Strategies for Recruitment
In our Human Resources consulting practice, one of the problems clients often share with us is the difficulty they say they have with finding the right people. Many times, we find only a haphazard process [or no process] behind their recruitment efforts.
Here are some of the things we uncover:
- Talent acquisition, or recruitment, only happens when a position is open. That is, there is no real engagement with the labor market other than the times they need to fill a position.
- Candidate sourcing approaches are inconsistent, or the sourcing methods are not the best for the candidate pool they are trying to engage.
- There is no clear and compelling messaging to candidates about why they should want to work there.
- No work has been put into defining what is needed, and then seeking that out in the candidate pool.
In many instances, companies go back to one sourcing approach, for example, posting an ad on their website or an internet job board. Or they rely too much on employee referrals. Don’t get me wrong…referrals are a great source and you should use them, just be careful about overusing them to the point that your employees don’t bring the breadth of skills needed for today’s jobs.
Here are some of the reasons we find for why the recruitment process isn’t working:
- There’s no process. There isn’t a defined process for determining headcount needs, much less a recruitment strategy. This can lead to results no better than random…you would save a lot of time simply flipping a coin when making hiring decisions.
- [Over] reliance on one sourcing method. This might be your website. Or it could be the internet job board you started using ten years ago. Sourcing methods are dynamic. You may have to use several sourcing methods simultaneously and those methods may change by job or over time.
- Looking for the purple squirrel. The ‘purple squirrel’, or ‘unicorn’ is what recruiters refer to as the mythical candidate that not only has all the characteristics being sought by the hiring manager, they also possess others that can be contradictory, or well beyond the needs of the job. Think: CNC machinist with a PhD, the executive-level finance leader who will also be the payroll processor, or the belief that industry-specific knowledge, no matter how idiosyncratic to your business or company, is the main filter for candidates and no one else would be considered.
- Not being clear on ‘need to have’ versus ‘nice to have’. This is an adjunct to the previous entry. People may not distinguish between what is mission-critical [required] in a candidate versus what is preferred, or nice to have. Wasting time on the nice-to-haves can divert you from moving on good candidates sooner.
Here are some of the recommendations we make:
- Take the time to write a good job description. The job description becomes your guide for identifying and screening talent effectively. Articulate the need to have versus the nice to have, competencies or behaviors needed to be successful, years of experience, degrees, etc.; this goes a long way to making the screening and selection process easier.
- Don’t use the job description as your job posting. Job descriptions are important but they can be pretty dry reading. Take the important characteristics of the job description to let candidates know what you are seeking, but make sure you include information about your company, why you are the employer-of-choice, and what makes you a great place to work. Your job postings should attract candidates…just like your marketing attracts customers.
- Use as many means to engage with the labor market as you can. Your website, a more general internet job board, and something targeted to the profession of the candidates are good starts. Get the word out through your employee referral program, and let your colleagues know on social media.
- Use the right sourcing method appropriate to the candidates you seek. Don’t use a professional networking site like Linkedin.com for candidates who are not career-oriented.
- Make sure your hiring managers and selection team knows how to interview properly. This not only ensures you don’t get into legal trouble when people ask illegal questions, but helps them uncover information about the candidates more effectively.
- Always be on the lookout for good talent. Connect with people at trade shows. Stay engaged on social media. Continuously source. Participate in events that help showcase your company to the labor market.
Finding the right people at the right time to serve your customers the right way is more of a process than an event. It takes work and it takes dedication. If you haven’t done so, consider adding a talent acquisition or recruitment specialist who can keep your talent pipeline full might be a wise move. Also, thinking about talent pro-actively instead of only when you have an opening can put you on the path to making sure you have the right people when you need them.
About Organizational Architecture
Organizational Architecture is a veteran-owned business and was founded in 2007 to provide companies with workforce strategy solutions that align with their organizational strategy. We believe our approach differentiates us from other companies that provide Human Resources services because we begin by asking questions about your organization, your clients, and your strategy. We are then able to provide solutions tailored to your specific needs and which support your strategy.
Read more on Mark Fiala’s member profile page.