In order to support steady growth, businesses need funding, customers, resources, and labour. Most often, businesses still struggle with getting the funds they need to support a long-term growth strategy. For many businesses, particularly those reliant on highly skilled workers, this is no longer the most urgent issue. With developed countries around the world facing an escalating skill shortage, finding and retaining qualified workers is becoming increasingly important for businesses to manage proactively.

A great recruitment strategy does more than simply bring in applicants. Rather, it helps businesses to attract interest from potential candidates, to streamline the recruitment process, and to better retain new hires. This allows them to hire better candidates more efficiently, while also reducing the costs involved in hiring and training new workers.

Communicate effectively to filter candidates up front

Filtering through hundreds of applicants in hopes of finding a few qualified candidates is both frustrating and time consuming. Often, this is the result of a poor job description that doesn’t effectively communicate who the business is looking for. It’s tempting, in some cases, to include all of the potential responsibilities that might be required of an employee, or to create a job description so vague that the new hire could be put to a variety of uses. This is not, however, a good way to attract candidates with specific skills and qualifications.

A great job listing should be clear and concise, from the job title to the requirements. Required skills should be listed in order of importance, and the description of the responsibilities of the role should be specific without being pedantic. This allows candidates to quickly scan the listing to see if they are a good fit, without being distracted or confused by vague language or unnecessary details.

Interview fewer candidates in greater depth

Businesses that operate in industries with a high demand for skilled labour need to move quickly to get top quality talent. This means that long recruitment processes that involve many rounds of interviews are going to be counterproductive. Slowly whittling down a long list of candidates through a process of elimination is only an option for businesses who are working to fill a very high-value position, with many eager applicants.

In a high-demand labour market, highly skilled workers can expect to receive multiple offers from competing businesses. By the time an indecisive employer offers a fourth interview, the best candidates involved in the process will have already been hired by competitors. Instead, businesses need to choose just a few promising candidates from the long list of applicants to interview in depth, and move from the initial interview to an offer with as few intermediary steps as possible.

The onboarding process takes longer than you think

Over 60 per cent of all turnover is the result of employees leaving within their first year with a new employer. This can quickly get expensive for businesses. Once a new hire is made, it can take weeks or months for them to begin providing a net benefit to their new employer. Learning how to operate in the business’ structure, to use new software, and to become familiar with new responsibilities and coworkers takes time and resources. Additionally, it places a burden on other employees, who need to devote a portion of their time and energy to integrate and train the new hire.

By improving their onboarding processes, businesses can reduce turnover, and cut down on the overall cost of hiring and training new workers. More importantly, businesses can use their new hires to grow their business, rather than simply replacing lost employees. The way to do that is to acknowledge that onboarding is a long process that goes far beyond orienting and training a new employee in their first few weeks. Instead, businesses need to work to integrate employees into the business’ culture throughout their first year. This goes far beyond helping the new hire to manage their responsibilities. It means also helping them to establish a good long term working relationship with their peers and their superiors.

Businesses often avoid creating an in-depth onboarding process like this because it looks costly on paper. However, the unplanned costs associated with high employee turnover are much higher than a robust recruitment and onboarding strategy. By investing the resources and effort to hire more efficiently and to better retain workers up front, businesses can ultimately save money. That money can then be reinvested into the business to drive further growth.