When you find your organization is inundated with endless recruiting requisitions, interviews and resumes, you wonder if you can ever get out from under it. I remember that drowning feeling when the recruiting was unrelenting.

When recruiting is a result of setting up a new business or program, it doesn’t feel as bad. You know you are building something new and there is an end in sight. It may be challenging, intense work but it can also be rewarding as you build the new facility or program and establish its character with new people.

However, when you are in what feels like survival mode constantly recruiting, it’s important to stop and take a timeout. It doesn’t have to be long but enough time to reflect. This is contrary to our instincts.  You feel like you are on a treadmill and will never get caught up in recruiting requests as they just keep coming at you.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. I see many organizations approach their recruiting like that. They keep doing the same thing (often due to a lack of time spent stopping and thinking) and expect the pace of recruiting to slow.

When you and your organization are endlessly inundated with recruiting, you need to establish why there is such a need for recruiting. The answer is not because we have empty roles, but the root cause of your recruiting demands.

It sounds simple, but sometimes these are hard to discern without really taking a hard look at the organization and its recruiting practice. Here are some ideas to help get you started on identifying what your root cause might be:

  • Are you hiring the right people? Or are you just hiring someone to fill the vacancy?
    • e. do they have the right skill set, motivation, and commitment to the work?
    • Will they fit in with the culture and work environment?
    • Are you looking in the right places for your new recruits?
  • Is the job what they were told it was going to be?
    • Did you set the realistic expectations for the role?
  • Are the job expectations reasonable?
  • Are people being managed consistently and fairly? Are policies applied consistently and fairly?
    • Good people don’t stay long when faced with poor and inconsistent management.
  • Are they being trained sufficiently to be successful in the role?
  • Are you paying them what you said you were going to pay them?
  • Does the scheduling protocol you have agreed to lead to a huge need for part-time or relief workers?

Remember, when recruiting you are marketing your organization to potential candidates. What message are you sending? The better and more realistic the message, the more like the candidate will select you. Furthermore, if you treat your existing employee properly, they will encourage people they know to apply to work for your organization. They will be your own set of advocates.

I hear a lot about talent shortages from organizations overwhelmed with recruiting assignments. Talent shortages do not necessarily result in turnover. There are talent shortages in Ontario but mainly in technology areas as we are not graduating enough students to meet demand. Other areas that have been harder to fill have been:

  • Skilled trades workers
  • Technicians
  • Sales representatives
  • Secretaries, PA’s, administrative professionals, and office support workers
  • Drivers
  • Engineers
  • Management/Executives
  • Production/machine operators
  • Accounting and financial staff
  • Labourers

If there truly is talent shortage, then you also need to reflect on either how to be the employer of choice, restructure the work to allow you to hire fewer of the skill sets which are in short supply or modify the skill set you require.

Bottom line, recruiting is a very costly exercise. (See my earlier blog on the cost of turn over). If you can identify and deal with the root cause you will be so much better off in the long run. You will reduce time spent on recruiting, improve your image to employees as an employer and lastly save money.

If you need help identifying what your root cause of recruiting is, please give us a call and we will be glad to help you.