Do it better than Theresa May – get buy in to your recruitment strategy
Karen Lloyd employer, marketing team
No matter what your opinion of Theresa May, as she stepped down as Tory leader recently, she will undoubtedly be remembered for one thing – her failure to deliver a Brexit that Parliament could buy into.
Her attempt to manage the country through an enormous change management process and juggle myriad conflicting opinions was ultimately unsuccessful, whether you consider that she was dealt an impossible hand or simply incompetent. But it did get us thinking.
Change management in business can also be an insurmountable task, if you don’t have the wider buy in. Often, a new recruitment strategy is part of that process and it can be very difficult to get support for your vision, especially when it is a new approach for the business.
We’ve worked with numerous companies, teams and hiring managers over the years, helping them to overcome objections and stumbling blocks. So, we thought we’d share our most successful tips to get buy in to your recruitment vision.
- Establish who you need buy in from. This will be dependent on your position, what level of marketing job role you are recruiting, and ultimately what you are trying to achieve. For marketing at senior level you may need to reach out to the board. If at management level, then your direct line manager, the budget holder (not always the same person), team peers (if a wide sweeping change / new skill sets etc.) and HR are usually the ones to consider.
- Be sure the budget is available! This sounds like a no brainer, but it is amazing how many hires have gone south part way through because there is no budget available.
- How do you get the buy in?
- Be clear what you want to achieve and how you are going to get there, including the process (if you are deviating from standard process, it is vital to include HR here).
- Establish what benefits or savings it will bring to the team and the business e.g. you want to hire a graphic designer to bring design in-house which will save the business £xx on agency fees per year. Or you may want to bring in new expertise that can open up new channels / routes to market or digital skills for new campaigns.
- Think creatively – if budget is an issue for example, could contract or part time be a short-term resolution to prove the success?
- Be open and transparent – if you are trying to implement a series of sweeping changes, consult with your peers who will be affected in plenty of time. After the hire is complete is not the time to do it. Whilst they may not influence the decision-making process, they can make the adoption of the new marketing hire and team direction challenging in the long run.
- Senior people may want to get involved in the decision-making process. This can be frustrating as there is often a difference of opinion; not necessarily in skill set, but more usually in terms of soft skills and culture fit.
If this person can overrule your decisions, you must be careful and remember that you are the line manager and will ultimately end up working and managing this marketer. In this case you need to get them on side as much as possible to share your vision, so you are not trying to hire two different people – feel them out in advance of any interviews so you present a united front.
Ultimately, this process is about your relationship management skills coming to the fore. Use them in order to carefully manage and work your way around those objections that may be presented. But, if you are passionate and as open as possible about what you are trying to achieve and why, then you are off to a good head start and should achieve your goal.
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