One of your biggest challenges as an employer is hiring the right people for the right positions to fuel the growth of your company. You know that hiring decisions impact your whole organization, and are well aware of the importance of ensuring a successful hiring process, but how do you find and recruit the best of the best? While there are missteps that might deter the right candidates, such as poorly crafted job postings or lack of communication during the application process, there are steps you can take to help improve the process and attract higher quality candidates, including:
Build a strong employer brand. Business writer Sammi Caramela suggests that you build and actively manage your employer brand by raising your company profile on social media, keeping your profile updated with the latest company news, responding to online comments and reviews and sharing insights into your organization’s culture and work environment (see 7 Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process). Building your employer brand can help position your company as a desirable place to work and bring more quality applicants to your door.
Move as quickly and efficiently as possible through the hiring process. It’s important to act quickly, especially if you’re interested in a specific candidate. You should follow up with your best candidates often and continue to discuss the position to ensure you’re on their radar. Also, respond to any questions or concerns right away to keep them updated throughout the process. This includes the on-boarding process after the offer has been made. In today’s job market, candidates can accept your offer while continuing to interview elsewhere. You could lose your star candidates even after they have accepted the job if you don’t start them on the job quickly.
Write better job postings. Besides summarizing the role and listing responsibilities and preferred qualifications clearly and concisely, personalize the job post by addressing the reader directly and share company values and culture to capture the interest of potential candidates. (See accompanying article: Write Effective Job Postings that Attract the Right Candidates)
Use social media. Use public social media profiles for candidate research. A candidate’s social media profile can offer more details about the individual as a person and an employee and give you a better picture of someone you’re interested in hiring.
Work with Career Centers. Organizations such as the Tri-Valley Career Center are an important resource for finding quality candidates and supporting your recruiting efforts. Work with Career Centers to post your job openings, get candidate referrals for your open positions and take advantage of labor market data, local minimum wage comparisons and other useful hiring information and connections.
Improve your interviews. Often the job interview process focuses on making sure new hires are technically competent, while other factors important to employee success, such as coachability, emotional intelligence, temperament and motivation, are overlooked. Conducting interviews as conversations, listening as much as talking and encouraging candidates to ask questions will give you greater insight into their personalities and help both employer and candidate assess if this work environment is a good fit.
Involve more people in the hiring process. Expand the interview process to include the manager and a peer from the hiring department. This allows for more input in the selection process and could help ensure a better fit with the team the candidate is about to join. (see 11 Killer Ways to Improve Your Hiring Process by Chris Richardson)
Build talent pipelines. Create a pool of candidates who can fill future roles. Sourcing candidates before roles open gives you time to engage them early to reduce your hiring time. Nikoletta Bika (How to improve your recruiting process) suggests four main steps to build talent pipelines:
- Determine what roles need a pipeline, such as roles with high turnover or hard-to-fill positions.
- Look to past candidates, former employees and interns to build your pipeline.
- Source passive candidates (not currently looking for work) by researching social media, networking at events and getting referrals (internal or external).
- Reach out to past candidates to engage them and stay in touch until you have an open role for them.
When the hiring process goes as smoothly as possible, you’re taking your organization to the next level of growth and success. Improving your company’s hiring is an ongoing process, and analyzing your hiring practices can be helpful in this ongoing process.