Workforce planning – there’s a whole function of business dedicated to it, some (in that field) may even call it an art. Even if you’re only looking at onboarding a single salesperson (or any employee for that matter) – you’ll find the process of recruiting a lot less stressful (and a lot more successful) if you plan out your recruitment strategy before you commence.

Why the need for a well-planned (and executed) recruitment strategy?

You’ll know when to start looking

The process of finding the ideal person for a position – whether you’re using an agency or sourcing someone yourself – will almost always take longer than you want it to. And often times, that is because you’ve started looking well after you should have. To go to market, and engage with both active and passive candidates, screen them, arrange and conduct interviews, reference and other background checks can take weeks; sometimes many, many weeks. Add onto this what may be a 4-week notice period, and all of a sudden you can be looking at a start date of 2 – 3 months after you initially started your search.

You’re more likely to get the person you want

Not to mention those candidates you may lose during a poorly planned recruitment process. I recently had a client conduct a first round interview, which by their own feedback went exceptionally well, advise they would like to conduct a 2nd interview in 3 weeks’ time. In this instance, there was a somewhat valid reason for it, but fortunately we were able to work our way around it. I see this happen all too often, and what inevitably happens is when you want to see the candidate for an interview, they’ve been picked up by someone else (hopefully not one of your competitors)

You don’t want to look disorganised…..

When a company tells a candidate there is an urgent need for someone in the role, and it is ready for an immediate start, then takes weeks to organise interviews or other steps in the process it can reflect very badly on the company, as an employer, making them look disorganised, unstructured and in some cases inconsiderate of the fact that their candidates are looking for a way to make a living.

… or arrogant

Even more detrimental than looking disorganised, it can sometimes come across as arrogant. I have, more times than I care to remember, heard comments like “well if they’re not prepared to wait for us, then they are not the right kind of person to work for us”. Ironically, often the person they want is a proactive person, who can make decisions.

There will always be problems and situations that arise that can slow the recruitment process – sometimes these can be sidelined and other times they need to be waited out – but you will find the process must less stressful if you spend a few minutes planning out how you’d like the recruitment process to flow. Allow time for, and where possible try to schedule dates for:

  • an advertising campaign
  • candidate screening
  • a series of interviews (if multiple people are to be involved in the interviews, discuss with them early in the process when they will all be available to attend)
  • making an offer and possible contract negotiations
  • it may also pay to allow for potential notice periods of up to 4 weeks

…. doing this will give you a better idea of when to commence your recruitment process. Obviously, if someone hands in their resignation letter and walks out, your process may start there and then, but if it is a planned hire, take some time to really plan it out.

In the end, you’ll be glad you did.

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