You know it is interesting watching the shift in recruitment strategies of Organisations in the aged care recruitment space. This shift is towards in – house recruitment – and it’s happening most times in the first instance when a hiring manager has a job to fill. If that in – house recruitment strategy fails, organisations will look at combining this in – house strategy with handing their jobs to a number of recruitment agencies, so they are all working on it at the same time. Less common these days is that the organisation engages a specialist executive recruitment consultancy to handle the assignment exclusively from start to finish.

The questions that have been on the tip of my tongue over the past month are:

Is your recruitment strategy market competitive and congruent with your employer brand?

  • Is your talent acquisition strategy the best possible one? Are you attracting the best possible leaders with this strategy?
  • Are you winning the race for recruitment of leadership talent? Are you even being competitive?
  • How is the way you are recruiting leaders affecting your Employer Brand?
  • Is the way you recruit brand congruent?

Aged Care Organisations are operating within increasingly competitive environments. How can organisations ensure their recruitment strategy wins the race for Leadership Talent? How can they ensure they are attracting the best possible leaders, those that will take their organisations into the future? How can they manage their recruitment strategy and assure that however they recruit, that it is brand congruent and protects their ‘Employer of Choice’ message?

So let’s take a look at the internal recruitment of jobs as your recruitment strategy. Most organisations adopt this strategy as a cost saver.

But you need to ask yourself a few key things, are you handling the process of recruitment well? Are candidates being cared for during this process, if not what’s this doing to our brand and reputation? Are you ensuring the best possible talent is targeted and acquired? Are you targeting the largest and best possible candidate market by purely advertising a job on a few industry – specific job boards? Or are you missing out on a whole 50% of the potential candidate market (ie. those that aren’t actively looking for a new job).

Our statistics over the past year show that over 50% of all jobs we placed were with candidates that we have sourced through executive search (head hunting). That is we ensure they are the best possible managers or leaders in the market place for your job by extensively searching the largest possible leadership talent pool in the country. These people aren’t trawling through job boards, looking for a career move isn’t on their radar. But how can you tap into these people when you are only sticking your positions vacant up on online job boards?? You need to ask yourselves what are you missing out on…

I can tell you that having a tried and proven recruitment framework that works, a recruitment capability and people who can do a combination of executive search and job board advertising, and a methodology that cares for candidates and clients and ultimately wins talent – these factors are paramount to get right in terms of deciding on your recruitment strategy. And then there’s the question – are the people doing the in – house recruitment well positioned to do a good job? There are now websites like www.glassdoor.com.au that are a combination of social media / job board. This website allows candidates to voice their opinion of their experience with your organisation when they apply and go through a recruitment process with your organisation for a job. If you do a bad job, the whole community knows about it. And what does a bad job of recruiting in-house do to your employer brand? What about if you aren’t acting quickly enough, are you losing good candidates at the 11th hour? Are you having to start again right when you thought you had someone? How’s this affecting your culture? What are your average time-to-fills? These are all the questions you need to ask yourself when looking at a talent acquisition strategy for leadership talent that encompasses primarily in-house recruitment. And what is this strategy that has been adopted doing for your leadership and management pool now and moving into the future? Ie. are we being competitive in attracting THE BEST SPECIALIST LEADERSHIP TALENT?

Then there’s number 2 strategy – you do the recruitment in house, but you let a few recruitment companies know you are recruiting this position, and if they have anyone ‘on their books’ they can let you know. Well this is messy, opens a can of worms, and results in an organisation having confused potential candidates in the market place. Recently we have met so many candidates who have been approached about jobs by up to two and three different recruitment companies, and have applied themselves directly to the company for the same job. So what message is this giving prospective candidates? They are losing confidence in your employer brand that is what! How could that many parties recruiting the same job at the same time possibly result in smooth sailing? Not to mention those tough conversations you need to have with the recruiter who thinks they presented the candidate to you first, but you are saying they applied directly to you. Who wins here? I don’t think anyone. And what about those shoddy aged care recruiters out there who are working in underhanded, unethical ways? They are representing your organisation’s brand and treading all over good candidates. Great potential leaders in your organisation. Are the ‘agencies’ you are getting to ‘flick you CV’s’ well respected for what they do – by you and by candidates, your future potential leaders? Is their service offering congruent with your employer brand, or the employer brand you aspire to? Are they the people you want representing your organisation in the industry? This is a very serious issue, and we’ve been skirting around the edges of this for some time, but it needs to be said. WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES. Take a look at your talent acquisition strategy here, is this the best possible strategy for recruitment of your management and leadership jobs?

Then there’s number 3 strategy – where you engage a specialist executive recruiter. Someone who knows the industry, works on a retained basis (ie. you pay some of the fee up front) and does a combination of advertising and also head hunting. They handle the process in a professional, ethical, robust way. These people are well networked, connected and have a good reputation for the service they provide. These people are the ones you need and want representing your brand. Having an executive search company tapping ‘sitters’ in the market place, those not actively seeking work. This strategy ensures you will have a wide enough candidate market to ensure you are winning the race for the best possible leaders in your sector. And what about the ongoing relationship you can foster with these consultants? They can feed you great talent, even if you don’t have a job vacant. Their reputation is congruent with your employer brand. You want them representing your organisation to future aged care leaders in the market place!

Everyone is cost cutting on external recruitment of positions. I get that. But you need to ask yourself what is the cost of an awesome leader / manager to your organisation if you split a $15K – $20K recruitment fee over three years (the likely length of tenure of a new recruit these days). That’s $5K – $6,500K a year it really costs you). A monetary figure well worth thinking about when it’s obvious you get a good leader. A good leader or manager will earn this back for your organisation within 6 – 12 months of their employment. A bad leader or manager will cost your organisation approximately $20K and then some.

This is serious food for thought. Your talent acquisition strategy not only impacts your organisation now, but will have wide-reaching implications to your leadership pool and organisational effectiveness in the longer-term. Have a think about your brand… are you protecting and building on its’ strength in the employer marketplace? Or are you damaging it with your existing recruitment strategy? How’s your leadership pool looking? Are you taking that leader just because they are the best candidate your in-house recruitment team could conjure?

I encourage you to sit back and have a long hard think about your talent acquisition strategies. Recruiting in house, recruiting with the ‘dodgy brothers’ or recruiting with executive recruiters – which will help you win the race on executive talent do you think?