It takes the same time, effort and energy to hire mediocre staff as it does to recruit amazing people, so why not consider these tips to help you find and attract the best people to your organisation.
It all starts with you:
As the Hiring Manager it always helps to start planning and thinking about the kind of person you need for your business and the role you want them to do. If you have established this in your mind then you can be better prepared to relay the message to colleagues, HR and your recruitment partners. This doesn’t mean you should show no flexibility during the hiring process it just helps to begin planning and creates a starting block. In fact the best opportunities are created by companies that are willing and able to build a role around an amazing candidate. So adaptability is key but you need to start with a core idea or planned vision.
Alternatively if you come across talent even when you aren’t hiring then this will enable you to build a world class team. If you have the luxury of being able to do so never turn down a meeting or chance to somehow create an opportunity for a superstar in your team. The best hires are often unplanned and speculative and good people will always add value to your team vision.Think about why you love working
Think about what makes your company great:
Consider all the great things about your business or department and why staff enjoy working there. Talk to your colleagues and ask why they joined and what they like about the company as it may also provide a different perspective. What about your firms position in the market? Is your product or service a market leader or is there huge growth potential and what about innovation or customer service? Reviewing client testimonials or asking for customer references is going to be helpful. New staff want to join a company with a great working environment and a strong reputable brand or business with a strong possibility of becoming an innovative or unique niche player with potential. Don’t oversell but by the same token remember what attracted you and why you are still there.
It can also help to offer prospective candidates a balanced view of your department and company so don’t feel afraid to offer up some of the negatives. This will show honesty and integrity of a business but it will also help people to make an informed decision. Its better to be upfront about such matters in a diplomatic way to ensure there is no time wasting and everyone is serious. All parties should be able to raise any issues and concerns during the interview process rather than once someone has joined. This openness will create a mutual trust environment for the future and should help good people to open up about their own situations and ability to deal with the challenges ahead.
It may sound obvious but planning a hiring process will give you some structure and also show any prospective candidates that you are organised and handling this process professionally. Also you can begin to see just how long it will take and who you need to involve. Can the process be shortened and are all the steps necessary or do you feel that additional visits, meetings or tests should be added?
Ok so now you have an idea of the role and type of person you want to hire as well as an honest corporate sales pitch and you have an idea of how you will run the interview process. So how do you plan to find and attract these superstars? There are several options open to any hiring manager including but not limited to:-
- Advertising online and through the press
- Social Media
- Word of mouth including referral incentives
- Open days
- Job fairs
- Employment agencies
I am sure there are more techniques that can be added to this list. The challenge with all these methods of recruiting is that they require the candidate to be proactive in searching for a new job and finding you. What are the chances of the perfect person applying for your specific role when at any one time there will be millions of vacancies out there.
If you want to identify, attract and hire your industry’s superstars then headhunting is your best chance. Successful people are too busy and happy in their position to even consider an alternative. They have no need and no time to apply for a new job. Why should they because they are already hitting target and achieving results for your competitors. Headhunters will be able to find and approach these people as well as interest them in your opportunity and organisation. This can all be done confidentially if required or in a way that will demonstrate to the market that your company is willing to invest in finding great people and that you know how to attract them. In addition Headhunters will coach the candidates and their client through the process making sure communication and feedback is handled professionally and that each party has a trusted advisor to deal with challenges and issues particularly when it comes to managing both sides expectations. Money is always an emotive issue and best handled by the headhunter who can ensure all parties needs are met as this is the part of the process that can cause the biggest challenge.
You will see the advantage of having created an interview plan in advance so that everyone involved in the process is prepared. It demonstrates to candidates that you are organised and that you are taking this process seriously. Surprisingly many corporates just ‘wing it’ and decide literally from one day to the next what the next stage will be and this leaves candidates feeling confused and unable to prepare or schedule their busy diaries. It’s a huge organisational feat trying to arrange various peoples schedules and interviews as well as travel abroad if this is part of the process. Consider the process from the aspect of a prospective candidate. They probably have a job (plus a team to manage) and domestic responsibilities that need prioritising, so if you can help them to prepare their work schedule and explain what will be required of them then this will help them to perform better in an interview. Maybe you want them to create a sales strategy for your business, well if so then give them the time and resources required to prepare this.
Involve your team:
Team involvement in the interview process probably at a later stage when you have narrowed down the shortlist to perhaps just two candidates will be extremely constructive. Your staff will feel valued that their views are considered in the process. They may also highlight areas of strength and weakness that you had not considered and as they will potentially be working together in the future it is important to see if there is a fit in the team dynamic. It is useful to have others input perhaps to back up your feelings or to highlight an issue that was niggling you. Also its easy to get excited about a supposed superstar but that can often cloud your judgement. So having a trusted professional headhunter or colleague is always a benefit if you have a problem making a final decision. When all is said and done it is vital to trust your own instinct when hiring. This is a crucial decision especially when recruiting executives and it’s a decision that can make or break a team or a company. If it goes wrong it can be a very costly, demoralising and draining exercise. If it goes well and you are able to hire your superstar then your business will flourish and the team will have a revived flow of energy. Your customers and competition will see that you are able to attract great people and this will improve your and the companies market perception. However the biggest challenge is to keep these superstars on board – to give them creative freedom, full responsibility and the resources they need to do a great job!
Author: Ed Robertson is a seasoned Marketing Manager at MSC Headhunters, writing about a range of topics covering executive search, employment and education.