banner image

The Hidden Cost of Recruitment in a Post-Pandemic World

  • September 5, 2020

Covid-19 has re-shaped the way organisations are approaching the recruitment process.

In recent years, the talent ‘war’ in finding the right candidate from those available was the main barrier to making a great hire.

Now, there is a very different problem.

Furlough, redundancy, restructuring, and businesses pivoting in response to the pandemic – all of these are happening right now, and it is affecting business output and ultimately, the success of your company.

Add into the mix the need to recruit for a critical position, and you have the perfect scenario which is likely to result in masking the ‘wrong’ hiring decision.

We’re increasingly seeing the need for our recruiting services become realised by companies who recognise that trying to ‘go it alone’ is potentially harmful to their business.

Today’s blog is about highlighting the hidden costs of trying to recruit, without a dedicated recruiter, in a post-pandemic world.

Let’s start with the logistical challenges of hiring in a market now full of candidates.

Dealing with the Influx Of Candidates and Applications

Recent data shows that the number of roles that have been made redundant from UK companies due to the pandemic is in the hundreds of thousands – of course, it’s still early days, and the full picture won’t be known for some time.

But for now, this means one thing – a significant rise in the number of candidates applying for each role; and it’s not just those who have sadly already been made redundant.

The unsettling nature of the pandemic has meant that more people are thinking about their future and making big career decisions, either out of fear or the realisation that their company hasn’t been flexible this year.

But an influx of applicants has caused companies with vacancies to become overwhelmed by candidates – not an ideal situation when you need to make the ‘right’ hire.

Sifting through hundreds of applicants costs time and time is money. I was reading in the Independent recently about a trainee accountancy role which received 3,272 applicants.

Sorting through this amount of applications would have been incredibly time-consuming, yet each application must be considered if you are to make the ‘right’ hire – it’s a logistical dilemma.

Even when you spend the time individually reviewing applications, go through the interview process and recruit someone you believe is perfect for the role – in the current market there’s no guarantee that they will stay – let’s look at why.

Predicting Candidate Intentions

As I mentioned earlier, lots of candidates are going through a mindset change – the pandemic has caused people to evaluate their careers and their lives.

There is still a lot of uncertainty, and middle and senior managers with key skills and experience will be wondering what their next career move should be. This can lead to them applying for a range of roles, without really acknowledging what their long-term plan is.

Additionally, with the level of redundancies that we have seen occurring in the UK, someone with management skills looking for work will be essentially looking for something ‘right now’ rather than something ‘right’ for them.

There is so much change happening in the market right now; how can you be sure that the person you hire isn’t just waiting for the next best thing? Middle and senior management employees are still trying to find their feet in an emerging marketplace; many will feel pressured into taking the first job that comes along – unbeknown to you this might be your vacancy.

When you work with an experienced recruiter, you can guarantee that the candidate is right for the role.

A specialist recruiter works with candidates to place them only in roles that they know are suited to the long-term aspirations of the individual; that’s why good recruiters focus on talent and personality matching rather than someone, anyone, to fill a vacant role.

Which leads onto the hidden cost of DIY recruitment most companies don’t appreciate.

The Cost of a Bad Hire

In pre-pandemic times, the cost of a ‘bad’ hire was always a risk, but now it is even more likely to occur and here is why.

Organisations are now dealing with multiple changes within the structure or the nature of their business.

From changed teams because of furlough and redundancy and the broader shifts in remote work, disruptions caused by the wrong hire are more likely to happen and could be one problem too many.

Hiring the wrong individual has the potential to cause problems in two ways –

  • You hire someone who isn’t right for the role, or your organisation, and they cause a shift in the company culture, they are hard to manage, or they struggle with their position.
  • You hire someone who you believe is right and they leave shortly afterwards, leaving you under-resourced and at the start of the recruitment process again.

Now, more than ever, you must find the ideal candidate to meet your criteria – an individual who is not only right for the role and your company culture but can also help your business grow in what is potentially a challenging time ahead.

Using a specialist recruiter is a logical and time tested way to avoid the common recruiting challenges I have mentioned here.

Working with a Recruiter for Your Post-Pandemic Hiring Decisions

Working with a recruiter is not the same as going it alone but with a fee – if this were the case, recruitment wouldn’t exist.

