Hiring the Best People – You’ve got it all wrong!

Most companies make the mistake of instituting a hiring freeze in economic downturns. During the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC), BCG and the European Association for People Management surveyed 3,400 executives, including 90 senior human resources leaders in more than 30 countries, to see how they were responding. The most frequent action was to roll back on recruiting. At the same time, executives rated the selective hiring of high-performing talent from rivals as one of the three most effective responses to the previous crisis and the one with the best impact on employee commitment.

Hiring Skilled People Top Talent

Over the past three years, The HR Digest has conducted many interviews with current and former CHROs and people who work in the recruitment sector. Based on these interviews, we identified three changes that could substantially help organizations land the right talent. First, executives must make talent management a top priority – create and continuously refine their employee value proposition. Second, they must deploy a well-crafted employer branding strategy that’ll help influence the perceptions of job seekers. Third, they should diversify recruitment sources to hire from a wider pool of candidates, rather than the generic recruiting approach we generally stick to during crisis.

In the world of recruiting, hiring teams face unique challenges. Sourcing highly talented people can be quite tough. Star performers aren’t like doctors or engineers. They post portfolios instead of resumes. They’re in search for engagement to remain interested in what your organization has to offer. Are you equipped with the rights techniques and tools to address these issues?

We hear a lot of talk around the importance of strong employer brand, but you need to follow through in order to make the brand engaging and meaningful to today’s talent pool. Highly skilled people want to know what your company stands for – and more importantly, they want to know how real your efforts are. When they are seeking a job change, they want to find a genuine response from everyone involved in the hiring cycle.

Stories matter for your brand.

High-caliber candidates are highly sought after, so they’re looking for something that will set apart your company from rivals. Put employee testimonials on your social media channels, with highly engaging content that captures attention. Tell people what a day in the life of an employee is like, and how your workforce contributes to the betterment of the society on a broader level. Also, keep your stories consistent and honest across all platforms – as smart candidate can see through the rose-tinted glasses.

Casting a wide net.

According to a 2016 Job Seeker Nation study, 51% of employed individuals will switch jobs for a better opportunity even if they’re happy with where they are. This isn’t an optimistic statistic for recruiters. You need to make a concerted effort to reach that percentage of high talent that’s not applying for jobs right now. As any recruiter can tell you, today’s skilled talent likes to move as swiftly as possible. As a matter of fact, the labor market is so competitive that you often need to point prospects with the right skill sets before you even have open applications.

  • Get on each recruiting channel. From social media sites to blog posts, you should be sharing relevant content about your company, your culture, your people, your mission and values, and your job opening with the world.
  • Promote your company as a place where people want to be. Get on the platforms highly talented candidates use regularly, from Twitter to YouTube, and talk about what makes your company a “Great Place to Work for”.
  • Peek into your past. One of the best sources of finding candidates is looking into your previous applicants’ pool —people who probably won’t have been hired the first time around, but who still possess the skills and knowledge required to do the job.

Need for speed.

It is important to get candidates through the hiring process as swiftly and efficiently as possible. You’ll often find yourself entangled in hiccups along the way that’ll occupy your time from taking timely action. This can slow hiring, alienate highly-skilled candidates, and disrupt the hiring manager’s relationships. A clear idea of where applicants go next will not only help weed out such hiccups but also make the entire process more effective.

  • Keep it real. Don’t wait to hire the “perfect” candidate for the job.
  • Start by benchmarking your current hiring processes. What are your typical hiccups? How many days/weeks does each phase generally take? Are you delivering a content employment brand experience?

A candidate’s journey goes beyond applying on your website. A lot of candidates prefer to do research on the company before applying for a job. It’s important to understand to you are putting your best foot forward and inspiring a highly stellar workforce to join your company. A good way to start is by monitoring your Glassdoor reviews, social media channels, and more.

Employee referrals: The best source of hire.

If your hiring team is cash strapped, you already know how significant referrals can be! A referral is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to hire good talent – and that’s critical in today’s market.

  • Communicate regularly with your employees. When there’s a significant news to share—a new job opening, an industry award you won, or general updates to the corporate values —share it via company-wide email or meetings. Make sure people are aware of what’s going on in your hiring process so people can help recruit on your behalf with good referrals.

There’s no reason the hiring team should be the only ones sharing a job opening on social media. Use social media platforms that allows employees to share the company’s social media posts—either immediately, or scheduled for a later time.

Feedback loops.

Provide an easy outlet for employees to tell you what they think of your existing referral programs. Ask for feedback on the current recruiting process. All things considered, every employee was once an applicant and new hire at one point, and their feedback is invaluable to improving your recruiting process.

As per Jobvite’s 2015 Recruiter Nation Survey, 72% of recruiters acknowledge data analytics as an important tool in finding high quality candidates. “Landing a highly skilled candidate can sometimes feel like hunting for an elusive unicorn,” said Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite. “So, as this year’s Recruiter Nation study points out, recruiters need to get creative and take a multipronged approach using social media, insights gleaned from analytics, and mobile tools, while engaging the entire organization to help find and hire top talent. That’s how winning companies will stay one step ahead in this competitive career landscape.

Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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