Its no secret the past year has been one of the most challenging for business owners (and HR professionals) with regard to finding talent. While the market may continue to be choppy, challenging and a bit messy, there are ways to help you and your business hone in on the right candidate for your organizations culture. We've put together a short list of areas to focus on in order to yield the best results for your talent acquisition search.
1. Pretend you are preparing for a first date.
Why would someone date you? What are the elements that would attract someone to you? Your position(s) and organization must have something that attracts candidates. Period. Whether that is a sign-on bonus, a great benefit package, offering above industry-standard compensation or fun employee activity options, there must be something that makes your organization stand out.
Before trying to convince candidates to find interest in your open position(s), try showcasing and convincing them why they should work for your organization. After all, the position could be wonderful but if the environment and culture in which it takes place is toxic and chaotic, no one will be interested long term, even with a top compensation package.
Craft your message around your organization and all the things that make it special, different and unique to work in. Think about the employee experience and all the positives from their perspective, not your perspective. You may be asking, "How do I know what our employee experience is like?" Ask! Before you can staff your organization with professionals who are qualified and skilled and also choose to stay, you must understand and know how your current workforce is doing. This is not an area to make assumptions in. Finding out what is most attractive to your existing workforce will help make attracting potentials a lot easier.
2. Be transparent.
Its been said a million times. Yet it is so important to lay your cards out on the table. Be truthful about your organization and the position and include challenges faced when reaching objectives. Compensation is also a huge opportunity to show transparency. In today's market, candidates are not waiting around to find out what the compensation package is after a first interview. They want to know ahead of time and will determine quite quickly if they will even consider it. Save everyone the time. While there may not be much you can change with compensation or the budget you've been given, you can be honest, knowing those who apply know and understand before there is any commitment on either side.
3. Be aggressive.
If you post ads through an HRIS or directly onto job boards, sit back and then wait for candidates to apply, you my friend, are in a world of hurt! Candidates aren't coming to you. You must go to them. This is where your industry comes into play. Reach out to your networks, your industry peer groups, your local business support entities such as the chamber of commerce. Talk to your employees, get them involved, offer a referral bonus that is exclusive and not what everyone else offers as a standard. Get the word out in unique ways in addition to job boards to give you more bandwidth.
4. Hire a professional.
There is a big difference between a staffing agency and an independent recruiter. Understanding the difference can help you determine if its time to bring in the big guns. Staffing agencies can be a great resource for labor positions, seasonal needs and special projects that require volume of employees. The positions are generally temporary or can convert from temporary to permanent depending on the position and business needs. Agencies are the employer of record and are responsible for the employee(s) while they are on assignment.
Executive and independent recruiters are great resources for finding supervisory, managerial, or executive positions, by leveraging their pool of contacts which is oftentimes niche and industry-specific. These recruiters zone in and focus on choosing candidates who are not available and currently working somewhere else. An independent recruiter is not responsible for the employee(s) when they are on the job. They are paid a percentage of the annual salary after they have placed an employee into the position and they have worked for the employer for an agreed upon time, typical 30 days.
Employers may feel hiring a professional is too expensive. However, if you analyze the length of time it may take you or your in-house staff to fill positions, it may be more cost-effective in many areas to consider outsourcing in this area. Now may be a good time to do a needs assessment to determine where you are at and how to begin developing a recruitment strategy for the new year.
There is no magic pill. Hiring in this market takes innovation, patience and a whole lot of variety to attract a diverse and talented pool of candidates.