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Are internal talent teams working for your business?




Recently I was talking with a potential client. We’ve been chatting on and off for a while and it’s always interesting to see just what’s going on in his world. The guy heads up a large European business and was quite bemused about the challenges he was facing regarding recruitment. I asked him what was the main problem he was currently experiencing.


I need highly technically qualified food scientists and honestly, I am really struggling to find them.’


I asked him what was really getting him down about the situation.


Well, we have an internal talent team within the business. It’s a large global business so you would imagine all our needs would be covered.’

I asked him why it wasn’t working for him?

It’s funny you would think it would be ideal but all that happens is I am deluged by CVs. I then literally spend hours sifting, reviewing and then interviewing. Sadly, that’s not the end of the story. Actually the candidates I am sent are either not interested or are simply not suitable for the role. I am tearing my hair out and meanwhile the role continues to go unfilled.’



Do you have empty chairs you need to fill in your organisation?


I could really empathise with the guy as the time taken is a hidden cost that many don’t take into consideration when companies start recruiting for staff. I wondered just how much this whole process would generate annually.


‘Have you thought about using an external recruiter?’ I suggested.


He was quick to answer: ‘ the problem is I can’t use external sources until internals are finished and that usually takes around 6 months.


We continued to talk and I asked what their strategy was for actually finding candidates.

The internal team usually post ads and they go to job boards on LinkedIn etc. and also send emails. That’s really the top and bottom of what they do. It does have a massive impact on the business. For example, right now we are recruiting for a Country Director in Russia. Of course there are some people available but LinkedIn is actually banned in Russia, so when you realise the team are relying solely on LinkedIn strategies we aren’t going to get very far are we?


We then went on to discuss how this kind of strategy actually does work reasonably well for day-to-day recruitment needs. However, specialist, or business critical capacities alongside confidentiality are skill sets that are notoriously hard to find. Quite often if we were both being honest they are actually often lacking in the market place.


He then went on to ask me what I might suggest as a strategy that would reduce the workload of sifting through stacks of CVs.



I said that there were a few key things to consider and then offered him some key things that we undertake as recruiters:


1. Being proactive is the foundation block for recruiting new staff.

2. Also analysing whether advertising is going to be the best way forward in every case is also important.

3. Different roles require bespoke strategies; there isn’t really a one size fits all approach in my experience.

4. Having a strong network is also important and that needs to exist within a well-defined sector.

5. Understanding the types of individuals that would make difference to clients is key

6. Proactively looking for people outside of LinkedIn is essential. It’s not good practice to rely on one portal.



Are you scratching your head wondering where the next top quality hire is going to come from?


In this instance for example there is a very high demand for food scientists in research and development. However, in the main they are very well paid jobs. Candidates are usually very well qualified with a minimum of an MSc and often a PhD to their names. Therefore that kind of individual isn’t on LinkedIn every day of the week trawling for new opportunities. Also they are often not particularly motivated by an extra 10k. We have found they are also currently working in a creative innovative environment so are probably not actively looking for a new role. They simply won’t go checking LinkedIn and other job boards, for example, why would they?


So, how do our services go over and above using an internal team?


What we aim to do is be an ambassador. It’s not just a matter of saying ‘ come and work with us’ and then presenting an opportunity. What needs to be developed is a compelling vision. Provoking curiosity is a start; they may not be looking but when something is attractive it cannot help but provoke a reaction and a need to look again. We start to understand their needs, who they are and what their future plans might be. That’s not just for 6 months but 3 years hence. It’s a subtle, carefully constructed and thoughtful approach to finding the right candidate. I don’t think that putting an ad up and waiting for a response will have the same effect. It’s important to question the efficacy of such a strategy rather than simply let the ad run for another three months. You can’t simply manage such a situation you have to create the right environment and showcase the opportunity to the most appropriate people. It's not rocket science but we do find that experience, knowledge, patience and time goes a long way and as independent recruiters we have plenty of these qualities ready to help you source key people for your business.


If any of this has given you food for thought then perhaps it’s worth having a chat about your potential options. If this is of interest then do give me a call for a no obligation discussion on +44 7793 526078. On the other hand you can Click Here to schedule an appointment directly with me, to suit your needs.