What should be the main focus when hiring?

A few weeks ago, I posted a poll asking LinkedIn what the main focus should be when looking at your recruitment strategy. (I just don’t feel there are enough polls at the moment). 

The results showed that the overwhelming majority of people felt that “hiring the best talent” should be the main focus: 

  • Reducing your cost-per-hire – 1%
  • Reducing your time-to-hire – 4%
  • Improving employee retention – 14%
  • Hiring the best talent – 80%

Sounds like the obvious right answer…

But I don’t think it is

Here’s why.

While I agree that hiring the “Best Talent” should be the ultimate end goal of any growing Fintech, in my opinion, it shouldn’t be the main focus when looking at overall hiring strategy. Someone of average intelligence (me) once (just now) typed out someone else’s quote, which went something like “build it, and they will come”. 

In my opinion, to actually hire the best people, you need to lay the right foundations and work from the inside out. Give people a reason to want to work for you, and importantly, stay working for you

For a start-up or scale-up FinTech, that starts with the mindset and initiatives you adopt for your existing employees and their on-going talent management. I am not talking about getting an office cat or buying a load of beanbags. (Why are people so sick and tired of sitting in chairs? You can’t get out of a beanbag without help. Fact). 

I mean having a robust talent management function that makes employee wellbeing and career progression a priority. And in terms of new employees coming into the company, really think about your end-to-end “Candidate Experience” – from initial contact, through the interview and onboarding process, and on-going. (See links at the end for tips on how to do this). 

This is why I believe Employee Retention should be your main focus. 

Get this right, and it can be the key to unlock everything else…. 

  • Reducing your cost to hire

Clearly, you can’t grow a business effectively if you have a high employee attrition rate. But if most of your recruitment activities are focused on hiring for new headcount due to growth instead of recruiting to replace leavers, this will decrease your total commercial downtime spent recruiting. Resulting in a positive impact on your bottom line.

  • Hire the best talent. 

A great reputation in the market means people want to work for you, and this will likely generate more incoming leads from relevant talent. Word of mouth is still the most powerful form of marketing. Happy employees are a great opportunity to take advantage of this and help build a positive talent brand. And the great part is… it costs nothing!

  • Reducing your time to hire

Higher quality applicants due to a better talent brand mean you are generally only interviewing relevant candidates with suitable experience. And a streamlined recruitment process means happy people sharing a common goal. Egos are left at the door, and stakeholders involved in the interview process are working together, sharing feedback, making decisions quickly. Which dramatically reduces time spent recruiting.  

Lay the foundations. Put the right initiatives in place. Watch your retention rate soar. You’ll be fighting market talent off with powerful tazers. 

Check out my 3 blogs below offering some ideas on how to increase employee retention.




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