Recruiters get poor marks

by 04 Feb 2008

CORPORATE RECRUITERS are missing out on the chance to create a competitive advantage for their companies by failing to implement best practice, a report has found.

While corporate recruitment functions are currently working efficiently, there is significant potential for them to boost their performance and outcomes.

The report, conducted by Human Capital Management Solutions (HCMS), ranked large companies in a broad range of industries on how well they meet six essential components of the recruitment function: strategy, attraction, candidate relationship management (CRM), technology, services and process.

It found that while none of the respondents were performing at capacity in these areas, performance was poorest in CRM, where all but one received a score of one or less out of a possible three points.

Internal recruitment functions need to address this issue if they’re to beat the tightening labour market, according to Trevor Vas, managing director of HCMS.

“CRM is critical in a labour market where there are few quality active candidates. And it doesn’t simply refer to sending newsletters or emails to candidates that apply for a job,” he said.

“Truly successful CRM is about selling the organisation, not the particular role, to future employees. By building a relationship based on future opportunities, there’s a talent pipeline ready to tap into when a role becomes available.”

Vas said that most internal recruitment CRM is still reliant on reactive, ad hoc communication with candidates.

“However, as talent becomes ever more scarce, the onus is on professional recruiters to implement new, proactive and forward-looking techniques designed to work in a candidate-short market,” he said.

Vas added that as employers grapple with an unprecedented talent shortage, first movers will have a golden opportunity to get ahead.

“Companies that decide to get serious and implement best-practice recruitment will create a genuine competitive advantage over other organisations seeking the same talent,” he said.

The report also underlined the critical importance of strategy, as those companies with a low score in this area also fell behind in others.

“It makes sense that in companies where there is limited forecasting and workforce planning, and no documented recruitment strategy or vision, other functions will suffer too,” Vas said.

“On the other hand, consistent workforce planning that looks out at least 12 months and is integrated with the company’s budget and metrics will create a strong foundation for outstanding recruitment outcomes.”

Vas said that one for the key reasons for the industry’s poor report card is the employment market’s rapid pace of change.

“Not only have we seen the talent pool shrinking at an alarming rate, we’ve also seen fundamental changes to the way in which employers work with hiring managers and recruitment agencies. The corporate recruitment area has expanded significantly in recent years, but support, education and training has failed to keep pace,” he said.

“So while there’s a big focus on up-skilling agency recruiters, there are few opportunities for focusing on the issues unique to corporate recruitment. They’ve tended to fall into the cracks somewhere between HR and the agencies.”

The report studied the recruitment practices of 17 major Australian companies, which ranged in size from 500–1,000 employees, right through to companies of more than 20,000 employees.

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