The success of your company is a reflection of the total value of your team. This was never an individual journey. However, hiring the right people is easier said than done and hasty hires who don’t fit the role impacts your ability to scale. Small businesses especially understand how one bad hire can ruin the productivity of the entire team. That’s why entrepreneurs obsess over hiring.
The hiring process is often inadequately prioritized and moreover, outsourced to external recruiters who already have multiple clients to cater to, and likely, yours might not be the priority. Think Microsoft, Google. To begin with, they are paying a lot more and honestly they are an easier sell. Great external recruiters are difficult to find. And most of their random testing of candidates will bear no relation to the skills they’d need in their day-to-day jobs. A lot of us invariably underestimate how time-consuming and difficult it is to hire a fantastic team. Below are a few pointers to help you along the way.
Build a diverse and inclusive team from the outset and use metrics to hold your leadership team to account. Cultivate your culture in a way that it becomes a talent magnet. Set up each division with its own dedicated marketing plan to ensure tailored communications and messaging. Sent your best engineers and product people to tech talks and conferences to promote your brand and its culture.
Make use of structured interviewing techniques, along with a scoring system, which helps calibrate interviewers. Quickly move candidates through your recruitment cycle, keep them updated frequently and pay fairly. Gather feedback at each stage, on the process from candidates and make sure you give constructive feedback to those you reject.
Create a comprehensive picture of what is expected of all your employees, from the executives to all the way down. This may seem daunting, but it will help you hire people who are a true fit for your company and for the position itself and help you move away from merely “plugging holes.”
Work on ensuring your career portal is engaging, complete with proactive job alerts and making sure there are links to your social networking sites with a common look, feel, consistent branding and engaging job descriptions. Finally, leverage the data at your disposal. How many hits are you getting, from where and what profiles? Using this information and targeting them with advertising is the sort of marketing regularly applied to sales, but all too rarely re-purposed for recruitment. It’s a cost-effective way of hitting the people you want to talk to.
Look beyond the traditional career sites to find the right candidate. The tried and tested job boards, recruiters, or job postings are not as effective anymore because you’re competing with so many other companies for a limited number of people. This is a quick fix approach, yielding many resumes, but little talent. These approaches might initially appear to get results because you have a volume of people to consider and choose from, however, you’ll soon find out, quantity doesn’t equate to quality.
End of the day, you’ll start hunting for the best candidates yourself. Take a look at niche career websites and advertise on your own website. This is as good a place to start as any. Go a step further and sign up on LinkedIn and stalk some of the groups there. It’s where qualified candidates get headhunted. This is the whole point of LinkedIn. Even if you don’t find someone here, you will remain visible, and you’re still building relationships for the future.
Get your employees more involved in the entire recruiting and hiring process. This does not always mean rebooting the Employee Referral Programme with increased amounts of money. It’s more about rebooting the spirit of the programme which could help you drive referral rates by a considerable amount.
It's a good start to offer a competitive compensation package, but consider incorporating other attractive perks as well. Good talent is drawn to organizations that take care of their employees. For instance, working mothers will appreciate a flexible schedule to help them strike a better work-life balance. Millennials are increasingly seeking employers who offer remote work arrangements. This can be managed as long as deliverables are produced on time and within budget.
Hire employees who naturally fit into the company culture. Overall, attitude is a better gauge than the right skill sets when it comes to finding the right candidate. People who genuinely believe in your company’s vision will embrace the company culture. You can impart technical know-how, but a good work ethic is an innate quality which can’t easily be taught. The most successful businesses understand this. People who are passionate about your brand will go a step further to ensure your company becomes a success.
Be proactive in your recruitment efforts. Building your talent pipeline and searching for candidates should be an ongoing process, even if all the roles in your company are filled. Don’t wait for a vacancy to open up before you begin looking for qualified talent to join your team. Take the time out to canvass your file of shortlisted candidates and keep the lines of communication open. When an opening does come up in the future, having the right candidates on file will save you considerable time and resources.
It will be a lot easier to not only find qualified candidates but to attract the cream of the crop when you are known as an employer of choice in your industry. So, maintain a good reputation as an employer.
Lastly, don’t forget to create an overwhelming and delightful onboarding process. And remember, do not make a compromise hire. It's better to wait and search a while longer for the right person than to settle for a less than ideal candidate. You won’t get the results you hope for from a mediocre employee. It’s better to take three months to hire a great employee than hiring somebody mediocre who quits in a year. So, don’t compromise your hiring standards. Additionally, you have many hidden costs associated with this turnover, from training to morale, to service errors, to customer frustration. There’s a reason why many organizations have entire departments dedicated to this. Your company can only be as strong as the people driving it forward.