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How the recruitment process changes as the culture changes

18/02/19
Posted by: Louise Plummer

It’s inevitable that in an innovative, forward-thinking business, change is evermore continual, from business intelligence through to market trends, a whole host of circumstances can influence change within a business and incite a different approach or direction to the usually mundane or routine tasks that you know off the back of your hand and approach time and time again with the same results.

Being resilient and able to positively react to change, particularly in rapid and unexpected situations, can distinguish a successful business from that of a floundering business.

One particular response to change within a business sits within the realms of culture and employees. People are, at the very bottom line, what makes a business the business that it is. That’s why recruitment is so important. To keep (or even achieve in the first place!) the culture that you want within a business, the people have to be right and have the same values and outlooks. It’s like they say – one bad apple spoils the whole barrel! So when change is afoot, it seems disparate to continue with the same talent attraction strategy and recruitment techniques that have previously succeeded, because surely you’re looking for something different?

Taking us back in time is a good example here.

In early 2017, TDM was a business of 6 consultants. It was apparent that all were successful, and that this success was coming in at a rate of knots. The solution to this was to increase the team, in both a support and billing capacity. Now, 2 years later, in early 2019 we are a business of 27, split between billing and resourcing consultants, and office capacities. As we have grown we have had to create roles that weren’t a necessity before, yet are now, and each time this has happened it’s been a learning curve. A lesson in the types of people that we want on board, who have synonymous values, alongside skills, capabilities and the wider business goals in tandem.

The recruitment process in turn has changed. It is no longer viable to have the same recruitment process for everyone, or even an off the cuff approach to interviewing and hiring.

The criteria has changed, because what we are looking for has changed. We need the best, forward-thinking consultants there are out there, who are hungry to develop and achieve more than ever before, particularly as the market becomes more competitive and even more saturated with recruiters. This ultimately means a different type of internal recruiting. We need to see from the start that consultants have what it takes to succeed and that they’re hungry for the right things.

But, its not just about hitting the suitability criteria in terms of skillset, previous billings and capabilities, it’s about our values and their values matching up; ensuring an all-round fit, and this can’t just be based off of the top dogs opinions within the business – we have to cast the net wider and get any potential new recruits to meet as many people as possible. The business set up allows for consultant to join a range of teams; each team has its own personality and fit and so whilst a potential consultant may not fit one team, they could be perfect for another, and it’s all down to the interviewers who meet them to read into this and recognise it.

We have moved on from recruiting with just one or two within the business interviewing, to getting as many of the senior team involved as possible, and also some of the juniors depending upon the role.

Consultants also go out onto the sales floor during their interview to really get a feel for us and how we work, alongside the culture and feel of the business with no airs and graces! Does it make the process longer? Yes. Does it make it not quite so clear cut? Often! But it works for us, and works for those interviewing with us too, with us consistently getting good feedback on the team, the welcoming culture and how they can see if they fit in or not. It’s like marmite – love it or hate it, it will either suit you or not.

Now we have a new team in the business, our estate agency division (Scott will be revealing all to you in next blog!), but it feels like we are once again making the ‘first hire’. It’s so important who we hire for the estate agency division – so the pressure is on! It’s not just about the culture and how they fit in, couple with their experience (both of which are crucial still!), but it’s also about how innovative they are – how they respond to the market and what TDM are trying to achieve by growing in line with the market.

At the end of the day, the true test is once people start with TDM and if they stand the test of time once the role really gets going. That is the one thing that can’t be predicted. It can be guessed at, and we can have a good go at doing so, but the likelihood is we’ll never get it right. We can do all the right things to ensure that we hire the best talent out there, but all workplaces are different, and whilst someone may really succeed in one place, in another they may not. We tend to get it pretty right the majority of the time, but of course, there are a few times when it doesn’t quite work out, and it’s about getting down to business, reviewing the hiring process and where it may have gone wrong, and starting again. As a business we are pretty on it with reflecting and accepting our mistakes, and growing from them, as well as always looking for the next innovative way to succeed and grow faster than our competitors, reflecting market change. I think this is where we tend to develop our edge over others and attract people. We’re not perfect, no one is, but we try hard to give everyone a fair chance with a fair welcome, and by evolving our recruitment process consistently we provide the opportunity for these fair chances as best we can.