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Continuous Recruitment or Why You Should Always Be Accepting Applications

Mar 7, 2008
As human resources increasingly become the key to business success it is essential that ownership and management look at ways to optimize the recruiting process.

One of the most useful concepts in successful human resources is continuous recruitment.

Recruiting is not easy but many recruiting problems can be avoided by using continuous recruitment. Most companies wait until they need employees before they look for them.

Continuous recruitment makes searching for good employees part of everyday operations.

Continuous recruitment simply means looking for new and better employees all the time and not just when staffing needs are high. This means that as a manager you must always know your staffing needs and give priority to your most important recruiting needs.

If you do not know what you need you may not realize it even if you find it.

Don't forget to look at those areas in your staffing that are 'OK' but could use improvement. The goal is to use the recruiting process to help determine and address all of your company's staffing needs.

Continuous recruitment is only effective when used with the other parts of your hiring process; ads, applications, the interview process, etc. All efforts are focused on the applicant and any obstacle in the process hurts your results.

It might help to view your recruiting efforts as a "treasure hunt" that never stops.

Even if you find a good applicant and do not have a current position open you should recruit the applicant as if you did. In today's volatile markets conditions can change rapidly and that includes staffing needs.

Usually the best time to recruit is when demand for employees is down in an industry. This means that layoffs or hour reductions are common with many businesses.

Employees, sometimes good ones, are most likely to look for employment at this time. This means keep your recruiting confidential as always since the best applicants are often employed, quite possibly with your competitor.

'Accepting applications' is a good way to start. Accepting applications does not mean every applicant gets an interview; accepting applications means that every applicant gets a chance to fill out an application.

Don't forget that resumes are not legally binding documents but a signed employment application is.

One goal should be to build a database of solid applicants for a 'rainy day'. Many successful businesses have 'back-ups' for every position especially if they are competitive in their industry. Sometimes when a sudden staffing need arises several phone calls can result in a timely and appropriate hire.

Current employees may be worried when your company begins continuous recruitment. Tell your employees you are recruiting for anticipated growth and improvement.

If they are fearful for their own positions tell then they have the opportunity to improve their performance. After a time they too will become accustomed to continuous recruitment and for obvious reasons may even improve their own individual performance.

Do not neglect any source for potential employees. These sources include current employees, colleagues, vendors, etc. Simply let them know what you are looking for on a regular basis.

Consider using a finder's fee for those really tough hires especially for difficult to find technical and skilled positions.

Find sources that are likely to be in regular contact with the types of applicants you need and stay in touch with these contacts. See if you can do them a favor so they will 'owe you one.'

If you have many applicants and do many interviews do not neglect the opportunity to find out about your competitors, industry and other important information.

Continuous recruitment helps you stay in touch with the local job markets and many applicants can be very articulate about how they are managed and are willing to share that with you. Continuous recruitment also gives you feedback on how competitive your company is the overall job market.

To get good at continuous recruitment you should practice, practice, and practice some more. Like anything recruiting is a skill that can be improved with practice.

Don't forget to follow up and analyze why a poor hire did not work out or why a good prospective employee chose another company. Take the attitude that each interview you do will benefit your company in some manner.

And be patient. Patience is a big plus when "fishing" for talent. This is harder to do if your need is acute.

Just remember that recruiting gets easier when you improve and streamline the process. The most difficult stage of continuous recruitment is the beginning stage.

Recruiting can determine success or failure. Continuous recruiting can give your company a real competitive tilt toward the success you seek.
About the Author
Jack Deal is the owner of Jack D. Deal Business Consulting. Related articles may be found at http://www.jddeal.com/blog/business and http://www.freeandinquiringmind.typepad.com
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