A specialist recruiter can proactively find the ‘right’ hire for your position, rather than the passive type of recruitment that is causing businesses to be overwhelmed with applicants and the barriers to finding the right hire that this presents.

In the current climate, which would you prefer –

Being swamped with potentially hundreds of applicants and not having the time to separate the suitable ones from the highly unsuitable, or not getting any suitable applicants at all?

Be presented with a shortlist of a few highly relevant candidates with the exact skills, experience and culture fit that you’re looking for?

We are a specialist recruitment company, and we can help you achieve this second scenario.

To find out how we can locate for you the candidates you’re looking for – get in touch with us here.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, Nursing, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

Share This Post

banner image

More than money: what you need to know about the true cost of recruiting

  • November 12, 2018

A stable workforce means that things run smoothly and without interruption, so when a staff member leaves it can have a big impact on the rest of the business. Valuable skills and job-specific knowledge that has built up over time disappear with a departing staff member, leaving you in a tricky position to bridge the gap. These practical implications of recruitment can have just as heavy a cost to your company as the financial element.

That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help explain what the true cost of recruiting is to your business. From finances to how attrition rates impact your recruitment, we’ve considered some of the things you may not have thought about when it comes to recruiting.

Recruitment costs: facts and figures

To understand the true cost of recruiting, it’s useful to look at the facts and figures and what costs they refer to. When a staff member leaves, your business could find itself paying for everything from recruitment costs to the wages of temporary staff.

Research carried out by Oxford Economics suggests that it costs more than £30,000 to replace a staff member. Two main reasons for this cost are highlighted in the findings:

  • Firstly, the logistics of recruiting a new staff member and the associated costs that go along with that. For example, HR activity and the cost to the business of the interview process.
  • Secondly, the reduction in productivity while the new staff member gets up to speed. According to the report, it can take between 20 and 32 weeks for a new starter to reach optimum efficiency, depending on the industry.

The financial figures are striking of course, although it’s important not to overlook the bigger picture. Not only does a departing staff member result in a monetary cost to the business there is a range of knock-on effects:

  • HR spends considerable time going through leaving and joining processes, completing all the relevant paperwork as well as sourcing a replacement.
  • Management has to spend time arranging for the work to be covered, either by distributing it amongst existing staff or appointing temporary cover. There’s also the time spent away from everyday work conducting interviews to take into account.
  • The workload of colleagues increases and there is a general reduction in productivity as staff take time to readjust and the new person to settle in.

Not only is this expensive, it’s time-consuming: resources which could be used to retain staff are instead spent on finding a replacement. There’s the commercial element to consider also, as time and energy are put into recruitment which could be put to more effective use by serving clients, refining work processes, and developing new products and services.

Attrition rates and their impact on recruitment costs

Losing a well-established member of staff is undoubtedly a blow to your business, although it’s equally important to consider how attrition rates play into your overall recruitment costs. If you find that you hire someone only for them to leave after a short while, or if staff aren’t sticking with you for the long term, it can have a huge impact on your overall cost of recruitment. What’s more, if staff churn is causing disruption, then it’s unlikely that your workforce is operating at maximum productivity.

There’s a mixed picture on attrition across the board, with turnover rates varying by profession and industry. Research carried out by XpertHR shows that general management and admin staff has one of the lowest turnover rates at 3.1%. The second and third lowest rates were engineers at 4.9% and technology staff at 6.8%. At the other end of the scale, the highest turnover rates are amongst publishing and events staff at 17.7%.

Each individual industry faces its own specific challenges, however it’s important to remember that each departing staff member impacts on your business. So, while the turnover rate for engineers at 4.9% seems low compared to the 17.7% average staff turnover in publishing and events, it doesn’t necessarily lessen the impact. The need to source candidates with specific skills and qualifications can take a long time, which extends the period that you’re without a valuable individual and means that the optimum productivity of your workforce is reduced for longer.

Each individual industry faces its own specific challenges, however it’s important to remember that each departing staff member impacts on your business. So, while the turnover rate for engineers at 4.9% seems low compared to the 17.7% average staff turnover in publishing and events, it doesn’t necessarily lessen the impact. The need to source candidates with specific skills and qualifications can take a long time, which extends the period that you’re without a valuable individual and means that the optimum productivity of your workforce is reduced for longer.

