Finding the perfect team member to add to your existing roster of talent is no small task. A qualified hiring manager knows you have to weigh the professional’s knowledge base alongside their personality and ability to mesh well with the company’s existing culture. Because this task comes with a fairly high degree of pressure, there’s also a lot of frustration that can stem from the hiring process.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to clone your best talent when you have an empty spot to fill. But there are some recruiting tips you use to make the hiring process easier and reducing aggravation:
Recruit even when you’re not actively looking.
Regardless of whether your company needs to hire right now or not, those in charge of talent acquisition should always be recruiting in some form or another. When you’re at a networking event, participating in discussions on social media, or casually fielding questions about your career at a friend’s party, you should have good answers about why someone might want to work for your company.
You never know who’s looking for an opportunity or who may know someone who could be a major asset to your organization. Bear in mind that you’re always representing your company, even when you’re technically off the clock.
Don’t pigeonhole potential employees.
If you’re looking for your next great sales professional for your technology company, don’t zero in only on those who are currently selling technology-related items. It’s easy for someone to learn the ins and outs of your product.
You need someone who is charismatic, not afraid of rejection, and enthusiastic. If you meet an impressive rep who’s currently selling cosmetics, don’t automatically dismiss this individual. Who knows what they could become with a little training about your product line?
Set up a referral program.
If you find yourself wishing you could clone a rising star within your company, why not establish an employee referral program? Encourage individuals to recruit their equally enthusiastic friends. Your top team members have an extensive network of connections dating back to past jobs or their college days and it’s important to tap into that.
When it’s time to add to your team, give your veteran employees an incentive to reach out to these connections to gauge interest. Current employees can act as your best representatives, speaking truthfully about why they love their job. If they truly feel satisfied at work, they can encourage like-minded, well-trained professionals to consider coming in for an interview.
As an added bonus, rather than hoping you’re getting an accurate feel for someone’s personality type during an interview, you can then tap that trusted team member as a resource to vouch for this individual, thus ensuring that the hire is a good fit.
The one caveat: be easy-going about putting a referral program into place. If you start laying the pressure on and setting minimums for the number of recommendations your staff has to make, the quality of names will quickly decrease. Instead of carefully contemplating who would work well in your office, you’ll be getting the names of aunts, uncles, and neighbors just so your staff members can say they met their quota. This defeats the purpose of a referral program.
When such a program is voluntary, but offers incentives (a cash bonus if their referral stays with the organization for a certain amount of months) you know you’re getting quality recommendations — without putting your veteran employees in a tough position.
Develop real relationships.
Recruiting requires a delicate touch, particularly when you’re interacting with passive candidates. If you’re continually spamming someone’s email or hounding them at a networking event, don’t be surprised when you permanently burn a bridge. Instead, your approach should be a slow one.
Don’t focus on getting someone to come in for an interview the following week. Work on building a real relationship with this individual, where you can trust each other and get a sense of the other person’s intentions. When professionals in your industry view you as a valuable asset to the field instead of a pest who’s trying to push their company’s agenda at any cost, they’re more willing to have a conversation with you. This becomes valuable when it’s time to hire.
Be willing to get creative to attract talent.
When you’re going after the best in the business, you’re going to need to make your company and your open position stand out. If you’re not willing to negotiate on salary, vacation days, or small perks associated with the job, you’re going to attract a lower-caliber employee who’s just desperate to collect a paycheck from somewhere.
To catch the eye of top-tier professionals, you need to be willing to get creative, particularly if these individuals aren’t actively seeking out new employment opportunities. Instead of forcing them to take time out of their day and trek to your office for an interview, could you allow them to do a video interview? You’re still getting the information that you need to know about this person, but you’re allowing them to do it on their time and from the comfort of their own home.
This sends a message that you respect their time and want to make life easier for them. You might also want to consider offering other perks, like extra vacation days, a work from home option, or a ‘bring your pet to work’ policy. Creating an office environment that values employees’ happiness makes your business more desirable to the kind of talent you’re hoping to attract.
Don’t forget to promote from within.
Some managers get so focused on reviewing resumes and cover letters when a job opens up that they forget they have a whole pool of talented people already on staff.
Finding an outside hire to fill a role can be effective, but you shouldn’t overlook the possibility of promoting from within. If you have a current employee who might be the right fit for the open role, don’t forget to add them to the discussion. Beyond the benefits of reduced training time, promoting from within is great for employee morale.
Taking a proactive approach to the hiring process, even when you’re not actively looking to fill a spot, enables you to reduce the frustration and stress that can accompany the process if you have to dive in unexpectedly when you’re not prepared. Continually build your network and evaluate your current talent in order to have the ability to act quickly when an open position does become available.
Want more recruiting tips to make your career easier?
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