Jenrick IT is a leading supplier of contract and permanent personnel to the cyber security marketplace, working with a number of the industry's established organisations as well as numerous emerging businesses. However, no matter what size the organisation is, the importance placed on securing the brightest and sharpest minds within the sector has become a war in its own right, aptly being branded as the 'war on talent.' Yet, as a recruitment organisation that comes into contact with a variety of companies all vying for candidates within this space, the processes and practises utilised to secure talent range from extremely effective to grossly ineffective. The article below will describe how best to approach recruitment within your organisation to ensure you can secure top cyber-security talent.

It begins and ends with one single word - speed.

I'm sure you still remember your parents using an all too frequent expression of 'The early bird catches the worm.' As much as it probably annoyed us all as kids, there is a huge amount of truth in the expression when its applied in relation to the talent war. Simply put, companies that orientate their operations around a highly flexible and flat organisational culture, will continue to win the ‘war on talent.' This is because their de-centralised, empowered management team is trusted to make tactical decisions and implement strategies with speed, which enables them to consistently outperform their more rigid and highly processed competitors. This article shares a current case study of an organisation that our company works with, where they have drastically altered their organisational culture and working processes in order to start winning the 'war on talent.'

Why do some companies miss out on hiring top talent?

It comes down to one thing only – speed (or more appropriately, a lack of in the case of these companies). Companies, and specifically those managers seeking to make a hire, must appreciate that they are operating in a high competitive market for ‘talent,’ where a top-tier candidate will often have the luxury of four simultaneous job offers. Organisations that are entrenched in processes and procedures and require decisions to agreed by several parties or departments, will become increasingly left behind due to the time lag that this type of organisation structure creates. In contrast, companies  that empower and entrust, to the extent where managers are given the freedom to create roles, free up budgets and even commit to new projects, if it enables them to secure the services of key individual's, will continue to grow and perform exponentially.

Case Study – the impact of lean decision making

Jenrick has been providing permanent and contract personnel to a leading global organisation that employs over 2,500 for the last decade. Throughout this time, Jenrick has been proud to play a key role in the organisation’s growth. However, as the company has grown so has its administrative procedures and decision-making chain – both of which have negatively impacted the company’s ability to recruit quickly enough to secure top-tier talent. This culminated in Q2 of this year, when all the recruitment partners were informed that they must operate through a newly appointed centralised HR Managed Service provider. The purpose of the new central department was to manage all activities related to Recruitment / Invoicing / Payroll Services. The logic makes sense; take away the stress and time associated with these ‘non-core’ activities, giving them to a central department – and this is why this organisation are not alone in re-organising their business model to create such a structure.

However…

The impact this had on the recruitment process was the creation of a huge delay in communication between the central HR function, the business (which we refer to as the end-user department that required staff) and the Supplier (agencies). Specifically, all parties experienced the following frustrations as a result of the new structure:

  • Delay on Job vacancies being uploaded on the internal Recruitment Portal (because the central department view recruitment as one of many key tasks that must be executed)
  • Inaccuracies on the job specifications (due to it being passed through several different pairs of hands)
  • Delay in forwarding CV’s to the Business (resulting in a the first wave of top-tier candidates being lost prior to first interview)
  • Delay on Schedule Interviews (resulting in a the second wave of top-tier candidates being lost due to inflexible interview schedules)
  • Delay on Interview feedback (resulting in a the third wave of top-tier candidates being lost due to other job offers moving at a much faster rate)

Within the first few months of operating to these new procedures the organisation witnessed their number of monthly hires, often 10 - 20, drop to just 2 or 3. Departments immediately felt the strain of beig short-staffed, new projects were failing to start on time and the existing team (especially managers) were becoming frustrated and stressed.

Processes need to change…

Luckily the company listened to their managers, taking on board the feedback from their team, and coupled this with additional feedback from Jenrick's consultants. The company realised that if they continued trying to hire in this manner, their business would not just struggle to expand, but would lose ground to competitors. As a result, a month ago the business completely reverted on their centralised hiring process to enable key recruitment partners to contact the hiring managers directly, which would enable a smoother, more flexible and ultimately much faster recruitment process. In the first 3 weeks of working to the new (de-centralised) processes, Jenrick has successfully placed 9 contractors with the company (whereas only 1 or 2 contractors would have been placed within the centralised process), each of whom were the organisations FIRST choice of candidate. As a result, Jenrick consultants have received excellent feedback reviews by the Delivery Resource Manager at the company, expressing how the new process has vastly improved internal company (communication) relationships, has helped business continuity and has reduced the stress on the line / hiring managers.

Conclusions

In conclusion, in many ways it is logical for companies to centralise roles as their organisations continue to expand, however, as this case study shows, centralisation does not always provide an organisation with the additional competitive advantage they expect to gain. Although initial cost-savings will undoubtedly be achieved by implementing organisational change in this capacity, such savings must be weighed up against the overall strategic plan of the organisation, to ensure that this is not impacted in the manner it clearly was in this case study. In summary, top-tier talent is never available for long. Organisations, especially the larger ones, need to appreciate that (smaller) entrepreneurial companies are constantly beating their large counterparts in the hiring of top talent due their flexible, open processes. Simply put, organisations must scrutinise and streamline their recruitment processes to give them the best possible opportunity to compete for and hire the talent they need to drive their organisation forward.

More information

Jenrick is one of the UK's most experienced recruitment companies within the cyber security space, is exhibiting at DSEI 2013 later in the year and is also delivering a keynote presentation at the show to assist service personnel make a successful career transition to the Private Sector. For more details on the services of Jenrick, please visit: Jenrick Cyber Security Recruitment Services.