Far more than profits or products, people are the lifeblood of your business, and your single most valuable and influential resource. And that means that hiring someone new is one of the most significant activities you can undertake – a decision that, if you don’t get it right, could have a serious impact. Living in an increasingly fractured, digitally-driven world, it can easily feel as if there are too many channels and discussions out there to keep up with. And yet a willingness to try new things and to innovate is at the heart of any successful business strategy. So, what do you really need to know if your company is growing and you urgently need some new talent to keep the wheels turning?
It’s Not About How Many Adverts You Place
The internet has seen an explosion in jobs boards, careers sites and social media recruitments, so it can seem very tempting to just copy and paste your role description into as many different places as you can. After all, if you cast the net wide, you’re bound to land the right candidate, right? Well, that just might be where you’re going wrong. The ball is firmly in the court of the candidates these days, with businesses competing to recruit the brightest and best talent to boost their operations. So spreading a generic advert across the internet tends to be far less effective than a direct approach to suitable candidates who just might be looking for a new opportunity. Aim to adopt a data-driven recruitment philosophy. Approaching people through mutual LinkedIn groups or at networking events when you know a little about their background and what they might be interested in is bound to yield better results.
Pre-Screen For Fit
Interviewing is a necessary evil, but no-one wants to be wasting their time on seeing candidates who aren’t right for the job. So take the time to create a pre-screening process before approaching any prospective new hires. Take a look first to see if they have a similar work background to your organisation – depending on the role, it doesn’t have to be industry-specific, but look more broadly at the skills they have gained and how these could translate across. It also pays to look where they’re based geographically – unless you’re prepared to offer remote working, most people are unwilling to relocate or commit to a longer commute, even for slightly increased pay. If you make sure the candidates you’re speaking to have a basic situational and organisational fit with what you’re offering, although it may cut down on the numbers, those you do speak to are likely to be far more engaged.
Streamline Your Application Process
Take a moment to review your application process. Is it something you’d be happy to do yourself? Consider if you’re asking too much for an initial stage. Sure, you can ask everything about a person’s background and work history, but do you really need to? There’s a difference between valuable insight and data for data’s sake. An onerous application before even getting to the first stage is a huge barrier for a lot of people. Equally, sometimes it pays to get a little creative. Job applications which borrow elements of gamification or involve some kind of challenge or puzzle, tend to be positively received and can tell you a lot about the applicant and their approach.
Improve Your Communications
Just because someone doesn’t fit the exact requirements for the role you’re recruiting for today, doesn’t mean they aren’t the ideal candidate for the role you’ll be hiring tomorrow. The issue of talent is constant – but is your approach to keeping people on-side? Most employers communicate with potential candidates infrequently and without a clear plan, even during the recruitment process. But if the aim was rather to develop a community of engaged talent, how much easier would it make future recruiting? Clear, regular communication during a period of recruitment – even explaining why a delay is taking place if there isn’t any substantial news to give. Treating people how you’d like to be treated yourself isn’t exactly rocket science – but it can go a long way in generating goodwill with people who are potentially very useful to your organisation in the future.
Become The Best At Interviews
A lot of interview formats are inflexible and follow a rigid structure which doesn’t necessarily give the right candidate a chance to shine. If someone demonstrates the relevant experience on paper, make sure you’re interviewing process dedicates a least a portion of time to understanding cultural fit, as well as skills suitability. This often overlooked component is the ‘secret sauce’ which largely determines if someone will feel at home within your business and whether they are likely to stay long term. Finding out what kind of colleague that person will make, if they share the company values and if their ways of working are a fit is highly valuable, so don’t just trot our twelve competency based questions and expect to understand this. Find a question set which allows them to show you who they are as a person, as well as what they can do.
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