Four Ways to Keep Your Recruitment Efforts on Track this Summer

Recruiting in the summer can be difficult—even for the most seasoned HR leaders and search committees. The reasoning? Senior executives (candidates as well as those on search committees) often take time off in the summer, meaning their time is at a premium. But vacation time doesn’t have to stall your recruiting efforts!  

Stay on top of your recruitment and talent acquisition strategy, and increase your chances of securing the senior leadership team members you’re seeking, by following these four tips for summer recruiting: 

1. Stay Patient, Persistent and Flexible 

While new opportunities can be attractive to potential candidates, those who aren’t actively looking for a change may not be as quick to jump at your meeting invitation while on vacation or taking time away to be with friends and family. Go into summer recruiting with the knowledge that you may experience longer wait times between an initial outreach with a candidate and their response. And be prepared to follow up! If a candidate is out of the country or taking time to disconnect, they may not be checking their messages or devices as often as they would at other times of the year. 

Make a conscious effort to be flexible with your time (and your team’s time)—if possible, set up meetings/interviews that work well with the candidate’s schedule and be considerate of any travel-related change in time zones. Adapting to their schedule shows that you respect their time away and it may increase your likelihood of securing time together. Can they meet early in the morning before heading out to sightsee? What about later once the rest of the family have settled in for the evening? Remember that the candidate is on their vacation, and it may be more convenient for everyone to wait until they arrive back home. 

2. Expand Your Candidate Pool with the Power of Technology 

Thanks to the pandemic, remote interviews have become the norm when it comes to recruitment and talent acquisition. With the expansion of technology comes more significant opportunities for attracting and retaining the top talent you are searching for. Leveraging the power of technology expands your candidate pool because you’re no longer limited to interviewing the best candidates in a set region. It also allows you (and the candidate) the opportunity to meet whenever and wherever it is most convenient – making it easier to fill senior positions with the best qualified candidates (not just the best qualified candidates in your area). And thanks to technology, candidates don’t need to be at a desk in front of a computer to have a conversation or conduct an interview; taking an interview from a tablet while on the deck at the cottage, or on a phone while at a quiet road-side rest stop is a great way to accommodate busy summer schedules and keep the recruitment process moving forward. 

3. Be Mindful of Other Commitments 

It’s always important for search committees to consider the needs of the core candidate demographic for any open position, but this is especially true when approaching candidates over the summer. For example, candidates with young families typically commit to their localities and schools by late June each year. If you are considering hiring someone who would need to relocate to a different city, you’ll need to allow them enough time to prepare for that to happen. That means planning your recruitment strategy early and acting quickly to help place your final candidate in the position in a timely manner.  

4. Take This Time to Refine Your Employee Value Proposition 

While the summer slowdown may be affecting the number of candidates you’re receiving, it doesn’t mean this time is in vain. Spend these next few months before Fall refining your recruitment strategy by focusing on your employee value proposition. With the increased competition for top talent, candidates can choose which organization and position is right for them. To set yours apart, spend time developing an employee value proposition relevant to your candidate, including their goals and interests. What you offer to someone younger may differ from someone older—so keep that in mind when it comes to relaying the unique benefits and experiences candidates can look forward to if they choose to work for your organization. 

Having Trouble Finding and Recruiting Top Talent? We Can Help. 

No matter which season your recruitment efforts happen in, having a partner who can help is key. At Waterstone, we inspire organization to build high-performance teams and cultures through our retained executive search, cultural and human capital measurement and advisory, and high-performance leadership training services, We’d love the chance to work with you –book a meeting with our team and find out how we can help you achieve your growth and performance goals.