Recruiting- a tedious task or a strategic possibility?

I have now worked few months as a wanna-be part-time recruiter and managed to gather up my first team, which started in mid-August. Since I’m eager to learn more, I wanted to look at the feelings and thoughts during these last few months. Here you can find some subjects that I have been puzzling about.

Recruiting- mandatory task to maintain needed capacity or change to influence the future

Recruiting isn’t easy, nor it’s not fun at times. It requires much effort and, most of all, time. Time to talk with candidates, organize interviews, tests, reference calls, and so on. If you don’t have the time slots already marked and blocked on your calendar, it’s going to mean a lot of late nights with your computer.

Should I then think of recruitment as a continuous task on my list and make sure I have time for it booked every week? I’m not sure, but it seems the most convenient approach I can think of for now.

I want to raise the question of whether recruiting is mandatory to maintain needed capacity or change to influence the future? Is recruiting appreciated and treated as a strategic task or just part of regular team leader duties? What is required to make recruiters feel that recruitment is a strategic task? Or could it be seen as part of soft mergers and acquisitions like Strategy wizard Jari Ikäheimonen put it? I’m not sure yet, but I’m sure you need alignment with other functions like HR, Marketing, Employer Branding, and so on. In my head, it also needs high-level recognition from the organization.

What’s the best way to help with recruiting?

“A fun task” is probably not the way you’d describe recruiting when your top guy is leaving, you didn’t see that coming, and now you’re in the middle of the forecasting period and should open position in the workday and start recruiting. These kinds of cases happen pretty often. So how should we handle recruiting within, for example, the unit? 

Not all team leaders are excellent recruiters, even if they’d be fantastic team leads. And not all leaders enjoy recruiting. After few thinking rounds, I’m leaning on having a talent acquisition specialist in the unit. Someone who knows the recruitment channels and the teams and people working in the unit can help with crafting a story about what’s needed and offered, job ads, prescreening, interviews, and even contract and onboarding planning. But Individuals in the unit have a significant role in recruiting too.

How your team can help with recruiting

I feel there are roughly three types of team involvement that comes to recruiting:

  • Level 1 – Usually, a senior team member can see the top candidates’ CVs to someone, giving their comments.
  • Level 2 – The team is participating in the interview and gives their comments.
  • Level 3 – The team takes part in the recruitment process from beginning to end and gives suggestions on who to hire. The process is ongoing and requires strategic decisions of organic growth. I claim It’s also faster and more efficient.

The best recruiters and networks can usually be found from teams. But with the mountain-high backlogs and constant need from stakeholders, who has time for recruitment and such? Unfortunately, I don’t have a magic spell that would create more hours to our days, but I had an idea I tried with my new team. I told them we need to be prepared to recruit since there will be much work. There’s also a recruitment bonus, which gives an excellent addition to the process. We agreed it would be easier to choose people they have recommended since the success rate will be significantly higher. Not only that, I asked them to build a test set they could use as a frame in technical discussions. We agreed on the way how we will run the candidates and make decisions. They already connected recruitment to future roadmap and competencies and decided to take turns in conducting tests. You’d need to ask them directly, but I think they liked the ability to be part of the process. At least, that is my gut feeling.

To be able to select is golden!

That brings me to the next thing—employer branding. Yeah, strong “EB” helps, and every effort helps, but you really need to align your story with reality. No action is worth any money if candidates leave the moment they realize your story won’t fly. I’m not sure how Techies and the IT sector rate Dr. Pepper in the fridge, but I’ve noticed the increased importance of being able to select. The company can offer quality tools (computers, phones, headphones, mice, etc.). The selection doesn’t have to be huge, but it has to be quality 😊 Today’s market the recruiting companies, of course should offer some other benefits too, but the main thing here is that everyone can choose what they’d like to take.

Trust and be trusted

The other hot topic has been remote work. I often hear the question “can you work remotely” in the interviews, to which I usually reply, how would you like to work? The unofficial survey I have conducted would point out that most candidates understand the benefit of seeing other people face to face, but what they dislike and even try to avoid is the regulated setting. Trust and be trusted would be my translation of the situation where a team can decide their way of working and approaching different tasks.

As I said, I’m no seasoned recruiter. Some of these issues might be easily handled and taken care of, but I just haven’t figured it out yet 🙂 What I’ve liked is this journey. Journey to find out how we should and could do things in the future. And possibility of discussing and validating different aspects with different people.

How do you see recruiting? As a tedious task or a strategic possibility?