The strength of the U.S. economy has led to a candidate-driven job market. Job seekers with strong skill sets and experience have the luxury of considering multiple offers before making their decisions. To that end, companies need to invest more energy in presenting a robust candidate experience, a meaningful employer brand and attractive salary and benefit packages. While such efforts help engage the right talent, the company still needs to ensure its hiring needs are fulfilled.
Recruiting is a time-consuming and expensive proposition with long-lasting impact. When the right person gets placed in the right job, the whole team benefits. If it is not a good match, the position falls short of the company’s needs and may create performance and morale issues for others.
Here are four tips to increase the odds of your recruiting success.
Have a clearly defined job description.
This document presents the person’s responsibilities and outlines expectations for performance. It also specifies characteristics of the ideal candidate – e.g., education, skills, experience, professional certifications, work habits, and personality. Though the hiring manager provides the primary input, more perspectives may strengthen the profile. This can help set the stage for a harmonious work environment in the future. Once completed, the job description drives the recruiting process by targeting candidate-rich environments, communicating the company’s needs, and establishing criteria for screening resumes. It also sets the context for crafting interview questions.
Look for internal candidates.
Hiring managers often neglect lateral or promotional opportunities for their current employees because they’ve become accustomed to their existing roles or hold a narrow view of their interests and capabilities. Yet these employees have a track record to demonstrate their work ethic, competency, reliability, and loyalty – qualities that may only be inferred for external candidates. Internal candidates also already understand the corporate culture and may have valuable connections to boost their performance in the new position. Finally, preferential treatment for insiders sends a strong message to current and prospective employees that the company invests in its people and helps them attain their career goals.
Use the interview to explore how candidates think and act on the job.
Most candidates come prepared to answer questions that relate directly to the material they’ve provided on their resumes. They may also have canned responses on their strengths, weaknesses and future goals with the intention of appealing to the recruiter’s ear. While it’s entirely appropriate to ask clarifying questions about the candidate’s background, the focus should be on how each individual would react to the challenges and opportunities of the job. The recruiter should present real-life scenarios and/or case studies and explore how each candidate would respond. Once an initial response has been offered, explore how the results of a given decision or course of action ripple through the department or company. Role-playing may prove useful as well.
Be as attentive to interpersonal dynamics as you are to technical competency.
No matter how skilled or accomplished candidates are, their success will be determined to a lesser or greater degree by how well they interact with others and fit into the corporate culture. The interviewer needs to be clear on what constitutes a good personality match and be on the lookout for these characteristics throughout the interview. Uneasy feelings may be a sign something is awry even if the interviewer can’t quite figure out what’s causing them. One’s gut instincts could be a reliable indicator of future success or disappointment.
Prospective candidates have extra bargaining chips in the current job market. The right candidate may look for a higher salary or more generous benefits than originally specified in the job description. Common requests include full medical coverage, extra paid time off, and opportunities to work from home. Even though it may be tempting to simply grant these requests, the company needs to consider how its decisions will impact compensation to existing employees. Legally, the company cannot prevent employees from discussing their salaries and benefits with each other. As such, decisions need to be made with an expectation that the terms of the deal will be made public.
Know when to utilize outside expertise to identify the best talent. With today’s low unemployment rates, employers looking to fill a key position may need to consider other options beyond posting jobs to the usual websites and turn to professionals to assist with the search. If you need help attracting dynamic leadership to your organization, consider the Aldrich executive recruiting services where our professionals draw on our deep network of talent to present you with qualified leaders, allowing you to quickly and efficiently build your leadership team.