And while positions such as general admin may have a lower skills threshold than engineering, making them easier to fill, staff churn is disruptive. Having a plan in place to attract and retain the best talent is always a good idea, and if you find that your turnover rates are starting to creep up it’s worth revisiting your employer branding. Perhaps something is missing, or not connecting with staff and candidates and a few small changes could reduce turnover. The important thing is to monitor and refine: stick with what works and change what doesn’t.

Why businesses benefit from using a recruitment agency

Knowing what will attract candidates, what will drive them away and what will help to keep employees is invaluable. And especially when it comes to attracting candidates in a specialist field, having the experience and know-how of a recruitment agency on your side can make a big difference.

Of course, using a recruitment agency rather than recruiting in-house incurs a cost. However, by making use of a partner with specialist skills, your staff are free to do what they do best, meaning that you save time and money in the long term. Placing the right candidate with your firm will also reduce attrition rates, meaning you spend less on recruitment than you otherwise would have done.

A recruitment agency will be able to personalise their service to the needs of your business, so you can choose exactly the level of involvement that suits you. What’s more, an extensive network of candidates will mean that your agent can think outside of the box and help you to consider candidates that you might not otherwise have done, giving you more choice.

If the true cost of recruitment is proving to be an issue for your business, perhaps we can help? Even if staff retention is something that your company has been struggling with why not give us a call on 01772 259 121? We’ve over thirty years’ recruitment experience and would be pleased to help.

You may also find out recent blog ‘Staff retention – worth the effort?’, of interest if you’re looking for some new ideas on how to retain your staff.

And please feel free to register your vacancy online, if you’re looking to recruit at the moment.

Share This Post

banner image

What to look for in a recruitment agency

  • June 19, 2018

As a business, one of the main challenges you’re likely to face is finding the employees that can help you grow. And to do that effectively you need to work with a recruitment consultancy. But with so many firms in the market, each offering to ‘revolutionise your people strategy’ or ‘find the talent that can make a difference’, what should you be actually be looking for when selecting a hiring partner?

  • A sector expert. You don’t want to waste your time outlining the hiring issues in your specific sector or what skills your ideal employee would have, you want an organisation that already knows what a good employee looks like and where to find them. A good way to gauge the level of expertise of a recruiter is to check their blog or social media channels. If they’ve been regularly commenting on the hot issues within the sector, then it’s likely they know what they’re talking about. Alternatively you could just pick up the phone and ask a few questions to the firm’s employees which should also allow you to ascertain their knowledge levels. 
  • A trusted advisor. There are far too many organisations that will simply nod their heads and say what they think you want to hear in order to secure payment. But the better firms will operate as a partner rather than just a supplier and won’t just say yes to everything. They’re also likely to take a real interest in finding out more about the culture of your firm and what makes it tick in order to find the best possible fit. 
  • A deep and detailed hiring process. Before committing to an agency, find out what its hiring process is, what they test, how they test for it and generally how stringent they are when reviewing potential hires. The best organisations will do everything they can to assess not just an individual’s ability to carry out their role, but also crucially how likely they are to stay with the job, rather than leaving after a short period of time and forcing you to restart the entire process all over again. 
  • A good reputation. This one may seem obvious but there is no excuse for not carrying out full and careful research on any organisation that you’re potentially going to work with. Have previous clients left glowing reports praising the agency? If not, why not? The best firms are likely to have at least some testimonials or sound bites reporting the positive feedback they’ve received from successful projects and if you can’t find any, you should begin to ask questions. 
  • Accredited. It may not have immediately leapt to the forefront of your mind but choosing an agency that’s a member of a trade body can make a huge difference. For one thing you’ll have a point of contact that you can complain to should the relationship turn sour, or if the firm acts in an unethical or unprofessional way. It’s essentially a guarantee that the firm will do things in the right way. Similarly, find out whether the business believes in professional qualifications and developing the skill sets of its own staff. Qualified consultants will possess expert knowledge on the legal, ethical and professional issues in your specific sector and will therefore be in a much better position to work with you.

What factors do you think firms should identify in a recruitment partner? Let us know your thoughts below.

Read our tips to getting the best from your recruitment provider or call the office on 01772 259121 to speak to one of our experts. To Register a Vacancy online, click here.

Share This Post