There are many elements that contribute to business success, but no factor is more important than the quality of your employees. Recruiting and hiring the best candidates is a critical element in the successful implementation of your organization’s vision and goals. While there is no approach that guarantees foolproof success with every hire, there are ways to significantly reduce your risks of choosing the wrong candidate while ensuring you’re attracting the best applicants for your positions. The following is a list of ten tips from a variety of recruiting experts to help fine-tune your recruiting initiatives:
- Promote employee referrals
Set up an employee referral program (see A Guide for Setting up an Employee Referral Program) and turn every employee into a recruiter. An effective referral program features a simple procedure for submitting referrals, consistently follow up with referred candidates and incentives to encourage employees to make referrals.
- Write accurate job descriptions
Clearly and accurately describe your job openings to make sure that you’re attracting the types of candidates who will be the right fit. If you hire employees who learn down the road that their aptitudes, interests, financial expectations or personality are not the right fit for your organization, they are likely to be less engaged, and will probably leave as soon as they find a better match.
- Focus more on soft skills than hard ones
A candidate with energy and communication skills could be more valuable than one with specific job knowledge. Hard skills can be taught fairly easily. Soft skills cannot, and yet they can make a good employee great. Look for candidates that might have gaps in their work history, are older than you often consider or come from an unexpected place. These often work out to be more loyal and resilient workers.
- Simplify job applications
Make applying for your job openings simple, fast and mobile-friendly. Online applications that are daunting to complete can result in the loss of top applicants. If your prospective candidates are forced to fill out several pages of information before even submitting a resume, you’re likely to lose them, and once they’re gone, there’s little chance they’ll return or recommend you to others. Additionally, candidates won’t wait while you work through a lengthy internal process, so take days or weeks out of that process to keep candidates engaged. Once you’ve made a decision, get your new hire started on the job as soon as possible. Your recruiting/hiring process is a reflection of your company. Make sure it shows that you’re sensitive to candidates’ needs.
- Communicate a strong Employee Value Proposition
Your organization’s Employee Value Proposition (EVP) encompasses the value employees are expected to contribute and the value they can expect in return. There are many components you can offer as part of your EVP, but some common ones include competitive salaries, generous benefit packages, positive work environment and culture, autonomy (micromanaged vs. more independent) and rewards and recognition (i.e., bonuses). An offer that stands out can help attract the strongest candidates.
- Consider remote work arrangements
A remote work program can put your organization at the top of the list for a larger audience of talented individuals. Modern communication and collaboration technology have made remote work more effective and easier to manage. If a total remote option isn’t feasible for your organization, there are highly-qualified candidates who may need remote work flexibility that allows some work to be done remotely combined with time in the office. Building remote work flexibility into your EVP can make your organization a more attractive choice for many candidates.
- Use social media
Take advantage of social platforms where job seekers already spend a good deal of time. LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are great tools to leverage when sourcing for candidates.
- Build talent networks
Learn to develop relationships with potential new hires before relevant job openings are posted. One approach is to create “communities of engagement” online through which candidates can learn about your company. Build a pipeline of potential candidates to tap into when appropriate openings emerge down the road.
- Manage relationships within your applicant pool
If you find candidates who don’t fit the current job opening but could be great prospects for future job openings, develop a system for staying in touch. Send your best candidates future job announcements to help keep prospects engaged and interested in your organization’s opportunities.
- Forge relationships with centers of education and your local career centers
Partner with local education centers, such as community colleges, to help produce the talent you need by co-creating or underwriting a curriculum in return for having the first opportunity to recruit new grads as they emerge from those programs. Also, take advantage of many employer resources offered by local career centers.
- Seek and embrace diversity
A diverse team can be a major competitive advantage. In addition to increasing the depth of its talent pool, a diversity-focused recruitment program provides an organization with a diverse set of experiences, perspectives and backgrounds that promote innovation and the development of new ideas. An effective diversity program seeks applicants from the widest possible range of backgrounds and life experiences.
Recruiting and hiring the best talent for your organization can present many challenges, but incorporating some of these best practices should help give your recruiting efforts a boost.
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