Class is in Session: Identifying and Overcoming Recruitment Obstacles
On behalf of a client, I recently conducted an ‘Information Session’ for Education programme students at a local college. As you can see from the photo, it was a huge success!
I’m just kidding–the photo was taken prior to the start of the event. Turnout was reasonable. In addition to students, three members of the school’s Career Services team also joined.
During the presentation, I discussed my client’s mission, its core positions, as well as the recruitment process. I emphasised the importance of understanding the client’s compliance requirements (it’s a nonprofit, so it’s obliged to perform several background checks to insure that its clients are kept safe).
I talked at length about the various certifications required for those seeking core positions within the agency. This was my main reason for coming.
In examining the client’s recruitment process, it became apparent that a lack of proper certification was hindering its ability to hire staff in a timely fashion. In further reviewing the issue, we realised that many candidates didn’t know about these requirements. Since most new hires are current students or recently graduated, it made sense to begin to address the issue further up the recruitment pathway.
Data was important, as it gives an understanding of trends and patterns that could be reviewed for improvement opportunities. Use whichever tool that you trust in order to consistently gather, organise and present it.
While turnout wasn’t massive, the students were eager to hear my presentation. They took notes, asked good questions, as well as providing me with quality resumes!
Go where the problem is, and be an active part of the solution!
Equally important is that the Career Services team now has a clearer understanding of what the field demands in terms of compliance and certification. It was also an opportunity to develop a relationship with those directly responsible for helping students transition from school to their respective career paths. They now know to communicate compliance and certification information to the students.
In the story I shared, the recruitment challenge the client faced was identified and addressed by taking the following steps:
- Gather and review the data. Data was important, as it gives an understanding of trends and patterns that could be reviewed for improvement opportunities. Use whichever tool that you trust in order to consistently gather, organise and present it.
- Think beyond the organisation. It’s one thing to identify a problem, it’s another to address it where it exists. While organisations may feel that schools or other institutions should be doing a better job of preparing today’s workforce, that sentiment isn’t going to improve one’s headcount. Go where the problem is, and be an active part of the solution!
- Build relationships. As I mentioned earlier, I’ve begun to develop a connection with this college’s Career Services team (and many others). They are now (informally) a part of the client’s recruitment team. They will work with the client in supporting students to be better prepared, career-wise. And because of this information session (along with follow up actions) the client is beginning to position itself as an employer of choice.
Recruitment is difficult enough. Regularly reviewing and addressing the different variables that encourage or discourage success is important. When done well, it enables creative problem solving in order to reduce time to hire and elevates the quality of the candidate pool.
Auditorium image courtesy Victorio Milian.