We’ve all heard how brutal the competition for top talent is. But some companies, like Google and Apple hardly have to try, because top performers are already desperate to work for them. Their pull is irresistible because they’re not recruiting talent – they’re attracting it. And having the right team can really supercharge your profits. So how can your company draw in the best employees, even if you’re not as famous or sexy as the Silicon Valley giants?
Understand who the best employees are – for you. Everyone has talent. It’s about attracting the right people to your organization. Be very clear on the traits and competencies that the most successful people in your business have in common. In other words, one company may want to fill its ranks with out-of-the-box entrepreneurial thinkers, while another may value thoughtful, fact driven executives. There’s not one universal standard for the perfect employee. Thankfully!
Hire underappreciated stars. Talent is often overlooked because of biases. For example, you may automatically assume that because someone is over the age of 50, they are not technically savvy. In many cases, this couldn’t be further than the truth. I tell my clients that they should think of Disneyland when they think about recruiting. A good majority of guests walk through the entrance gates and go right. What if instead, you went left? Great rides, same food, shorter lines! When looking for people, go left. Take a closer look at mature candidates or people who are re-entering the workforce. Be open-minded and you’ll be surprised how many great people there are out there. And the bonus for you is that there won’t be a long line of employers in front of you.
Be careful who you promote. You’ve heard the adage: people leave their bosses, not their companies. Be very selective when promoting people to management and be sure to reward them for the right behaviours. Provide opportunities for continued growth so they can fine-tune their skills and be the kind of leader that even you would be proud to call your own boss. Good leaders…treat people like they’d like to be treated, and they do whatever it takes to help their employees shine. If you promote people carelessly, they harm the entire organization.
Beef up your online presence. Top performers always do their research, so you want to make sure that they like what they see when they Google your company. See to it that your website and social accounts look presentable and contain adequate information about your business.
Be a multi-channel recruiter. We are all operating in a competitive space that requires forward-thinking as well as online and social savviness. If you want to attract applicants who have those traits, you should take your recruitment efforts beyond traditional channels such as job boards. Sites such as Facebook and Twitter, while not specifically made for recruiting, can also help you find new hires. Use Twitter to spread the word about your openings and put a special careers tab on your Facebook page where your fans can browse and apply for jobs. Even Instagram has proven to be a good platform, particularly for companies looking for young and fresh talent.
And don’t forget about mobile. An increasing number of users are now using their mobile devices to access job boards and look for career information, so make sure your posts and listings are optimized for the small screen.
Get multiple perspectives. You can do this by creating an interviewing team. Usually this will be comprised of the people this candidate will be interacting with the most. Ensure everyone on the team has interviewing training. Agree on what questions each person on the team will ask ahead of time. Have your team conduct individual interviews instead of a panel interview. I’m a big fan of having an open discussion as a group to discuss the interview results of each candidate.
Don’t just conduct an interview – have a conversation. Don’t let your interviews be too scripted. Guide questions are okay, but don’t be afraid to have a real conversation, and let the other party do most of the talking. You will be surprised what you can learn about a person. Ask a question to start the conversation, then listen, and continue to ask probing questions to their response.
Ask the candidate what questions they have for you. The questions that a candidate asks on their own will tell you a lot about their attitude, their thought process and their priorities much more than their rehearsed answers to your interview script.
Pressed for time? Interview remotely. I get it. Running a business can be bonkers busy—and that’s probably one of the reasons you’re looking to hire more people. If you’re pressed time, consider conducting the first round of interviews remotely. I recommend Skype or Go To Meeting when conducting initial interviews.
Motivate your current employees. Incentivize your staff to help you recruit more employees. Your current employees know what it takes to do the job. They have a vested interest in bringing in people who will make the workload lighter, not heavier which is why you should take the recommending employee into consideration when considering the person they’re suggesting.”
Hire slow, Fire Fast. Finally, recognize that when it comes to hiring employees, getting it done right is better than getting it done fast. Don’t settle for a candidate who isn’t perfect for the job, just because you want to get the process over with. Only hire the best and ensure they are the right fit for you. It takes time and patience but you will be greatly rewarded when you have the right butts in the right seats!”
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