“Get the right people in your team and show them what to do.”

If we look at HR from a ‘cycle’ point of view, the first step is getting people in to your business – otherwise known as recruitment and selection. What is recruitment, you ask? It is finding a person to fill a position. Good recruitment, however, is about finding the best person for each job. Remember that every recruitment decision you make is a financial investment – an investment in the future and sustainability of your business. So, you want to make sure it’s the best decision you can possibly make, right? (Rather than a poor or rushed decision just because you need to make one?)

In this chapter, we will show you what trends in the market affect recruitment; what the real costs to your business are if you make the wrong recruitment decisions; and how you can quickly learn the tricks of recruiting the best people into your business.


It’s clichéd HR jargon (and we try to avoid that as much as possible), but ‘the war for talent’ is continuous. What that basically means is, whether the economy is strong or weak, great people are always hard to find. In a strong economy, it’s all-out warfare between organisations to attract great people and keep them in the business. The recruitment skills and tricks you need in these times are about being creative with your employer ‘brand’ – like differentiating your pay structure, or promoting how you have unique benefits (see our Pay and Have Fun chapters for some ideas). Another important tip during a strong economy is to keep yourself informed about what is happening in your market so you don’t miss any opportunities to find a great employee.

In tougher economic times, there are more opportunities to find ‘average employees’. But you can’t be complacent or you will find that when the economy strengthens again, you will be stuck with the ‘average’ person that you hired because you needed ‘someone’. Plus they may not be able to meet the standards you need in a strong market to remain competitive. And, really, in tough economic times, you are still not going to find great people without doing some hard work – you will find average people much more easily. Why? Because companies will do everything they can to keep great people – in good times and in the tough.

Tougher economic times don’t mean that you should relax about your recruitment decisions. If your business had to make redundancies, wouldn’t you do everything to keep your best employee? So, during the tough times, rather than viewing it as an opportunity to scoop the cream off the top of the unemployment list, use it as an opportunity to fine-tune your recruitment skills. Find great people, get them into your business, and welcome them so that they become loyal, and love your business from the outset. This will make it far more unlikely that they will leave you when the economy takes an upturn. Hiring the best people in the first place also means less work for you in the long run – they are the ones who will do their jobs well and who you will be able to trust and rely on.

Another change in recent recruitment trends is the ‘people need companies’ mindset. At HR Gurus, we don’t believe that. If you think about it – companies need people. Where would you be if we took all of your employees away? You would be in trouble. Now, think about this. Where would you be if we took away only your 5 best people? In similar trouble, most likely. What if we then replaced your 5 best people with 5 mediocre people? What do you think would happen to your competitive edge? Gone, right? That’s why it is so important to find great people and keep them. Your competition can copy your products, your services, even your marketing slogans but they can’t copy your people – your team is unique to you. After all the hard work in creating your business, don’t you want to remain unique and ahead of the game? Of course you do.

The key is hiring the best people: people who will work to the high standard that you do. (Or, if you are brave enough and savvy enough – people who are even better at it than you.) Scary concept for some of you, we know – but if you have people in your team who can fill in any ‘gaps’ in your skills, your business will perform better and in the end, you will make more money.

So, to be an appealing employer and savvy recruiter, there are a few things you should understand about the recruitment market when you start looking:

Companies need people

If you don’t have great employees, you don’t have a great business. Great people can make mediocre processes, services, or products great – great processes, services, and products don’t make people great. Without people, your business wouldn’t operate or make you any money. So, remember, value your great people. You need them.

Talented people are the competitive advantage

Your great people will set you apart from your competitors who have just good people. Your people and your culture are something that your competitors can’t copy. So choose well, and choose with consistency.

Better talent makes a huge difference

A great employee will improve your products, your services, and your processes and add VALUE to your business. And, they will do it as part of their everyday job – because they are great employees! It will also mean that you won’t spend your time on people who can’t perform to your standards. Imagine being able to spend more time on growing your business!

Talented people are scarce

The ‘war for talent’ is real and it is going on right now. Great people are approached day in, day out by recruiters working for your competitors. Talented people don’t grow on trees, so when you find them, appreciate them, talk to them, and hang on to them.

People move around

Unfortunately, the good old days of one employer all the way from high school through to retirement is long gone. ‘You’re wrong!’ some of you may be saying, and sure, there are still employers out there with long (LONG!) serving employees, but it has become the exception to the rule. The thing is to remember that the recruitment market is fluid these days, and if someone has a number of two year stints at previous employers, don’t automatically hold it against them.

People expect more

As talented people become more in demand, the stakes increase. People are becoming much more savvy about what is on offer for them. Think about that when you are recruiting, and remember, the candidates you meet are the important people in the interview.

Stay tuned for our next part series…

From the HR Gurus Team!

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