How To Recruit Well From A Small Talent Pool?

In our last blog article, we investigated the current hiring demand in the downstream oil market. With the demand for candidates higher than the supply, this can create some challenges to hiring the right personnel.

Today, we are looking to help interviewers by offering ideas for how you can still hire the right candidate when you have a small number of candidates to interview. 

#1 Clear Criteria 

Have clear criteria for the traits and skills you need to hire. Question what traits and skills are non-negotiable from day one. The skills left out of the non-negotiable column should be areas candidates can acquire over time, with coaching and training.

A common example is to see a hiring mandate with years of experience as a must-have. Really? We have interviewed lots of people with fewer years of experience with better attitudes and qualities, than those who have many more years of experience. And in some countries, listing years of experience is a discriminatory practice. Length of time served does not equal great quality of service and results delivery in the time you have served. Best to look for high-performance results than a time served. 

When you have your non-negotiables question them, are they really needed, or just nice to have? 

#2 Hunt in the right areas

If you have taken time to cultivate a network of sector contacts, chances are your perfect hire sits in there, or is known to someone who can make an introduction to talent for you. So get proactive in your networking, with a focus on approaching the areas you expect the right person to be. 

If you defer to the advertised search because your day job gets in the way of talent pipelining, you should put yourself in the position of the potential applicant reading the advert. Would you apply if you read the advert copy and were that ideal candidate? Did the company make a compelling case for applying? Do you meet the career needs of the candidate, and give clarity on what they can achieve and how they can make a difference?

Taking these steps makes you really stand out from the typical job descriptions rehashed as an advert. These more generic adverts often start with the same company description, outline and format for every role. The copy-and-paste approach is lazy, boring, and ineffective.  

Don’t worry about discounting applicants with niche advertising copy. If you are only hiring one person, it only takes one applicant to be the right one, to get your hire.

#3 Art of the Interview

Back in 2021, we released “the art of interviewing” it’s full of useful tips on questioning techniques, high-performance and low-performance trait identification, value elicitation, getting honest answers rather than answers people think you want to hear and identifying how coachable an applicant is. Luckily for you interviewers, it’s free, and ready for you to download here

Designing and executing the right interview process and questions, dramatically increase your successful hire, leading to long-term retention and high-performing personnel joining your business. 

#4 Smooth & Timely Hiring Process

Before you start the hire, map out your selection process. 2 stage interviews or even 1 with some pre-interview testing should be adequate to make your decision. Then set some dates and get all key stakeholders to keep the dates and times free to meet candidates, including a group feedback session to make the decision. You could use a scorecard system to help rank which candidate gets the offer.

Speed of decision and getting an offer in that applicants hand is critical to ensure a positive candidate experience. Your slick hiring process will make a candidate super impressed and helps elevate you from the hiring competition. 

Delays kill hiring results, and you don’t want to miss out on that ideal candidate that was so hard to find. So make sure any sign-off, approvals, role, and ideal candidate requirements are aligned before you start the search. When the decision to hire is made, get that offer out and in your new hire’s hands, ideally within 48 hours from the last interview. 

A perfect candidate at your fingertips

If you don’t have the talent pipeline you hoped for, chances are we do! We have over 21,500 lubricant and fuel industry professionals in our network across the globe.

Get in touch with one of our team today to discuss how we can get you the right leadership, commercial or technical hire.