Jul 30

Why knee-jerk recruitment is a bad idea

When we look at the labour market, we see that the competition for talent has intensified, with recruiters finding it increasingly difficult to source quality candidates. These shrinking markets call into question whether the typical knee-jerk recruiting model is still relevant.

Talent Acquisition Manager Artemis Elias says this position-by-position or methodology seems efficient when there are vacancies to urgently fill, but fails to deliver in the long-term.

“When you’re hiring in a crisis you’re setting yourself up to hire below-average candidates just to fill a position, with direct impact on the bottom line and with huge consequences for recruiting teams.”

Elias says a company’s focus, given the time limitation, is always on the active candidate market, often to the neglect of the much larger passive candidate market (candidates not actively seeking employment).

“There’s very little time to research the market and find the best in industry candidates, usually passive, given the lack of planning. More importantly, there’s very little happening in terms of relationship building with candidates and employer brand management, the core strategy for attracting the best talent in these times.”

Stella Appiah-Nkansah, Human Resource Director at Vodafone Ghana, agrees, saying the success of an organisation hinges on the quality of its talent.

“Competitive advantage is attained through effective talent management strategies,” she says.

Yemi Faseun, Etisalat Head, Business Partnering, Resourcing & Employee Relations, echoes these sentiments, saying the importance of developing a solid talent pipeline can’t be underestimated.
“Developing a talent pipeline is like having a steady source of raw materials for a building construction.  You run short of materials, the project stalls.”

Elias says recruiting needs to be approached more proactively.

“You’ve got to move away from this reactive model and build talent pipelines.”

She says a pipeline of talent who can be contacted quickly to fill positions is essential.

“Talent that is prepared to wait for a few months before the right opportunity presents itself. You have to build both short and long-term talent strategies that deliver the right person at the right time.”

Angel Jones, CEO of Homecoming Revolution, agrees with Elias, saying the importance of building a talent pipeline should be a core component of a company’s recruitment strategy.

“Companies hiring in a crisis without an existing pipeline, more often than not hire the wrong person. Homecoming Revolution’s global events enable employers to build solid relationships with highly skilled African professionals, guaranteeing a pipeline.”

Shaori Ajodha, Deloitte National Team Leader, Talent Acquisition & Mobility argues building a talent pipeline is critical to gearing a business in line with client needs.

She says building a talent pipeline also gives recruiters a continuous overview of the talent in their market.

“It keeps recruiters up to date on what the latest talent trends are,” Adjodha adds.

Letoya Mbuthia, Senior Manager Talent & Resourcing at Safaricom, says when an organisation builds and ratifies their talent situation and pipeline, they can proactively venture into the market to get the skills and expertise required.

“Through this process, they are not just to fill in the immediate gaps, but can develop the organisation in the right capability to achieve its strategic objectives.”