Posted on 13/04/2022 by Matt Fox


As we’ve discussed previously on the Dynamite blog, the working world is very different to the way it was pre-pandemic. Businesses are putting out vacancies into a recruitment landscape where workers are currently reluctant to move. It’s creating a candidate’s market; one where the old tried and tested strategies for attracting and retaining talented employees are no longer getting the job done.

That’s why we’ve decided to launch our own exclusive upskilling arm, Dynamite Training. It’s a recruitment training service specifically designed to help your hiring managers tackle some of today’s most pressing recruitment challenges; empowering them to spot diamonds in the rough and secure the best talent in a consistently challenging market.

Safer recruitment bets are no longer paying out

“There are a lot of medium to large-size businesses where the ultimate decision-maker in the recruitment process is a line manager, or maybe a store or area manager” says Dynamite founder Matt Fox.

“In those instances, the typical way of hiring is the manager goes to a HR department or recruiter to put out a vacancy. They then get CVs back, filter out the ones that aren’t a near-enough exact match, and proceed with the recruitment process over a number of weeks – or sometimes even months. That’s the ideal, and it’s worked for many, many years.

“The problem is, those ‘exact-match’ candidates are far fewer and further between now. And the ones that are, they’re already on the fence about moving to a new business in a world where there’s so much economic instability. They’re going to be easily put off by a convoluted, lengthy recruitment process that adds to the uncertainty. Securing the best talent in a tough market means helping them to feel sure about your company, by conveying that your company is sure about them.

“Currently, lots of businesses are missing the mark in two important areas of hiring. First, they’re dismissing CVs from candidates who might be suitable if they dug a little deeper. And second, they’re losing out on the ones that do stand out, to competitors who are more in tune with industry recruitment challenges, and are willing move a little faster.”

Of course, that all begs the question…

Just how do you attract high quality talents in a competitive market?

A suited trainer gives a presentation using a flip chart

“It’s about identifying transferable skills,” says Matt.

“It used to be that companies could say ‘we want two years of relevant experience’ and there was a good chance they’d find someone who fit that relatively quickly. Today’s recruitment challenges are such that if you’re very prescriptive about your criteria, the timescales are infinitely longer. In fact, there’s a chance you won’t ever fill that position.

“If that role sits vacant for months, you have to calculate ‘what’s the lost revenue?’ If it’s a sales role, you’re missing out on deals with your customers every day the job isn’t filled. If it’s a different kind of role, there will be a knock-on effect somewhere in the business which will impact on efficiency, which ultimately impacts on the bottom line.

“It’s actually very rare to fit someone who neatly fits the round hole given by most job specs,” says Matt. “So you also need to calculate what the cost of training them will be over however long that will take. Even factoring training time, you’re often better off hiring and training a less experienced person who has the right transferable skills, than you are waiting for the perfect candidate who never appears.

“At Dynamite, we’ve become very good at spotting candidates who have the right transferable skills. People who, with the right training and onboarding could round off their edges and slot right in to that round hole.

“And when you find those candidates, it’s about focusing on the reasons they might be able to do the job rather than the all the reasons they won’t. That’s where Dynamite Training can really help.”

The Dynamite Training difference

At Dynamite, we believe that recruitment and training can (and should!) go hand-in-hand. So while we’re well positioned to help you in attracting and retaining talented employees, we’re now also extending that expertise to help the hiring managers who ultimately get the final say on candidate selection.

Our Dynamite Training service will help those involved in your company’s recruitment process to:

  • Gain insight into the realities of current recruitment market
  • Realign their expectations of candidates in the post-pandemic landscape
  • Identify the all-important transferable skills that can make a candidate with less ‘exact-match’ experience surprisingly suitable
  • Establish what realistic timelines look like for successful recruitment initiatives and how to structure the hiring process
  • Ask powerful interview questions that cut to the core of a candidate’s competencies and suitability
  • Sell the company’s vision, values and benefits at interview, in a way that aligns with what candidates are now looking for in the wider jobs market

Why are transferable skills often more important than specific job skills for recruiters and hiring managers?

“It’s common for companies to take the attitude of ‘We’re offering a competitive salary. We’ve got a good benefits package. We’re regarded a good business to work for. That’s enough,’ explains Matt. “But post-Covid, you have lots of companies who can offer that. And they’re all recruiting for the same shrunken-down talent pool. By focusing on transferable skills, you widen that pool, and give yourself a far better chance of landing a suitable hire in a timely fashion.

“Take the example of a typical office-based customer service role,” Matt continues. It wouldn’t be uncommon for companies to list things on a job spec like ‘two years’ proven office experience’ or ‘experience handling over 100 calls a day.’ But are those things really essential?

“For instance, what is it someone with two years’ experience can do that someone with one years’ experience can’t? What about six months? Or what about what someone with no experience might be able to do if they had the right attitude, and you gave them three months of comprehensive training and development?”

In the current market you’re simply less to get that experience in a candidate than you were before the pandemic. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have suitable candidates on your CV pile.

“Instead, the most obvious alternative we might look at would be somebody who’s come from a retail environment. They’re likely to have experience working to targets and dealing with customers.

A smiling team of corporate workers training

“But if they haven’t worked in retail, hospitality could be another good fit. Maybe a bar, or perhaps a pub. They’ve probably developed good people skills and learned to work under pressure. Could they adapt that to a slightly more corporate environment?

“Similarly, somebody who’s done a degree and can present only a few weeks’ practical work experience. They’re likely to be quite articulate having written essays and performed presentations their work. They’ve dealt with the pressure of deadlines. What might they do with the right training?

“When you’re looking at securing the best talent in a tough market, the trick is not ruling anybody out at first glance of a CV. Instead, ask if there’s anything someone might have done in that role that could be relevant. Have they had to hit targets? Have they had to deal with challenging situations? Does any part of their experience relate? In some cases the answer will absolutely be no. But if you take that extra time to look a little deeper you’re going to find at least one or two candidates who are more promising than you perhaps first thought.

“You can then write interview questions tailored to that person’s unique experience to give you the best chance of seeing if you’re right. We find that works much better than having a standard homogenised set of interview questions that you put forward to candidates from vastly different backgrounds. It really helps you get to know the person you’re talking to, which is always key to both attracting and retaining talented employees, whatever industry you happen to be in.

Can our recruitment training team help your talent search?

To find out how Dynamite Training could lead to an explosion in your talent pool, get in touch with us using our contact form, or by emailing Alternatively, call us on 02392 455422 and our founder Matt Fox will be happy to explain how we can help.

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