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How to Hire the Best Talent and Repel the Worst

"How to Hire the Best Talent and Repel the Worst" - buildcompanies.com by Jeanne Heydecker

Talent acquisition is vital for every company. Without employees, a business cannot exist. Without talented employees, a business cannot grow.

#1: Great Job Opening Descriptions

You need to sell the opportunity and your company. Your job opening descriptions should sell the job. They are NOT job descriptions. Why would someone want to work in that position in your company? What kind of impact will that job have? What’s the team like? What is your company’s reputation? Is it attractive to potential candidates?

#2: Timely and Excellent HR Telephone Interviews

HR should review every entry first thing every day, and again anything else that came in just after lunch. Shortlist and make the calls same day. Seriously. Discipline yourself. The “Black Hole of HR” that every candidate complains about starts right here.

#3: Positive Candidate Experience at Your Office

Develop a series of standard questions and a rubric that helps the interviewer score the interview and use the same interviewer for all interviews for the same job. This should typically be the hiring manager who will be managing, mentoring and monitoring their work in the company. Review the interview questions and the rubric with the interviewer prior to ensure he/she understands how to use them properly.

#4: Be On Time

Offer them a drink or snack, especially if you interviewer is running late. Offer them a tour of the office, maybe meet the team. Ensure the interview room is clean and temperature comfortable. Keep on schedule as much as possible. Follow up with a one-page candidate experience feedback form with open questions.

#5: Timely Email and Telephone Updates Prior to Offer/Refusal

As soon as the interviews are finished for the day, meet with the interviewer to shortlist possible candidates and the definite “no’s”. By end of shift, send out emails thanking them all for visiting your organization and tell the shortlisted candidates you should hear soon and let the “no’s” know as nicely as possible.

#6: Excellent Offers and Empathetic Refusals

Develop email templates that are on brand that you use to send to candidates that you have called, negotiated the offer and they have accepted. You want an introduction email that details all the items you agreed about (Title, salary, start date, etc.) along with attachments of any employment contracts you need signed. We also recommend a Welcome Kit that introduces the company, its leaders, perhaps a welcome letter from the CEO, a documents checklist, a first day induction schedule, a list of special programs you might have like team sports, corporate social responsibility programs, and a list of cool benefits your company offers.

Emails to people who didn’t get selected should be empathetic and positive even though you’re telling them that this job isn’t right for them. Find a way to write that in way where the candidate still continues to feel smart. valued and important and always encourage them to continue to apply and recommend their friends (if appropriate).

#7: Fabulous Talent Acquisition Strategies

If you are still just using newspaper ads or job portals, you’re missing a lot of opportunity to meet potential new hires. Most Careers sections of web sites are completely out of date that is embarrassing. Keep it updated and maximize your section with videos from your HR team on how to ace an interview at the company, videos of people doing the jobs you’re hiring for, posting photos of events and more. Use your imagination. You can do a lot with that section of your web site.

#8: Don’t Forget Social Media

You should be posting jobs on your corporate social media pages. You have a corporate page on LinkedIn and Facebook, right? Right? Use them, especially Facebook, as an insider’s view of the company. Identify one person or a team that posts photos, films events, adds albums of special event photos and films from hired professionals, report on the impact of your CSR programs and your sports tournaments – the list goes on. Invite the public to come with you to clean that riverbank or visit the veterinary service to help. People who are like-minded will be ideal and open to possibly joining a company that shares their values.

On- and offline networking is still a very good way to identify potential applicants, especially if you’re looking for high level employees. Local business networking events, speakers at local seminars and other business programs are an excellent way to meet great candidates and attract high profile employees.

#9: Creative On-boarding Techniques

Beyond the welcome kit mentioned above, plan out the first week of your newbie’s schedule. Assign a mentor who helps them figure out the schedule, has lunch with them each day, introduces them to other folks in the company. HR should be sure IT does their work quickly, getting their email set up, ID badge ready on day one, along with a gift bag of branded office supplies (note pad, mousepad, branded pens and pencils, staplers, etc.)

#10: Candidate Experience Feedback

After the interview process, getting candidates to complete a quick form can be skewed by candidates wanting to only say positive things about the company in order to get the job. After a week has gone by, it would be great for HR to sit down with the new hire to get a more honest opinion of what could be improved.

A great HR team continuously innovates, updates, upgrades, tries new methods and keeps focusing on finding the best talent possible. Be creative, focus on your candidates, and the best will bring their friends.


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