How To Hack Your Hiring For Growth

Creative Recruitment | Insight & Opinion | Workplace

Growth Hacker - How To Hire

More organisations are planning to hire today than during the pre-recession boom of the mid-2000s, competition for the best industry talent is tough! Holly Potter gives us her first hand insight into how Bozboz (a thriving creative agency on the South Coast) hack their hiring…

When to hire?

As any senior manager or HR professional knows, deciding when to hire for growth is one of the most important decisions you need to make. We’ve all complained of being “overworked and underpaid” but, if your employees are working at breakneck speed and telling you they don’t have enough hours in the day, when do you need to sit up, take note and jump to action?

Maybe you have skills gaps in the team that are needed for you to scale. Or can you see an opportunity for growth and need more hands on deck. Research into employee happiness and productivity is well understood – happy or “engaged” employees work harder. Overloading your people can stifle them and your business, both in terms of ability to service your clients and level of output.

Without capacity your people feel the pressure, your salespeople can’t sell and you can’t grow your business. Obvious I know, but your view can be clouded when trying to keep your clients happy and costs/risk low.

How Bozboz attracts top industry talent…

Bradford Smart estimates ‘mis-hire’ costs to be around four times annual salary for supervisors, and 15 times the annual salary for executives and vice presidents. The costs of ‘mis-hires’ can include the direct costs of recruitment, loss of productivity, disruption to your team and even costs associated with reputational damage. So how do you go about making this vital decision?

First, we talk to our people, understand any concerns they may have and look at the data (capacity, attendance, client demand etc.). When capacity was getting tight here at Bozboz, our first reaction was to start looking at our processes. We completed a process review and identified areas that could be streamlined to enable us to scale. We’re being flexible with our approach and tweaking the processes as we test out new ways of working.

The next stage was to assess the skills within the business to identify skills gaps. Once we’d established the skills we need to grow Bozboz, we instigated an aggressive recruitment push focused on attracting the top talent in our area. We’re not your average agency and “talent hacking” has always been the norm for us. We apply our creativity to use technology and data, along with good old fashioned employer branding, to build our teams.

Get out there and be social…

We use all social media, not just LinkedIn, to attract and source candidates. We leverage our reputation as Brighton and Hove’s most creative agency and renowned company culture to attract like-minded talent who understand our culture and will thrive here. We also love to be cheeky and use pop-culture references in our social media posts to put our personality out there.

We put on or participate in events to build our employer brand and reputation as experts. A valuable piece of advice once given to me was to speak at events not sponsor them. In my experience, I rarely remember the sponsor of an event but I always remember a top notch speaker. Every event we attend is an opportunity to build our talent pool and spread the word according to Bozboz to the masses.

Culture is more than just a Fussball table…

We’ve worked hard on our company culture and use our values (inspiration, integrity and innovation) in everything we do, so it’s vital these play a huge part in our recruitment. We test candidates in real life scenarios to establish their skill levels and approach, not just how good they are in an interview situation.

I’ve worked in companies that think they have a great culture based on their interior design or whether they have a fussball table. Our company culture is formed of the ideas, customs and behaviours of our people. “Culture” is banded around and treated like a perk, this isn’t culture in the true meaning of the word and the way companies use it as part of their job adverts alarms me. Yes free food and beanbags are a nice-to-have, but if someone values those perks over working with an inspiring team and clients, whilst learning every day, then they’re not the right fit for us.

Holly Potter is an innovation expert and all round HR geek, say hi and share your experiences with Holly on LinkedIn or Twitter.