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Recruitment Best Practice for Small to Medium Sized FMCG Businesses

Written by: Jonty Hadfield - Caselton Clark
Published on: 19 Oct 2017


We work with FMCG businesses of all sizes – from very small, regional outfits to the household names you find on your supermarket shelves and in your local pubs. It has become increasingly apparent that small to medium sized businesses share the same problems time and time again when it comes to hiring.

There are several ways to minimise the risk posed by the above challenges, and most of them are within your control. In this blog post we are going to focus on two areas in detail, creating a repeatable and scalable recruitment process and using internal measures to improve your candidate attraction.


Overcoming these common challenges

There are several ways to minimise the risk posed by the above challenges, and most of them are within your control. In this blog post we are going to focus on two areas in detail, creating a repeatable and scalable recruitment process and using internal measures to improve your candidate attraction.

  • Creating a Clear Recruitment Process

Time and time again businesses approach us for help filling their hard to fill roles. They have tried their own recruitment process and failed to find people of sufficient quality. When we are gauging potential pitfalls, we are always shocked by the lack of a clear process. In order to set yourself up for success you should focus on having clearly defined roles in the process, a structured process and clear communication throughout.

  • Clearly Defined Roles

As is the case in many areas of business, laying the right foundations are essential to ensuring success. In hiring, this starts at the very beginning, when deciding who in your organisation is responsible for what. It is too easy to say the HR or Recruitment professional in your business is in charge, but even with a dedicated team member the roles and expectations must be fleshed out.

Possible Roles in the Process

  • Job Specification Owner – responsible for the responsibilities of the role.
  • CV Manager – receives all CVs and does the first review based on the criteria.
  • Recruitment Contact – thoroughly briefs recruitment agencies and manages expectations and contact with them.
  • Competency Interviewer – Conducting the first round of interviewing based on the candidate’s key competencies.
  • Technical Interviewer – Conducting the latter interview based on drilling down into the competencies and skills needed to be successful in the role.
  • A Structured Process

Creating an accurate job specification is a crucial factor in a successful recruitment process. Without clear criteria of the requirements needed to be successful in the vacant position it will be very difficult to decide whether candidates can perform successfully in the role. If employers don’t take enough time specifying the requirements the goalposts will often change when you move further down the line in the process. This could result in an unsuccessful hire or no hire at all, meaning a restart of the entire process. Considering the cost of hiring and the cost of having a vacancy, this is a considerable problem.

There should be clear guidelines in place when reviewing Direct CVs. Speed and communication are important when getting back to direct applicants. If you are receiving candidates through a recruitment agency this initial vetting and review of candidates should have been conducted to a high standard, meaning that they should meet the required standard for progression.

You should have an agreement in place about the number of interviews that will be conducted before a decision is made on the candidates. It is also important that the interviews are conducted by the designated people in a similar manner to ensure accurate benchmarking of suitable candidates. Remember to let the candidate speak, allow them to qualify themselves for the position and then, if they are suitable, sell back to them all the merits of your business.

  • Clear Communication

Without clear communication throughout this process you are going to come across a number of difficulties. You might find candidates disappear because they aren’t sure they are still in the process, you might find you have misunderstood the expectations of the candidate and the process can easily unravel.

  • Internal Measures to Improve Candidate Attraction

Budget considerations are always a key constraint for SMBs. However, while the increased competition over talent drives recruitment costs up, networking and connectivity can converge to a constructive approach to hiring new people. Companies are able to make the most of their recruitment campaigns by:

  • Recruitment Ambassadors - Have an ambassador policy in place, with benefits such as referral fees, will see companies attaining access to real talent on a lower budget than with traditional recruiting campaigns. Referred employees also have a longer tenure and higher job performance [1], making this one of the most cost-effective methods of recruitment.
  • Sourcing Internally - Management needs to consider the professional goals of current employees. The talent pool of the company needs to be viewed as a talent pipeline. A supportive company that offers internal growth opportunities will see a lower attrition and turnover rate, and increased productivity at higher-level jobs.
  • Re-view Past Candidates - Sift through candidates from previous campaigns and check which of them may now be more qualified or a better fit to new positions within the company.
  • Social Networking - Companies are able to take advantage of social media and get in contact with potential candidates via a multitude of channels. Though social media is one of the most popular recruitment channels, the challenge lies in constructively managing the hundreds of thousands of contacts within reach. 

A continuous eye on the recruitment process is essential to ensure proactivity and success. To cut cost and time you must also be thinking of your talent pipeline and growing your business. With all the other pressures around you it is easy to see why a recruitment partner can be an effective means to securing talent at the right time for your business.

In our recruitment whitepaper, we look at other important aspects of the recruitment cycle, including actionable insights into creating a brilliant interview process and enhancing your employer brand to attract candidates.

You can read that here