How to successfully recruit top performing talent

Mark Glinwood, Associate Recruitment Consultant at Campbell Tickell, discusses how to successfully recruit high performing talent in a competitive market.

Remember the time when employers were king – enacting their recruitment processes in a way that did little more than showcase a sense of presumption in terms of who needed who? Things have moved on now, and the labour market is becoming increasingly starved of the volume of talent needed to drive organisational growth and long-term sustainability.

So, how do we ensure that our organisational mindset recognises this situation and that our processes are designed accordingly? Recruitment is a strategic act that should showcase every aspect of our organisational offer. In this competitive world organisations need to attract and engage the best talent around.

Talent is like a magnet, drawn to employer brand, culture, autonomy and alignment with a compatible set of values. The Irish Independent recently published a survey of HR managers revealing that 79% said investment in employer branding drastically reduces hiring costs, while 75% said that the quality of candidates has improved since investing in their employer brand. The article predicts that we will see more companies utilise videos, articles and social media to reach new talent – a trend that we at Campbell Tickell recognise and promote.

In Northern Ireland in particular, the historic dominance of public sector employment is ending. A more commercial focus is becoming the norm within the social housing sector, driven by outcomes, as opposed to a mindset of ‘this is how we do things around here’, which stifles innovation. It is probably no coincidence that the two biggest housing associations in the North have CEOs with significant commercial experience.

Social housing providers in the North are competing with highly commercial organisations, particularly in finance, property and development, for the best talent. It is likely that this trend will gather pace in the South too over the next couple of years.

Competing for talent

So, what does this all mean if we want to compete for high performing talent?

First, a root-and-branch review of resourcing strategy is required – facilitated, but not decided by, HR professionals. This is a strategic business activity that must involve all executive leaders to ensure it fully supports the business ethos and strategy. This article signposts the traits of success and the approach that is likely to make you stand out from the myriad of opportunities that are open to the best talent.

To whet your appetite, here are a few points that may reassure or disrupt your system:

1. Shape the core requirements of the role in line with the future direction of the organisation, and not the comfort of the past.

2. Position opportunities around the mutual interests of candidate and organisation – why should they choose you?

3. Adopt a minimalist, flexible recruitment process tailored to testing future potential.

4. Consider whether competency-based interviewing is dead – or should you focus more on ‘strengths-based’ interviewing techniques?

5. Consider how you can showcase everything about the role and not just confine the focus to the role profile.

6. Co-produce role profiles with the candidates: i.e. stipulate the absolute core and shape the rest via the recruitment process, thereby increasing buy-in from the outset.

We acknowledge that the housing sector across the island of Ireland is at different stages of evolution, and therefore some of the resourcing challenges are different. But many are the same, so there is real scope for collaboration, sharing and duality of learning across North and South. However, in this changing world, the best people need a good reason to join your organisation – and a good reason to stay – who is recruiting who?

To find out how CT can help, contact Dawn Matthews, Senior HR & Recruitment Consultant: dawn.matthews@campbelltickell.com

This article is also featured in  CT Brief, Issue 45 – Ireland edition

About us

Campbell Tickell is an established multi-disciplinary management and recruitment consultancy, operating across the UK and Ireland, focusing on the housing, social care, local government, sport, leisure, charity and voluntary sectors.

We are a values-based business and firmly place the positioning of our support and challenge on helping organisations to attain change that is well thought through, planned and sustainable. At CT, we want to help organisations create the landscape within which we ourselves would like to exist: fair, inclusive, diverse, engaged and transparent. We build from our values in how we approach all our work as a practice.

Find out more about CT’s recruitment services