Most recruiters have said it at some point in their career: “I’m so lucky I found that candidate. He’s going to knock everybody’s socks off.” But in reality, being able to consistently find great talent has little to do with luck. Solid talent acquisition requires a strategic plan and directive.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. A 2015 Adecco survey found that 47 percent of respondents said sourcing candidates is one of the biggest problems HR is currently facing. If you want to find and land great talent, you’re going to need more than a four-leaf clover and a rabbit’s foot.
If you want to create a hiring strategy that leaves nothing to chance, take the advice of these experts:
1. Great talent is more than just their skills.
A generation ago, hiring was all about experience. Being passionate about the position and the work was discouraged. Today, a candidate who cannot approach their work with passion and doesn’t fit into your company’s culture probably isn’t going to work out. Hiring based on personality and then training for the position has filled our company with amazing people. Hire someone with 75 to 85 percent of the skill set required for an opening. If the leading candidate shares your vision and values, has a great personality, and is willing to make the effort, then you have a perfect recipe for a great hire.
2. Rely on more than just your gut.
I think the worst thing you can do is hire based on your “gut feeling.” Having a recruitment plan allows you to take any emotion or subjectivity out of the process and make sure you’re only hiring top talent. Anyone can be charming in an interview, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that candidate will be your star performer.
Our hiring plan involves extensive and even tedious screening before we ever meet the candidate face to face. We require a very detailed job application and a couple hours’ worth of skills and aptitude tests that make sure we are being as deliberate and scientific as possible in identifying top talent. That way, when a candidate does get to the final interview, we already know they are qualified, and we can just relax and look for a great cultural fit for our team.
Ashlyn Walker, Office Administrator, J – I.T. Outsource
3. Fish in the right pond, with the right bait.
When searching for top talent, one has to have a strategy and a process on where to search and how to attract them. If you want to catch the big fish, you have to fish in the waters they swim in and use the right bait. Unfortunately, most companies do the same thing to catch Moby Dick as they do to catch a goldfish. It doesn’t work. Have a defined, specific job description with a competitive compensation plan and then search the areas these superstars frequent. The plan should also be a multi-faceted approach using social media, networking, company events, and intercompany referral programs.
Mike Smith, Founder, SalesCoaching1.com
4. Don’t let big names distract you.
Looking for and finding the top talent isn’t about paying the most money for a name in your industry; it’s about finding the most synergistic person for the teams you already have established. I’ve seen many companies hire big names, whom required big salaries and sign-on bonuses, only to have them clash with the existing team so badly that their impact was negative. My best advice is to have a list of needs, wants, and soft-skill requirements. This will ensure the top talent doesn’t turn into the top regret.
5. Luck means nothing without hard work.
Luck favors the prepared! Great recruiters and those companies with a recruiting culture have processes and programs in place to build and market a great employment brand. So when you happen to be in the right place, at the right time to discover that just-right candidate, it really isn’t karma or some cosmic accident — it was the culmination of hard work. Put another way, it’s like saying that winning a gold medal at the Olympics or landing a huge account at work is just luck. You don’t reach the pinnacle of your area of expertise through luck alone.
In what other ways is a solid talent acquisition strategy better than luck? Share in the comments below!