Hiring top talent can be one of the most challenging responsibilities of a company’s human resources department. Take our current economy. Unemployment is at record low levels. Demand for talent has exceed supply in most industry. If you have been involved with recruiting and hiring in the past few year, it is as challenging as ever to find “ideal” candidates. Today, it has become clear that focusing on hiring only at the time of a resignation, or only when a new job position has been created, is simply not enough to find the best talent and keep your company functioning at a successful production level.
Below are some basic steps that any human resources department can put into place to help you be ahead of the curve when it comes to hiring top talent!
- Make hiring evergreen and get off the treadmill of reactive recruiting! Always be on the lookout for new and better employees all the time – and not just when you have a new opening.
- Create a policy of ‘accepting applications’ at all times. Some of the best candidates in specialized industries such a legal, have a list of top firms for which they are interesting working. These candidates will contact a firm to submit a resume or ask for an application. If they are told “we do not currently have any openings“, you may be losing out on a superstar!
- Always know your staffing and personnel needs. Create a system of frequent communication with department heads, etc. to solicit information about potential hiring needs, and potential terminations or resignations. Ask your managers if you should be on the lookout for any key candidate profiles that may become open at any time.
- Develop consistency and a solid strategy with the basics of your hiring process, i.e., the use of recruiting firms, ads, job boards, and the application and interview process. Be sure your program is smooth and focused on the applicant. Any obstacle in the process will hurt recruitment results.
- Fine tune your interview process and place your company in a position to act quickly and decisively. With each candidate, the interview process has a natural rhythm and flow; the pattern goes from warm to hot, and then it may become cold due to delays in your firm‘s system. If the process starts to slow down and goes into a cooling off period, the candidate can lose interest and view the employer as indecisive. Always show your interest in a good candidate and resolve obstacles you can control along the way.
- Be aware of changes with competitors that may generate active talent in your industry. Mergers, firm closures, relocations, etc. can all create a sudden influx in new talent on the market. Keep your eye on trade publications, join industry organizations, and talk to people – stay informed.
- Build a database of solid applicants for every position in your company. You will be ready to screen resumes within hours of a resignation because you have created your own resume bank. Recruiting firms are experts when it comes to candidate databases. Solicit the help of a trusted recruiting firm to provide ideas for creating your own in-house database.
- Make your evergreen recruiting process well known to ALL employees. By promoting your firm‘s interest in seeking out top talent, you encourage your employees to become your recruiting force. Adding referral bonus incentives further expands the potential of your program.
- Do not neglect any source for potential employees. These may include colleagues, vendors, networking groups, etc. Simply let them know what you are looking for on a regular basis.
- Use the interview process as a means to gather industry information about your competitors. You can obtain great ideas from applicants regarding systems, operations, benefits, etc. These ideas can help your company to implement solutions to become more competitive and attract top talent.
- Partner with a recruiting firm to be your eyes and ears on the market. Good recruiters can assist you with information regarding the market, hiring practices, competitors, etc. They are a critical resource to any hiring authority. To get the most effective results, develop a list of standard positions you need a recruiting firm to continually source. The recruiter should know your hiring standards and ideal profiles, and then regularly present candidates that match those criteria. In general, a trusted relationship with a recruiter can be your best asset to identifying and hiring the best candidates.
Good recruitment is one of the hardest dynamics in business. Companies succeed or fail with their ability to recruit. Since people are involved, there are many variables in the recruitment process that need constant attention. By implementing an evergreen recruiting system using proactive hiring, you can give your company a considerable competitive edge