According to a recent poll conducted by Corporate Research Forum, in conjunction with KPMG, almost half (47%) of businesses said recruitment forecasts for the next 12 months have not taken place in their organisations. (Source: CIPD)

A rushed recruitment campaign is likely to yield limited applications and poor choice of quality. With little time and huge pressure, it is unlikely that your decision will be a fruitful one. So what are the benefits of organisations being active rather than reactive, when it comes to growing and sustaining the most important asset in a business: its people?

Whether you are considering recruiting graduates, school leavers or experienced hires, the benefits of good planning can be reaped across the board.

A thorough plan will:

Allow time to develop a tailored approach to assessment
Implementing the right assessment tools will give you the opportunity to see how the candidates are likely to perform in your business. Taking the time to pick out the most appropriate tools to assess the skills you consider essential for the role is the key to filtering down to the most compatible candidates.

Ensure you find the best fit for the role and your company
It is not simply a case of matching the skills and capabilities of an applicant to the job description. Whilst this is certainly one element of the process, it is also necessary to uncover the motivations, goals and attitudes of the individual to find out if you are likely to work well together and be able to meet their expectations. The desires and expectations of a graduate are very different to that of a school leaver, which is once again very different to that of an experienced hire. Therefore, a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not suitable at all. Are you equipped to help the candidate achieve their goals? Are you willing to put them on that course they really want to complete? Can you show them how they could progress within the business? It is absolutely essential that you and your potential new recruits’ expectations are aligned and that the manager is prepared to mentor and nurture the incoming talent.

Improve retention in the long term
If you plan to develop your new recruits into future leaders and then they leave you, you are left in a very sticky situation. This is why nurturing and responding to your people is of paramount importance. Ensuring expectations are aligned and that there is a clear development pathway paved out from day one is sure to keep your people committed. Likewise, developing a good working relationship between manager and graduate is crucial. Unsupportive managers leave graduates feeling undervalued, whilst poor communication within a company isolates, and disengages the graduate employee. If organisations fail to engage their graduate talent right from the off, what is there to stop them from going elsewhere?

Allow you to plan the skill requirements of existing employees
We must also consider developing existing employees. Formulating a recruitment forecast will help identify the skills requirements of existing staff too. Actively building the knowledge and soft skills of your staff will allow your workforce to increasingly become more effective and successful.
It’s time to start forecasting recruitment as we would with other business functions. With demand increasing and suggestions that 95% of UK businesses need to recruit more staff, poor planning and reactive strategies could put companies in serious danger.