Making sure your recruitment strategy falls in line with your business growth plans

8th June 2017

Amy Murgatroyd

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Most businesses plan to grow their business every year but does aiming for an increase in turnover mean you need to achieve this goal? We are going to run through all the things you need to consider when aligning your recruitment strategy with your business growth plans.

Be Flexible About Your Expansion

You can’t plan the number of staff you need to hire without knowing how much added work you are intending to take on. Try to increase your volume of work steadily, so you can plan when you need to find new candidates for your business. If your workload increases too fast, you can always look at recruiting a temporary candidate until you find the perfect candidate to employ full time.

It’s important to stay flexible with your plans so that you can progress as a business even if it is much slower than you initially wanted.

Be Prepared for Growth and Shrinkage

Whatever you forecast as your business growth is prepared not to achieve it. Not every business can achieve what they predict so it’s important to have a plan B as a backup plan.

Don’t hire for work you hope to come in. Be prepared to deliver on new contracts but don’t hire people in anticipation of hitting your stretch targets.

It’s also important to build the team for the business you aspire to be. You don’t just want staff that considers working for your business a job. You want them to buy into the fact that joining your company is now their career.

When recruiting for new employees make sure control costs by keeping your finger on the pulse of market pay rates to ensure you aren’t overpaying when hiring. Working with a recruitment agency will give you the benefit of their market rate knowledge and ensure you set the right budget to get the best talent.

Understand Your Team’s Capacity

strategic people recruiters

For a rounded view of your current position, blend your business plans with an understanding of your team’s capacity and how your billable rate is being spent. This is all about understanding work volumes, not checking up on people. Use timesheets, online time tracking systems to help you identify any issues.

If your team isn’t stretched, cross-reference development plans with new work to provide people with suitable opportunities to build their skills and experience.

By understanding what drives them you can help mould them into the person you really want and need them to be. Your team will be more likely to work late if it improves their skill set and a one-off performance-related project bonus could be a cost-effective way of getting new business completed. This certainly isn’t a long-term fix but it’s an option that could help you through a busy patch or when hiring new people.

Make Best use of Existing Employees

If you plan to add additional services to your business, conducting a skills audit will uncover any hidden skills within your existing team. It may be possible to use team members’ previous experience to deliver new business wins; if so, you will need to change people’s job roles to maximise these newfound assets.

Another way to free up expertise is to take administrative tasks away from people with specialist skills and allow them to get on with value adding work. Administrative roles are generally more cost-effective than technical roles, which mean you could save money and have a happier workforce too.

If you need to hire more senior roles, it’s good practice to promote internally. However, if you don’t have the right internal candidate or you want to bring a fresh face to your organisation, an external hire could be a better choice.

Understand the Competition for Roles

If you’re planning to hire new roles, then you’re in for some stiff competition as most likely your competitors will be as well. It can take months to find the right person, so it’s not always easy to resource a sudden increase in demand.

If you’re hiring in house then you need to plan six months in advance and then start looking around 3 months from the desired hire date.

A recruitment agency can significantly reduce timescales. We can quickly get you to interview stage and may be able to provide candidates who have recently finished contracts removing the need to wait for a notice period to expire.

Revenue per Head (RPH)

As you grow your business, you need to keep an eye on the revenue generated by each chargeable member of your team. To calculate your current RPH, divide your fee income (less direct costs like media spend) by number of fee-earning team members.

These figures give you something to aim for and can be indicative of headcount figures required. However, bear in mind that agencies in a growth phase often have a lower RPH figure. If your business is growing and you’re already hitting these RPH figures, either bottle what you’re doing and sell it, or check to see whether your team is under massive strain.

How to Target Talent

Recruitment talent

Level the field with your competition and ensure you’re using the right platforms to target new hires. LinkedIn is usually the most popular recruitment platform, followed by an ad on your website and networking. Of these approaches, the most successful is networking which proves the saying, ‘always be recruiting’.

Not everyone is great though at recruiting which is why we can help you. We are constantly in touch with our database of candidates to ensure we have the right talent in place when jobs open up. We make sure that you only see candidates and not applications, which saves time and money.

At Strategic People we can give can help find the perfect candidates for your business. By keeping a range of suitable candidates warm for speculative roles, we can make sure we are ready for when your business is.