“People are our most important asset” – Yeah sure they are!

Lego People for Recruitment

“People are our most important asset” – Yeah sure they are!

How often do you hear the phrase that “Our people are our most important asset”?

It’s probably becoming another overused platitude, so oversubscribed to, that the words lose meaning.

It’s also obvious that, if we are serious about people being our most important asset, that we are quite simply not reflecting this guiding principle in our recruitment modus operandi.  The method by which many businesses are going about securing the one thing they say they value more than anything else is inherently flawed.   Either that or I wonder – do businesses really want to recruit the best people for their businesses?  Are people really their most important asset? Or is this just something else that is being given a good old fashioned smashing of lip service?

So what is broken? Above all else it comes down to a commitment to spend time on not only understanding what it is you actually need in the first place but actually communicating that to the market either directly, through recruiters and third-parties or a mixture of all.

Businesses talk about winning edges.  We do.  What winning edges can we realise that will make us stand out and give us the edge over our competitors in a competitive market? I’d welcome your thoughts here naturally… Similarly, when it comes to recruiting the best people – your most important asset, particularly in a candidate short market; What winning edges do you have that will set your business apart in the War for Talent?  More importantly, what can you fix?

As a supplier of recruitment services to a number of niche markets, I must admit that PSL’s (Preferred Supplier Lists) and an approach to recruitment that, above all else is process driven, is something I find very frustrating.  It encourages inept recruitment and Recruitment Consultants to search for CV’s on a very impersonal and generalist manner, simply matching key skills to a job specification with little or no insight into the team the potential incumbent will be working with, the projects they will be working on and the culture of the business.  It does not take too much expertise to work on this basis and perhaps this is where the analysis of “Big Data” or, to throw it out there, Artificial Intelligence (AI), can play a role.

I suppose I find this frustrating as being kept at arm’s length limits the value we can provide to our clients and ultimately stops us doing our job as well as we can.  As a specialist recruitment provider to the Town Planning, Sustainability, Cleantech and Environmental industries, we want to be able to understand the individual technical needs of a client.  We want to be able to differentiate a brand in a busy market place.  When businesses need winning edges in the war for talent in a candidate short market, communicating culture and USP’s, overcoming potential objections, speed of response, negotiating of salaries through a third party and talking through specific projects the candidate might be working on and all help give one business an edge over another.  How can a business hope to come up trumps (not Donald) if they are not utilising their recruitment partners in the right way?

It’s an overused phrase but taking the time to understand needs and get the right people really is key.  I think it’s imperative that hiring managers and businesses take the time to meet with their recruitment partners and talk through exactly what they are looking for and why.  What’s more, some real thought should be given to how your business is different to another and how you can communicate that as part of the hiring process.

That’s exactly why we’ve been investing in social media and looking at video as a way to proactively engage with an evolving pool of talent.

If people really are really the most important asset and your business and you recognise the importance of attracting and retaining the right talent, surely it’s time you took some time out to make sure you are approaching things in the right way and hiring the right recruiter to do this for you.

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