If there’s one area which often sees businesses seeking the support of HR consultancy, it’s when they’re set on a recruitment drive.

Whether the intention is to recruit one, six or 600 people, managers often favour the opportunity to be supported through a hiring process in order to ensure they’re compliant and that they’ll make sound and swift choices.

But recruitment in the current climate is certainly a great deal more complex and potentially unnerving, given the fallout from so many months of lockdowns, economic uncertainty, and societal shifts in how work-life balance might be achieved.

While at one stage in the pandemic we were frequently hearing of scenarios where hundreds of people were applying for one bar job or driving role, now it seems certain sectors are faced with the nightmare situation of being able to fully open, but not having enough staff to meet customer demand.

Domino’s Pizza has said in recent days that it is urgently looking to recruit 5,000 cooks and delivery persons, while UK Hospitality confirmed at the end of May that the sector has a shortfall of some 188,000 staff.

It’s even been reported that bar and restaurant chains are paying staff or customers incentive bonuses to recommend potential employees, such is the desperate situation.

The common theme here seems to be that many who were in roles like bars and driving trades may either have returned to their original line of work after furlough; have picked up with studies; have returned to home countries and been unable or unwilling to return; or have decided that with the uncertainties surrounding locking and unlocking, or in order to achieve a better work life balance, they simply don’t want to pick up with their old careers.

All this of course poses issues for employers wanting to recruit quickly, and yet hasty hiring approaches can lead to poor choices and trouble with retention and/or disciplinary processes.

With all that said, what are the top pieces of advice for a manager eager to recruit without delay? Read on to find out.

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Be clear about who you need

Before you even start writing out the ad, think diligently about exactly what and who it is you need. Often, at times of feeling short on staff and resource, managers can incorrectly assume that it’s the same kind of role they need to fill, or that they have a particular number of personnel they need to achieve in one wave. Careful consideration can often make you realise you need a specific person at a different level, or more people working in a more flexible way.

Communicate the opportunities fairly and fully

Be sure to follow legal and also ethical approaches to how you recruit. Where will you advertise the post? Have you made internal staff aware of the opportunity? Which avenue is right for broadcasting the need? Have you considered the language of your advert or description, so that it is not discriminatory or hard to access?

Collaborate with your sector and community

Are you part of a membership body, a local neighbourhood community, or a town partnership with many pubs and hotels? Collaborating with some of these allies could be an ideal way of you sharing in the effort to recruit people together.

Know how onboarding and training might work

Be clear in your mind what will happen when that person joins your business. Are you going to also be the one who trains them or supervises them? Do you really have time for that? Who could be involved in onboarding? What will the impact be on your daily business?

Urgency doesn’t require a drop in standards

Just because you feel you’re in a rush, doesn’t mean you should cut corners in recruitment. Keep it legal, follow the right protocol, and make sure you’re getting someone you truly want for the role – rather than someone you feel is simply going to ‘get you by’ for the short term.

Probation to serve both parties

Always look at probation as being good for you as for the employer, but also for your employee. It will help them really know if this is a role they’re up for pursuing, and enable them to walk away before too much more time is given to training them and nurturing them.

Ensure expectations are understood

As with any relationship, it’s important you’re clear from the outset what you’ll expect from the new member of staff, and for them to have those expectations on their side too.

Disappointment will only lead you back to recruiting again soon.

Outsource support if the process becomes too distracting

Don’t feel you have to go through this process alone. You should, after all, be concentrating on the ‘day job’, so it may be better to outsource to a company like MAD-HR, if only to reduce your stress at a difficult and busy time and get the job done.

If you need any help, please call us today to speak to one of our friendly HR team members, who will be happy to help find you the right people for your workforce, as well as offer support for onboarding and probationary management.