Sourcing and screening – a perfect pair!

Blog_ScreeningA recent survey completed by The Needle in conjunction with the CIPD, to our delight, uncovered some excellent reasons for using video interview software over the next 12 months, but also highlighted a number of challenges faced by a wide range of companies (over 230) who participated in the survey.

The results were interesting and brought to light a number of issues that don’t seem to have changed too much over the years, but the most pressing issue that seems to have got worse with large and small companies, is the perceived lack of suitable candidates applying for each job despite the numbers of unemployed. So, is this a real problem or have employers simply not adapted by applying different sourcing and screening techniques to a changed market? And are methods such as the scenario of ‘ticking the box’ even relevant in today’s recruitment processes?

Our survey confirmed that many consider team fit, potential and transferable skills to be as important as industry experience and technical skills. So what needs to remain as an essential skill and what can be taught? It’s all too easy to go for the ‘industry’ experience. OK, accepted that some jobs are quite technical so there are certain skills that absolutely must need to be apparent. But there is the temptation as a manager, to choose someone who ‘kind of knows’ how to do the job from past experience. After all, they have to be a sure thing – right?

A great employee is made up of a lot of things and industry experience is just one of those attributes. With a skills shortage evident, the question above addressing essential skills vs training, is a question that businesses now need to overcome if they are going to fully staff their teams and deliver, and it all starts with smarter sourcing and screening strategies.

Sourcing starts long before the vacancy exists and that comes back to having a deep understanding of the positions that drive the business, and the employee type that fits both the role and the company culture. Building a strong brand and a great place to work, support the ease of attracting future talent as well.

But once the vacancy exists, it is no longer just a matter of posting a job on a job board. There are so many more technology-based tools available to attract talent, as well an oldie but goodie of mine – networking. The old saying, it’s not what you know, it’s who you know still stands true.

Once employers have their talent pool sourced, with potential in mind, they need to be wary of being too aggressive with their first level sift and take advantage of technology platforms available to them such as online assessment tools and video interviewing. These help gain a deeper understanding of a wider group of candidates. Doing all this before spending time and money shipping them in for assessment days or face-to-face interviews is the smarter way of recruiting.

But the last and most important point is this. If your aim is to fill all your vacancies based on everything I’ve said, you can pretty much well bet that the majority of the candidates that make your talent pool, will not tick all your boxes. So consider this… in order to take on candidates who have potential but may need training, you need a management team in place who are capable of up skilling their team and retaining that talent and that’s the bottom line. Taking this holistic approach will mean the cost of hiring is reduced dramatically.

But I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the subject!