It has been widely reported that the industry has been facing challenges recruiting enough skilled staff, so what can companies do to ensure they attract the best candidates possible?
Marc Harrison, Recruitment Manager at Focus People Solutions, the CV Dealer recruitment people, explained the difficulties that he has noticed: “Well it’s certainly true that there have been struggles and the CV Sector is not unique in that respect.
“It’s probably fair to say that any hiring manager is going to want to add the very best candidate they can to their team. Often though, the candidates who would be the best fit for their business, aren’t the ones who are most visible to them and actively applying for vacancies. Often you need to dig a bit deeper.”
Most notably, it’s the driver and service side of the industry that are struggling the most. Harrison commented on the latter: “Suitably qualified, experienced Technicians, are still in short supply.
“Some companies do a great job of growing their own with apprenticeship programs, the key for them is being willing and able to keep those newly qualified young people within the business with competitive pay, continuing professional development, and visible opportunities for advancement.”
To help solve the issue, businesses need to do everything they can to make themselves look attractive to candidates. Harrison has plenty of advice on how to achieve this: “Shout about your company’s successes, candidates want to know what it’s like to work in your organisation. Show them the career path and opportunity for growth (most people move because of concern over lack of opportunities for advancement), pay and benefits come a close 2nd (although 85% of candidates increase their pay when they move)*”
Finding The Right Staff
It obvious that businesses will want the recruit the right staff, but finding the time to locate the right people isn’t always easy – that’s where recruitment agencies can step in.
“If you’d rather your managers were using the skills and experience you hired them for to drive the business forward then using an agency makes a great deal of sense, and will save time and money,” explained Harrison. “The key is to work with a specialist who understands the sector and has relationships with the candidates you’re looking for. After all, a car sales professional isn’t the same as a Truck Sales professional.
“I know it sounds clichéd, but your staff really are your most important asset. The right staff don’t just do the job you pay them for, they’re ambassadors for your business. Whether they are in a customer facing role that has a direct influence on the way your customers perceive your brand. Or indirectly, in the way they talk up the company whether it be down the pub or on social media.”
Focus People Solutions
Harrison explained how Focus People Solutions can help both business and job seekers alike: “With a focus on personal service, we build lasting relationships with people and businesses.
“As a client, we take the time to really understand your recruitment needs and then find the exceptional candidates to meet the demands of your business. We build relationships with active and passive specialists across a range of functions in the CV Sector, creating candidate pools that are continually evolving.
“For candidates, we make a long-term commitment to developing your career, and proactively promote you to businesses you want to work for – regardless of whether they’re hiring.”
Importantly, Focus People Solutions stays in contact with businesses even if they are not actively recruiting. “I think that’s part and parcel of building the relationships we strive for to truly understand your business. That doesn’t happen overnight and the organisations that invest time and energy into the process will always yield better results,” said Harrison.
As a candidate that was once recruited via an agency Harrison has experience of both sides of the job industry. “I was recruited! (See, it works). A consultant talked to me about a recruitment BDM role. I liked the sound of the challenge, working with employers to understand their recruitment issues and offering a solution. As a 360 degree recruiter now, I get a great deal of satisfaction handling a brief from start to finish knowing I’ve introduced someone to a business who will have a positive impact on the bottom line and at the same time helped a candidate move on to the next stage in their career. What’s not to like!” he said.
Importance Of Being Prepared
The right candidates don’t just fall from trees, so businesses should always be on the lookout for staff even if they don’t have a position to fill. Harrison recommends this is the ideal time to talk to an agency: “The reality is that hiring managers usually have 101 other things that require their attention. I’d say it’s more important to have the sort of relationship with a specialist recruiter who knows you’re open to considering great candidates rather than let the competition snap them up.”
And it’s not just business that need to stay on their toes, obviously candidates need to make sure they’re prepared. Harrison gave his advice: “If you’re responding to an advert you’ve seen then before you hit the send button – stop, and read the advert again. Ask yourself if you have the skills and experience to match (most) of the criteria for the role and more importantly, does your CV reflect that.
“Take the time to research the company and the role and put together a Cover Letter that highlights why you’re a good match for the employer, and will be an asset to their business. If there’s anything you’re unsure of, speak to the consultant handling the role. They should be able to give you insights that can improve your chances of success or suggest alternative roles that may be right for you.”
The Future Of Recruiting
Using a recruitment agency is a relatively new trend in the employment world, especially turning to a specialist in the industry. Now LinkedIn could be a fresh way to recruit new staff. So will we see businesses changing their approaches to employment? Harrison commented: “The trend over recent years has seen a shift by employers towards specialist recruiters. The benefits of partnering with a recruiter whose knowledge and experience gives them an advantage in a competitive market will see the trend continuing. And whilst technology will play an increasing role in the recruitment business, attracting the best talent will always need that personal touch.”
*Source: LinkedIn Survey, Why & How people change jobs (March 2015)