Why should you be more Hare than Tortoise when hiring?


Tuesday 5 March 2019



Despite all the uncertainty in today’s current climate, the UK jobs market for specialist positions is still extremely competitive and fast moving which is why Ben Lurton, a consultant at Pure, is advising employers to be agile like a hare, and not tortoise like, when it comes to competing for top talent.

Ben explained: “As an example, a candidate I am currently working with was put forward for redundancy a week ago. Having immediately put out feelers about new roles, they are already at various interview stages for five different potential positions. This is becoming increasingly common. When a good employee comes on to the market, we often find a range of businesses keen to hire them.

“This is where the Tortoise and the Hare come in. It has long been believed that rushing any kind of process can lead to inaccuracy and poor decisions. Whereas a well thought out and thorough process will create a more robust and reliable outcome. While I agree with this in principle, when the competition for high calibre employees rises, as it has done, it is often the first organisation to the finish line who will win the race to employ the top talent. There needs to be a balance between being agile and quick, without being rushed. Here are some tip tips to achieving this.”

Be confident in knowing what you want
Make a conscious effort to always be aware of the additional skills and expertise your organisation could benefit from. Where are their gaps now? What resources do you need to achieve your business objectives and future growth plans? In knowing this, you will know when it is time to act quickly if the right person comes along.

Have a concise yet effective hiring process
Make your hiring process appropriate for the specific role rather than having set company-wide recruitment procedures for every position. This means you can just choose the appropriate processes to gain the information you need to make a good hiring decision quickly. For example, if team fit is paramount then include a staff meeting within the interview process. If the role is more centred on knowledge and experience then organise a panel interview, appropriate tests and request detailed CVs.

Make yourself available
Always remember that another organisation may have been able to meet someone on the Monday, do a second interview on the Tuesday and have made an offer by the Wednesday afternoon. If you don’t prioritise making the time to meet with high-quality candidates, they could already have accepted another job before you have even read their CV. Making yourself available shows commitment. It will make candidates feel wanted and will demonstrate that you are eager to get them on board.

Understand why the candidate wants to move
Get a clear understanding as to why the candidate is looking to make a career move. There are many different reasons it could be, from increased progression opportunities through to a better work-life balance or a desire for a different organisational culture and working relationships. Understanding the reasons why will help you to create the most attractive job offer. It will also help to you spot if you need to be wary about the motives behind the move. For example, if it is mainly money orientated, there is a strong possibility they may get a counter offer from their current employer and end up staying anyway.

Be prepared to compete in different ways
Whilst money shouldn’t be the only priority for any good candidate, they will be aware of their market value and what their knowledge, experience and expertise is worth to an organisation. Be prepared to offer a fair and competitive salary, and also look to compete in other ways. This could include employee benefits and elements which impact on a candidate’s working lifestyle, such as the organisational culture, working environment and flexibility. People realise that they can still be ambitious without having to be in an office for over 12 hours a day. Look for ways, suitable to the role, which could give the candidate more time outside of work to do the things that are important to them. For example, reducing the time they spend commuting by offering the option to work from home some days or the offer of working flexible hours.