Article: Managing a scalable recruitment agenda

Strategic HR

Managing a scalable recruitment agenda

A holistic, multi-dimensional approach with long-term focus is key to delivering on a scalable recruitment agenda.
Managing a scalable recruitment agenda

A scalable recruitment strategy is one that focuses on not just the present but also on meeting future human capital needs


We are the children of the upturn, that is, the 21st century. Yet we were moulded by the downturn created by the Lehman Brothers’ crisis worldwide. We have witnessed on one hand, the misplaced optimism when clients just wanted a pair of hands and didn’t care if brains came attached; and on the other, seeing thirty thousand kids unemployed as the sunshine sectors of BFSI, Retail and Telecom got shaken up by the rude realities of economics. All in good stead as the learnings have been invaluable and taught us a thing or two in managing scale while recruiting.

The challenges in India around recruitments are three-fold: (a) The challenge of matching – how does one connect demand with supply; (b) Mismatch – How does one repair supply for demand; and (c) Prepare – How does one prepare supply for demand. The government needs to end the dysfunctional era of employment exchanges and evolve them into career centers, make ‘Skill India’ a reality beyond rhetoric, create a virtual job marketplace connecting employers, youth and intermediaries under one roof. But the question is, how employers can gear up to hire for scale. This can be addressed through seven practices:

Recruitment should be a Board room priority: To hire the best talent and fast should be a strategic priority for any organization. Recruitment strategy needs to be integrated with the business strategy and a collaborative approach is required for it.

Broaden the pool for better results: A scalable recruitment strategy is one that focuses on not just the present but also focuses on meeting future human capital needs. Hence it is essential to aim at a wider network of sources, wider geographies, broader spectrum of traits and diversity.

Hire for core values than for roles: Organizations mostly obsess around just-in-time hires, which result in hiring for roles rather than for cultural fitment. Broad-basing on core values helps in building consistency in culture and creates a stronger foundation than hiring for the occasion which comes with its own set of baggage.

Leverage technology: Maximizing technology to reduce costs, improve matching, and enhance efficiencies across processes is important. Applicant tracking systems are helping tackle process leakages, pin-point accurately around ROI across sources, better scheduling and overall cost of hire.

Adopt Apprenticeship: Recruiters today look to hire the right person at the right time for the right role. This is possible by adopting ‘Apprenticeship’ as a long term pipeline building strategy for any organization hiring for scale. Learning is enabled within the workplace with very little disruption yet maximum impact and it helps in meeting skill shortages and lowering identification costs.

Recruitment Process Audit: Most organizations carry inefficiencies in the recruitment function which increases the cost to hire, time to hire and compromise on speed in a highly competitive marketplace. A core audit committee needs to be formed to carry out frequent audits end-to-end to identify leakages and weed out unwanted steps or those which can be substituted by technology.

Recruitment Process Outsourcing: One of the by-products of carrying out frequent audits within internal recruitment process in many organizations has been the adoption of Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO). The key benefits of RPO are in having access to a scalable recruiting capacity without creating unnecessary internal overheads. This also reduces costs, creates predictive capabilities, increases quality of candidates and helps in building an aspired employment brand.

A recent Harvard research suggested that 80 per cent of employee turnover could be linked to faults in the hiring process. Therefore, a holistic, multi-dimensional approach with long term focus is key to delivering on a scalable recruitment agenda people. 


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Topics: Strategic HR, #AQuestionofScale

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