Hiring For A Competitive Advantage

As 2021 gets under way, businesses will be looking at ways to gain an advantage over competitors, or after the events of 2020, turn around periods of stagnation or slow growth.

Katie Jackson, Director at Kindred Recruitment highlights some of the options available to employers to attract and hire the best available talent as a way of driving growth and gaining an advantage in the market.

Utilise the skills and network of recruitment agencies

Utilising the skills and experience of an external recruitment agency to secure the best talent can be invaluable. Agency recruiters have a vast network they can reach out to quickly, a great solution when in-house talent acquisition teams are at capacity, they themselves don’t have the network, or there is an urgent business need to get someone onboard immediately.

An experienced recruitment agency will act as an extension of the internal team or business, so when there is a need to hire quickly to get ahead of a competitor launching a similar product or service to market for example, it makes sense to engage an external specialist recruiter.

This in turn ensures that the candidate is hired on time without any missed opportunities due to a lack of talent.

Hire a diverse workforce

As highlighted in previous blog posts, the importance of diversity, inclusion and belonging in obtaining a competitive advantage has been well researched and documented.

McKinsey & Company’s example below clearly demonstrates the advantages open to organisations willing to adopt a diverse and inclusive recruitment strategy.

Whether you view diversity and inclusion as a moral duty, or one that will drive your competitive advantage, the rewards are there to be had.

Improve the candidate attraction process

In current times, placing an advert on a job board is not sufficient enough to appeal to high quality applicants. Competition is fierce to attract and hire the best talent on the market; according to Glassdoor 79% of job seekers will consider a company’s mission before applying. The Harvard Business Review suggests that having a bad reputation can equate to a 10% increase in the cost of recruitment.

These points potentially highlight the need for some investment in employer branding but this doesn’t mean a business needs to spend lots of money. Changes could be as simple as drawing up well-written job descriptions including why a candidate might benefit from working there, or ensuring that job adverts are written without bias so as to appeal to a diverse range of candidates.

If a company has the budget and time to invest in employer branding this could be well spent on a dedicated page on their website giving an insight into what it is like to be an employee. These are all actions that could give an employer an advantage over competitors in attracting the best talent.

Engage effective hiring processes

It is also worth paying attention to the hiring process itself as this is often the stage where employers can have the most impact, positive or negative, on a future employee. Businesses should wherever possible, regularly assess how potential candidates are introduced to the company, as well as how they are interviewed and assessed, provided with feedback and, if successful, offered the position and onboarded.

Employers should be consistently looking at whether candidates are regularly lost at a certain stages of the recruitment process. Is a bottleneck with the same person or department slowing the process down?

Hiring top talent to gain a competitive advantage means organisations must move in a timely manner; sluggish and slow recruitment processes will mean top talent is lost to competitors. Whilst a cliché, the best candidates when they come on to the market, are not on the market for long.

Collecting important data on vacancies can easily highlight where problems may exist. Employers might benefit from considering the length of time between interviews, how promptly feedback is given, how detailed that feedback is and how many people it is necessary for the candidate to meet.

Drawn out interview processes can negatively impact a candidate’s impression of an employer, not to mention run the risk of the candidate receiving other offers in the meantime. A business agile and able to respond to candidates and move them through the interview process promptly are more likely to deliver a better candidate experience and see an increased chance of securing their preferred candidate.

If you would like to discuss your recruitment strategy or would like the support of a specialist marketing recruitment agency, please get in touch by calling 020 3488 1855 or emailing Hello@Kindredrecruitment.com



About the author

Katie Jackson, founder of Kindred RecruitmentKatie Jackson is the founder of Kindred Recruitment and has worked in fast-paced B2B marketing teams and within the sales and marketing recruitment industry for almost a decade.

Her goal is simple – to connect the brightest marketing talent with brilliant businesses in London and beyond.

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