In an ideal world, you should recruit to meet your current needs while anticipating your future plans – recruiting people with the capacity to add to their skillsets as your business evolves.

According to a report by the UK Commission for Employment & Skills, ‘Short-termism focuses on recruiting people who are immediately productive rather than those who might form the workforce of the future.’ It adds: ‘Where this happens, long term benefits to a business may be overlooked.’

Not only does having a future strategy help businesses, it also provides a sense of long-term security for employees. This was identified as the second most important factor for candidates when choosing an employer, in our survey, Randstad Award 2014. 

World at Work’s book  Employment Engagement Fundamentals’ suggests that ‘mid-career’ candidates are now taking their total employment journey into consideration.

Don’t lose sight of business objectives As well as considering an individual’s potential, employers should also recruit against their own potential business needs to stay one step ahead of the competition.

If you can, it shows tremendous leadership (not to mention the huge staff engagement uplift) if you’re able to hire in advance of a need arising – even if it is only to ensure essential future talent isn’t lost to competitors.

Devise a resourcing strategy

The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD) found in 2013 that only 54% of organisations had a resourcing strategy. Working with the rest of the organisation to identify where future staffing needs may lie should help to avoid panic filling roles, and could help you train up existing staff, too.

“It’s all linked in to the vision and values of the company,” says Louise Stephenson, Randstad District Manager. We advise clients to ask themselves: ‘Does our company profile match our vision? Where are we now; where do we want to get to? And are we on the right track?’ 


"can you help staff move up when they have gained experience at grass roots?"

Obviously some roles have a life cycle and companies may be happy to retain someone in that role for two years. But can you help staff move up when they have gained this experience at grass roots? It pays to develop employees from day one so that they are flexible enough to fulfil changing and future needs.”

Review the mix of roles required
“In this climate, when companies would prefer to upskill employees than increase headcount, we advise clients to review a role when some-one leaves,” continues Stephenson.

“Is the role critical? Do you need to re-place that person? Or should the role evolve into something else? One of our clients, Bosch, is very good at doing this. Also, don’t forget to find out why they’re leaving by conducting an exit interview. It all helps with succession planning.”

Don’t lose focus on today’s issues
In such a fast-paced business world where departments are constantly adapting in order to meet targets and stay ahead of the curve, placing a member of staff who can contribute to your business in the long term can make all the difference. 

Each time you’re thinking of starting the recruitment process it’s important to consider the following:

  • Don’t just replace employees like-for-like when they leave: take the opportunity to review whether the role is critical and/or whether it should evolve
  • Continually review your company’s vision and specific goals, and assess your progress towards achieving them with existing and potential staffing resources
  • Develop your employees from the word go, so that they are well equipped to upskill as your company needs change