Finding the best possible people who can fit within your cultureand contribute to your organization is a challenge and an opportunity. Keeping the best people, once you find them, is easy if you do the right things right. These specific actions will help you with recruiting and retaining all the talent you need.
Improve Your Candidate Pool When Recruiting Employees
Companies that select new employees from the candidates who walk in their door or answer an ad in the paper or online are missing the best candidates. They’re usually working for someone else and they may not even be looking for a new position. Here are steps to take to improve your candidate pool.
- Invest time in developing relationships with university placement offices, recruiters, and executive search firms.
- Enable current staff members to actively participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet candidates you may successfully woo.
- Watch the online job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online even if they’re not currently looking.
- Use professional association websites and magazines to advertise for professional staff.
- Look for potential employees on LinkedIn and in other social media outlets. Bring your best prospects in to meet them before you need them.
The key is to build your candidate pool before you need it.
Hire the Sure Thing When Recruiting Employees
The authors of The Human Capital Edge, Bruce N. Pfau and Ira T. Kay, are convinced that you should hire a person who has done this « exact job, in this exact industry, in this particular business climate, from a company with a very similar culture. »
They believe that « past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior » and suggest that this is the strategy that will enable you to hire winners. They say that you must hire the candidates whom you believe can hit the ground running in your company. You can’t afford the time to train a possibly successful candidate.
Look First at In-House Candidates
Providing promotional and lateral opportunities for current employees positively boosts morale and makes your current staff members feel their talents, capabilities, and accomplishments are appreciated. Always post positions internally first.
Give potential candidates an interview. It’s a chance for you to know them better. They learn more about the goals and needs of the organization. Sometimes, a good fit is found between your needs and theirs.
Be Known as a Great Employer
Pfau and Kay make a strong case for not just being a great employer but letting people know that you are a great employer. This is how you build your reputation and your company brand. You’ll want the best prospects seeking you out because they respect and want to work for your brand. Google, who frequently tops Fortune’s Best Companies list, for example, receives around 3,000,000 applications a year.
Take a look at your employee practices for retention, motivation, accountability, reward, recognition, flexibility in work-life balance, promotion, and involvement. These are your key areas for becoming an employer of choice.
You want your employees bragging that your organization is a great place to work. People will believe the employees before they believe the corporate literature.
Involve Your Employees in the Hiring Process
You have three opportunities to involve your employees in the hiring process.
- Your employees can recommend excellent candidates to your firm.
- They can assist you to review resumes and qualifications of potential candidates.
- They can help you interview people to assess their potential « fit » within your company.
Organizations that fail to use employees to assess potential employees are underutilizing one of their most important assets. People who participate in the selection process are committed to helping the new employee succeed. It can’t get any better than that for you and the new employee.
Pay Better Than Your Competition
Yes, you do get what you pay for in the job market. Survey your local job market and take a hard look at the compensation people in your industry attract. You want to pay better than average to attract and keep the best candidates. Seems obvious, doesn’t it?
It’s not. I listen to employers every day who talk about how to get employees cheaply. It’s a bad practice. Did I say, « you do get what you pay for in the job market? » Sure, you can luck out and attract a person who has golden handcuffs because they are following their spouse to a new community or need your benefits.
But, they will resent their pay scale, feel unappreciated, and leave you for their first good job offer. I have seen employee replacement costs that range from two to three times the person’s annual salary. Did I say that you do get what you are willing to pay for in the job market?
Use Your Benefits to Your Advantage In Recruiting Employees
Keep your benefits above industry standard and add new benefits as you can afford them. You also need to educate employees about the cost and value of their benefits so they appreciate how well you are looking out for their needs.
Employees treasure the flexibility and the opportunity to balance work with other life responsibilities, interests, and issues. You can’t be an employer of choice without a good benefits package that includes standard benefits such as medical insurance, retirement, and dental insurance.
Employees are increasingly looking for cafeteria-style benefits plans in which they can balance their choices with those of a working spouse or partner. Pfau and Kay recommend stock and ownership opportunities for every level of employees in your organization. Consider profit sharing plans and bonuses that pay the employee for measurable achievements and contributions.
Hire the Smartest Person You Can Find
In their recent book, First Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently, Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman recommend that great managers hire for talent. They believe that successful managers believe:
« People don’t change that much. Don’t waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough. »
If you’re looking for someone who will work well with people, you need to hire an individual who has the talent of working well with people. You’re unlikely to train missing talents into the person later. You can try, but then, you are not building on the employee’s strengths which 80,000 managers, via Gallup’s research, highly recommend.
The recommendation? Hire for strengths; don’t expect to develop weak areas of performance, habits, and talents. Build on what is great about your new employee in the first place.
Use Your Website for Recruiting
Do create an employment section which describes your available positions and contains information about you and why an interested person might want to contact your company. A recruiting website is your opportunity to shine and a highly effective way to attract candidates today.
Check References When Recruiting Employees
The purpose of this section is to keep you out of trouble with the candidates you are seeking and selecting and the employees you currently employ. You really need to check references carefully and do background checks.
In the litigious society in which we live (don’t even ask me what percentage of the world’s lawyers reside in the United States of America) you need to pursue every avenue to assure that the people you hire can do the job, contribute to your growth and development, and have no past transgressions which might endanger your current workforce.
In fact, you might be liable if you failed to do a background check on a person who then attacked another in your workplace.
Each organization has to start somewhere to improve recruiting, hiring, and retention of valued employees. The tactics and opportunities detailed here are your best bets for recruiting the best employees. These ideas can help your organization succeed and grow, they create a workplace that will meet both your needs and the needs of your potential and current superior employees.