meet the current market and to continually innovate our tools. Because, indeed, today successful recruitment not only means having an understanding of your candidates’ expectations, but also the ability to re-think your selection procedures.
*survey carried out by DirectSkills and OpinionWay on 400 managers and human resources directors (September 2021)