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How To More Easily Handle Hiring Through Prioritization

Jeremy Eskenazi's picture
Managing Principal Riviera Advisors

Jeremy Eskenazi is an internationally recognized speaker, author of RecruitConsult! Leadership, and founder of Riviera Advisors, a boutique Recruitment/Talent Acquisition Management and...

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Sometimes hiring is crazy busy with a multitude of job vacancies and a frantic need to fill positions immediately. Sometimes, it’s a much slower paced and you can work with the team as is. Regardless of what is driving the volume of hiring – the end of a quarter, event seasons, product orders, etc. – your company needs to come up with a plan of attack to bring talent into the organization and maintain a reasonable speed to hire against the expectations that have been set with your teams.  Some years create unexpected highs and lows in recruiting, and the challenge when hiring picks up quickly is that it is hard to turn the engines back on to full speed if you split your attention evenly across every job.

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When factors that are external to your company change, it often means your industry or the locations you operate in change at the same time. If you all slow down and then re-start hiring at the same time, there will be more choice for candidates, making your mission to attract the best talent to build your company tougher. Layer that on with all that you put into the candidate experience, making sure every candidate is kept up to date, receives clear communication, and you are training all of your hiring managers to play their role in securing talent, it quickly feels like there are not enough hours in the day!

If you are hiring for multiple positions and they are all taking up equal amounts of your time, you are missing out on the most important element of strategic recruiting:

Not every job is equally important! You must evaluate each job and spend your time accordingly.

Wow, that felt good to say, because it’s true and not everyone is willing to admit it. Yes, every candidate is important and should be treated with the same talent acquisition process you have developed to leave a positive feeling about your employer brand. No, not every job takes the same amount of effort or has the same number of specialists in the market to warrant spreading your time evenly to find them.

So, what kind of jobs need to be prioritized? This is where you, as an expert on your business, step into the recruiting consultant role regardless what area of HR or management you are in and start with the question, how valuable is this role compared to others? Here are four ways to assess job value and hiring prioritization.

  1. The job delivers on customer requirements and is usually customer-facing. This is important because it effects your bottom line (note this chorus starting!). Your business would be in trouble if you were to leave this role open for too long.
  2. The job drives direct revenue or pipeline for the company. This is important because it effects your bottom line. Driving revenue is not the same as saving cost. This role directly brings in revenue and helps drive demand for more revenue generating activities.
  3. The job is innovative or directly influence your products or services. This is important because it effects your bottom line. If the roles that make or deliver your products or services are vacant, this is a direct hit to your company’s potential to earn revenue.
  4. The job’s difficulty in finding in the market. Some roles are much harder than others to find talent for. Maybe the skills are very new, or they are very specific for your industry. It might be that the locations you want to hire in don’t have many local people who do that type of work or would be willing to leave their current role to consider joining your company. Do this research up front to know where to start.

Now that you’ve had a chance to think through these four top drivers, your hiring prioritization list is headed in the right direction. But wait, there is more!

Many companies focus on how to lower operating costs, or roles that help you eventually lower operating costs and those are important too. But not as important as feeding growth, so more time should be spent on the roles that effect your bottom line. Every company will have different titles and levels working on these tasks, so customizing your plan is important. The activity of looking at all your open jobs and deciding where to spend your time is the strategic part of ramping up hiring and making the best use of your time.

With your top jobs and the toughest to find well planned, you can then move onto your strategy and action plan. Knowing the WAY to find the talent you and prioritize that effort is important too. Not all searches are created equally.  Your efforts may include using a search firm, placing an ad, using referrals, leveraging social media, etc. These efforts all take time (and sometimes money!), so knowing where your biggest priorities are will help you decide what to approach first.

Prioritizing jobs sounds simple and it can be if you and your team who are involved in hiring new talent are taking this step. For those hard-to-find roles, make sure your team is prepared for the search. Take the time to train hiring managers, investigate HR process improvement, and invest in training for recruiters and those who touch your candidate experience in any way. Having an optimized recruiting function that knows which roles to focus on first, how to engage candidates for a consistent experience, and sets realistic expectations on the effort each role might take to bring into your organization will set you and your team up for success, no matter the hiring volume.

Jeremy Eskenazi's picture
Thank Jeremy for the Post!
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Moshe  Strugano's picture
Moshe Strugano on Jun 1, 2021

Great article. Your thoughts are absolutely correct. 

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