As the U.S. economy improves, job candidates are more discriminating when evaluating career opportunities, making the search for outstanding talent increasingly challenging. In a competitive dynamic environment, the key to successfully hiring exceptional talent begins well before an actual staffing need surfaces. Below are seven strategies that you can implement now to improve your company’s future recruiting ROI:
- Ensure your organization’s written mission statement, values and objectives are well-defined, relevant and up-to-date. Mission statements, values and objectives provide a clear picture of your company’s direction and serve as a roadmap for future decision-making and strategic initiatives. By publishing your company’s mission statement and values on your website, you allow prospective candidates the opportunity to determine if their own personal values align with your organization. Employees who have similar values as their employer are found to be more engaged, productive and invested in their jobs.
- Ensure your organization’s culture embraces diversity, and your leadership team appreciates differences in ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, education, religion, lifestyles, personalities and skills. A culture of inclusion begins with your leadership team and its ability to make certain every employee has the opportunity to reach his or her full potential. A culture of diversity and inclusion attracts top-notch talent. Be sure to look at your website from the perspective of a candidate to see if your leadership team reflects a culture of diversity and inclusion.
- Review your company’s employment branding to ensure your company is perceived as an employer of choice. Does your company have an Employer Value Proposition (EVP)? If not, you may want to consider developing and publishing an EVP. An EVP outlines your company’s unique offerings, which are considered valuable by prospective candidates and current employees. It can provide a consistent positive message internally and externally about the benefits of joining your organization.
- Reduce the number of potential hiring mistakes. There are two kinds of hiring mistakes: hiring the wrong candidate and not hiring a potential superstar. While many hiring managers understand the costs associated with hiring the wrong person, they don’t realize that it can be just as costly to overlook a candidate. Be sure to train your hiring managers to review resumes with an open mind. Frequently, recruiters make incorrect assumptions about a candidate based on their resume. A 10-minute telephone screening interview can uncover additional useful information that may qualify the candidate for an in-person interview, and ultimately, lead to a great hire.
- Invest in technology to ensure your company provides up-to-date technological resources that enable your employees to do their jobs effectively, whether they are working remotely or in the office. When assessing job offers, candidates compare compensation, benefits, work-life balance and advancement opportunities, while also looking at the resources provided to them to ensure they have the tools necessary to be successful in their new role. If you have outdated computer software and hardware, now may be a good time to upgrade. You may also want to implement a web-based video interviewing platform to attract tech savvy candidates.
- Establish consistent hiring practices and procedures that take into consideration both the candidate’s and your company’s perspectives. Too often, employers are so focused on whether a candidate is a good fit that they forget the candidate’s decision to switch employers is just as important. Make sure every interaction with a candidate reflects a positive and professional image of your organization. Even if you don’t extend an offer to a candidate, the candidate may serve as a good-will ambassador for your organization long after the interview. Make sure your hiring practices allow time for a company overview, realistic job preview, site visit and for the candidate to ask questions. Not only do candidates want to hear about the benefits of joining your organization, but they also want to hear about the challenges they may encounter. It is better to tell them upfront so that they know what to expect on their first day of employment. The interview is the first step in building trust between you and your future employee. Prospective employees also want to see where their office/cubicle will be located so that they can visualize themselves working for you. Be sure to give an office tour and introduce them to a few of their future peers. Be sure to move quickly through the hiring process and keep candidates informed along the way. As soon as you know a candidate is not moving forward in the process, you should notify them.
- Train your hiring managers on how to conduct effective behavioral-based interviews. Behavioral-based interviews are based on the premise that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. They are more effective than traditional interviews if skillfully administered. Providing hiring managers with a list of behavior-based interview questions is a good starting point; however training managers how to appropriately probe, clarify and ask follow-up questions will help your organization gain vital information to make more informed hiring decisions.
The above suggestions are not intended to be all-inclusive. However, as the economy rebounds and employers compete for talent, these strategies will help your organization attract candidates and retain talent.