How to identify your hiring needs


​Hiring is an exciting time for every company. You’re scaling to the extent that you need to hire more team members – congratulations! Hiring can also be a somewhat stressful and overwhelming experience for companies, especially if you’ve got a smaller team. After all, the people you take on board make or break your company, so it’s important to ensure you’re choosing the right candidates.

Your employees help your company grow to its full potential, they form the company culture, and you talk to them for 8 hours a day! Before you post your latest job description on LinkedIn, take a step back and work through an evaluation of your hiring needs. This will ensure that you’re setting your business up for success by landing on the perfect candidate who’ll hopefully want to stay working for you for a long time.

In this blog post, we explore how to evaluate your hiring needs using an easy-to-follow step-by-step process.

Audit the current situation

Before you can start identifying your hiring needs, it’s important to take stock of your current work situation. Conduct an audit to work out what your employee landscape looks like at the moment. Even a simple Excel document will do – the goal here is to take stock and identify gaps, rather than conduct very technical research.

Are there any existing problems?

Ask your team leaders to report back to you with any existing problems they’re facing. This could be anything from employees having too many tasks to handle, having to work overtime on a regular basis, or lacking team members with special skills. Often, these issues are underlying rather than glaringly obvious, so it’s necessary to take a step back so that you’ve got the space to identify problems. Conducting an audit like this on an annual or biannual basis will ensure you’re always up to date with your company’s employees, and that you’re aware of areas in which you need additional resources.

Do you have a high turnover of employees?

Being aware of your average employee turnover rate is also important, especially if you’re a more established company. Do people tend to stay with you for 18 months, or have many of your employees settled with your company for over 5 years? Your turnover rate will allow you to better assess your hiring needs and the speed and regularity with which you need to be looking for new team members. In addition, if your turnover rate is particularly high, you might want to consider the reasons for this, and see if there are any internal adjustments to be made.

What kind of team members do you have already?

When considering hiring additional employees, it’s important that they’re a good fit for your company on a cultural level. The best way to ensure this is to analyse the existing company culture. Do your employees tend to be introverted and calm, or very outgoing and loud? Sometimes, a wide variety of employees can benefit your company, while in other instances, an employee who’s very different from the rest can cause a jarring effect on your company culture. What type of activities does your team enjoy? Do they only socialise during office hours, or do they also see each other on the weekend? Knowing the answers to these types of questions will help ensure you prevent an unfit hire.

Set your hiring goals

The next step of the process is to decide exactly what your company needs and when. The audit should have highlighted some areas in which your company would benefit from additional support, so make sure you’ve analysed the results of your audit, and have noted down the gaps and issues that have arisen.

Where are the gaps in your company?

Your team managers are best placed to identify gaps. Perhaps the marketing team is always stressed because they’re juggling too many balls at once. In this case, your company could consider hiring a social media manager solely responsible for your company’s online presence, freeing up the rest of the team to focus on a bigger-picture marketing strategy. Maybe your tech team is overworked because they don’t have the skills necessary for your latest project, so they constantly have to learn on the job. If so, consider hiring someone – either on a temporary or permanent basis – who has the exact skills needed to fill this gap.

Write a list of your hiring goals

In the search for a new candidate, it’s easy to stray from the exact requirements you have. The focus should be on finding someone who can do the job at hand, not necessarily someone who has already held that exact same role. Your list of hiring goals could include “reduce the marketing team’s overworked hours by 70%”, or “free up 2 hours of weekly admin time from senior leadership”. These goals will help streamline the hiring process and ensure you stay focused on what your company really needs. The added benefit of identifying hiring goals is that it will be easier to determine and secure the budget needed for this additional staff member, and will prove to senior management that you’ve given the situation the required level of thought.

Decide which type of contract to offer

By now, you’re aware of the current landscape within your company, you know where the gaps lie, and you know what you want to achieve through hiring a new candidate. The next step is therefore to decide which type of contract you want to offer. There are pros and cons to each type of contract, both for the employer and the employee.

Temporary contracts

The primary benefit of temporary contracts is the flexibility they provide. From a company’s point of view, employees can essentially be hired by a recruitment agency to do the work at the company. This is a perfect solution for companies who need staff at short notice, but don’t yet have approval for additional headcounts. You can’t put people on your own payroll yet, but you do need the staff. This is also a good solution for companies who only need employees for a limited period of time, for example, if you’re working on a particularly technical or specialist project.

Permanent contracts

If you’re able to offer certainty for a period of time, or if you’ll need employees to carry out this role in the long term, a direct contract is a better bet. Many candidates are looking for security in their employment and might consider applying elsewhere if you’re only offering temporary contracts. Direct contracts also help candidates to understand that your company is really serious about finding someone to fill this role, helping to build trust and loyalty.

Finalise the details of your offer

The final step when it comes to evaluating your hiring needs is finalising the details of your offer. This is a crucial step before you begin posting your vacancy on job boards and social media. In order to attract the best possible candidates, you need to ensure the offer is enticing. You’re not just filling a vacancy, you’re convincing someone to come and work hard for your company – it’s a two-way street. Don’t just think about the salary on offer. How many holiday days can you offer? What’s your company culture like? Do you have quarterly team outings or an annual team trip? What additional benefits are there?

In order to streamline your hiring process, it’s a good idea to gather feedback from your latest hires within your company. Perhaps they feel an aspect of the process could have been smoother, or there are new recruitment trends the hiring manager could utilise. Maybe the job description isn’t clear enough, so it doesn’t stand out enough on LinkedIn. You might also choose to ask your most recent employees what they wish had gone differently, and why they were drawn to apply to this role. All of this information will help ensure your hiring process is successful, and your company finds its dream candidate.

It may feel like the hiring process is overwhelming, but the best way to beat overwhelm is to break a plan. This article provides you with the steps you can follow in order to properly identify your recruiting needs – the first step to finding the candidate you need. If you’d like more information on the recruitment process, get in touch with us.

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