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Why good strategic hiring should be a marathon rather than a sprint

Why good strategic hiring should be a marathon rather than a sprint

about 1 year ago

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With skills shortages creating so many challenges for growing businesses in HVAC and building services, it’s easy to see why hiring managers could be tempted to cut corners during the recruitment process. As business critical roles lie vacant, any candidate might appear at first glance like an oasis in the desert.

Of course, there are some things you can do to speed up the hiring process but there are certain steps you should dedicate extra time to. Good strategic hiring is about quality rather than speed. Here’s our guide to pacing yourself for a well-run recruitment race.

Be clear about the skills you want and the role you’re hiring for

Target your recruitment carefully so that you attract the right candidates in the first place and save yourself valuable time. Don’t simply update an old job spec and advert in your rush to publicise the vacancy. It’s likely that the role requirements have changed since you last recruited for it. This is the stage where it pays to take time so you can really think about the person you want and the background you’d like them to have. The more specific you can be, the easier it is to identify candidates who meet your criteria (or who definitely don’t).

Make it as easy as possible for candidates to apply

This may sound like common sense but you’d be amazed at the number of job adverts that don’t give information like essential and desirable qualities and contact details for candidates to make tentative enquiries and ask further questions. Think carefully about how you’ll promote the job too. You might want to advertise it within professional organisations or industry specific publications as well as job boards, LinkedIn and your website. Consider engaging a niche recruiter like Thornhvac with experience and contacts in your sector. You can read more about our tailored recruitment services here.

Try recruiting passively

Passive recruitment is a term that is used for attracting candidates who may not be actively seeking a new job. This is where the expertise of our specialist recruitment team can really add value to your strategic hiring process. We have relationships with experienced sales professionals and engineers across commercial heating, ventilation, air conditioning and building services who may be tempted by the right opportunity, even if they are not proactively checking available vacancies. We can also help to streamline the hiring process by talking to possible candidates who we feel would be a good cultural fit with your organisation.

Plan your interview process carefully

Using a recruitment specialist allows you to cut out the initial screening interviews. We do that for you, leaving you to focus your attention on planning the next stages of interview and assessment. It is worth taking your time to prepare detailed interviews. Think carefully about what you really want to know from each candidate. Include questions that will bring out their soft skills and give you a good idea of whether they’re a cultural fit for your organisation. Believe it or not, most poor hiring decisions are made because there wasn’t enough focus on soft skills and fit during the interview process.

Remember too that some candidates present well at interview but disappoint in the job because of a weakness in their implementation drive that is not easily visible in interview. Psychometrics and work based references can help here and Thornhvac provides both.

Once you’ve found your ideal candidate, stay focused. The end is in sight but you still haven’t reached the finish line. Make sure you keep them engaged between offer and start date and plan their onboarding carefully so they feel like they’ve made the right decision.

If you’ve found this article helpful you might be interested in some of our other resources. We’ve written this article about the best interview questions to ask a candidate. We’ve also written this useful blog which gives some advice on how not to lose a candidate between offer and start date.
For specialist support with strategic hiring contact our recruitment team on 0115 8714777 or email