How to recruit the best talent before your competitors even know they exist

As an entrepreneur, you know how important it is to build your sales pipeline. The question, though, is how much effort have you put into building your talent pipeline?

Brendan McGurgan argues that sustainable business success depends on those who are about to enter the workforce or those who are working elsewhere to be creatively involved with talent. McGurgan is the director and founder of Simple Scaling, the former Group Managing Director of CDE Group and the author of Simple Scaling. While with CDE Group, McGurgan helped the company generate about $ 750 million in growing revenue and $ 75 million in growing profits from more than 90 countries.

When McGurgan first dug into the CDE Group’s recruitment process, he saw a responsive process led by a team that was already overly stretched, common to many fast-growing companies. He began to change the way the CDE Group recruited and employed about 700 people in 12 years in the role he used to transform the company into a large exporting business and achieved 25 times revenue growth.

Recruitment is not HR’s job

When McGurgan was hired in 2007, CDE Group was a fast-growing engineering company with one big problem: attracting great talent. Line managers could not keep up with the growth of the CDE group because they did not have the capacity to provide increasing workload.

McGargan wanted to find the root of the problem: “If you fail to attract great talent, it almost always depends on one of three things,” McGargan explained. “Your culture is incorrect, your hiring process is not working or your employer’s price offer (EVP) is not working.”

McGurgan knew it wasn’t culture, because that was the part that attracted him to the company in the first place. When he began exploring their recruitment processes, McGurgan found an erroneous distribution of responsibilities that is common in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“Typically, recruitment falls within the remit of HR, which tries to fit it as a kind of secondary function,” McGurgan said. “It’s a big mistake, but there’s an easy solution to that.”

Consider a full-time employer

Recruitment is one of the most important functions of a scaling business, McGargan explains, so you need to get it right. The biggest gift you can give to a very thin stretch HR team is a full-time, dedicated employer. If you can’t afford this role now, there are other options.

“You could be involved with a local employer called RPO, or outsourcing the recruitment process,” McGurgan said. “Agencies hire resources, but they’re based on your business. It’s a service that many large recruiting agencies offer.”

Once you become an employer, you can create a resource plan for the future. There is no magic formula for figuring out how many people you should accept. The important thing is to be realistic about how long it will take them both to find the right person And Develop them as a valuable contributor. Also keep in mind that too many hiring or the wrong hiring response can be detrimental to everyone involved.

“When you’re looking to the future to establish your needs, factor in things like upcoming projects,” McGurgan advises. “You can see your plans for expansion into new sectors and new areas, as well as predict changes in those sectors.”

Another tip given by McGurgan is that if you start to achieve high growth and profit, consider the goal of employee-per-income or employee-per-profit. This would be a sweet spot for the metric. Lots of people and it becomes very rare. Very low and you risk team burnout.

Think differently about hiring

Outside of how many people you should hire, work with your employer to determine how you will find the people you need. Here’s your guess challenge. Does a new recruit really need previous experience? Can you retrain people? Can you recruit new recruits from universities and colleges?

“As my team and I went through this process, I realized that there are approximately 2,000 unfinished technology roles in Northern Ireland alone,” McGurgan said. “And yet, despite this shortcoming, the hiring of a software engineer without at least a software degree has not been heard of.”

So McGurgan sent a blanket email to all colleges in the area asking about their higher national diploma qualifications and apprentices. It kickstarted what has now become a new relationship with Newtownab’s Northern Regional College, which has benefited both their purpose and the CDE group.

Northern Regional College wanted to establish strong ties with the industry, while McGurgan wanted to expand his company’s talent pool. Together, they identified the students most likely to meet the needs of the CDE group and created an online psychometric test, which they offered to 60 course participants. The top scorers were invited for a day-long interview and evaluation, after which the top five were offered jobs.

“For the next five years, we had 100 percent recruitment from that internship program,” McGurgan revealed. “Every candidate was polished, impressive and interested.”

How can you build a strong talent pipeline?

With clear goals and some creativity, the McGurgan and CDE groups have been able to partner with the education sector to develop something more systematic that has added significant value to their talent magnetism. The problems McGurgan once saw have diminished significantly.

“Talent is shrinking and skills are changing, so you’re creative and don’t be afraid to experiment,” he said. “But first, you must be clear about what you’re looking for.”

While this may not be an educational partnership, ask yourself how you can start thinking differently about hiring. To get started, make sure the HR is not being loaded for hiring. If they are, hire an in-house recruiter or find an RPO in your area who can provide you with one. That one step alone will go a long way in fulfilling your talent pipeline.

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