Thirsty Thursdays: Tactics for Talent
If we all had a nickel for every time we've been told how hard it's going to get to find good employees we'd have a ton of nickels. But truth be told those tough times are already here and have been with us for quite some time. High-talent industries with low supplies of qualified workers have been dealing with this issue for years. Low unemployment rates and high numbers of discouraged job seekers who have stopped looking have resulted in there being more open jobs than available workers. So if you're already struggling for talent but haven't adopted new, diverse and unique methods to attract and retain staff let's look at a few solid tips to help you compete. And if you'd like to discuss an effective, proprietary recruitment and retention program tailored to your business don't wait to contact Mark Morgenfruh, CEO at email@example.com
Also known as Evergreen Recruiting...simply put you can NEVER stop recruiting. In fact when you have no open jobs on your team is the only time you can get ahead. Every supervisor should be interviewing 3 or more candidates every week. Be open and honest with every candidate. State you are doing pipeline recruiting to be ready for your next vacancy. They will be impressed at your diligence and see that if they were on the team that had a resignation or high workload you'd be ready to hire. Take the process up to the point where you're certain you want to hire the person if you had a vacancy. Alternate every 3-4 weeks whether you, your manager or HR contacts the candidate to keep their interest. Send ecards, emails, etc. letting them know they are on your mind. Then when you have the next opening you'll be ready to go. You must consider pipeline recruiting a strategic investment of your time.
DON'T DUMP YOUR JOB ON HR
HR is not the technical expert on your vacancy in your part of the business. HR has many jobs on their plate so why would yours be the most important one? Every single hiring manager is calling and explaining how their job is the most important opening in the whole company. The executives are calling to explain why theirs is the most important. HR is invested, dedicated and working hard to fill all the vacancies, your call will be answered in the order it was received. And if you don't have dedicated recruiters who only focus on job vacancies then your HR person is wearing multiple hats. Practically speaking, as an example, when it's time to run payroll it's an all-stop to everything else and so begins the backlog on recruitment. It's your job on your team so own it. HR is a conductor and coordinator who is responsible for several components of the process both pre and post-selection. Rely on them to do their part. And you do yours.
NETWORKING IS CRUCIAL
Hopefully after you work with HR to write a compelling job ad, determine the best job boards to post it on, and get the spot posted out for all the world to see, you realize that if you stop there you're probably going to fail to find the best candidate in both technical skills, experience and cultural fit. It is statistically improbable that a top candidate just so happens to be unemployed or disenchanted with their current position and will run across your ad and apply. But a broken clock is correct twice each day. It is imperative that you jump on social media, use professional networking and as the hiring manager contact potential candidates you'd like to come work for you. Sure you can have HR initiate contact but you're far more likely to get a successful response as one technical professional to another instead of the stereotypical HR outreach. If you don't make active networking and outreach a key part of your recruitment strategy you'll never land the top talent you need.
The Secret: Matching Hiring to Organizational Culture
Many times in my career I've come across organizations that do not understand how agile and adaptable they must be to win talent. It is not about the kind of place where YOU want to work but instead about creating the type of place THEY want to work. And that means different things to different people. Using some assumptions about generational differences in the workforce, popular trends in the workplace or other data allows us to generalize the type of company where a candidate may want to work. But the best practice is simply to ask the candidate.
Companies can easily utilize their online application system to include questions that can help the candidate express the type of culture, values and other intrinsic traits that inspire that person. Online assessments can also provide great depth into the makeup and motivations of applicants. In the absence of these tools using the interview as the means to gather this information is always an option.
Once you have a handle on the kind of company that a candidate would like to work for, as well as the intangibles that motivate them, you can make an evaluation for hiring. At this point it's assumed you've vetted their technical capabilities and determined whether they are qualified or any skills gap is acceptable and can be closed with on-the-job training. The more critical decision is about whether or not they fit the organization's culture.
We've all been exposed to the stories about companies that are fanatical about hiring people who fit into their culture. Southwest Airlines example is as strong today as it was 46 years ago. After all that's why they chose LUV as their stock ticker. Make no mistake if you hire the most technically-qualified person for the job and they don't share the vision, values and direction of the company then at best you'll get someone who will perform well enough over time but will never be so personally invested in their work and performance as to light the world on fire. And the key to success as a leader is learning how to unlock the greatest amount of discretionary effort from your team.
Thirsty Thursdays are about our collective thirst for learning and knowledge. It’s not about Beer:30 [although HR4ALL is all for that, too!] We hope this weekly nugget of knowledge opens your mind and gives you a reason to pause and think differently. Have a great weekend everyone!
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