If your company is growing, you've likely encountered problems finding the talent you need, especially if that talent is technical in nature. You've also probably spent lots of $$$ on outside recruiters and maybe even an RPO provider. And you're probably still unhappy with the quality of candidates you've received. If you're ready to take talent acquisition into your own hands, reduce costs and turnover, increase hiring speed and quality of hire, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Create job profiles. Don't let middle management hobble the company's growth because they don't know what they want in a candidate. I can't tell you how many times I've heard clients say "We only want the best candidates". When I ask them to define 'best', their minds go blank and they say something to the effect of 'I'll know it when I see it.' This is 'planning to fail' writ large. You don't need the best candidates, you need the RIGHT candidates. The right candidates ARE the best candidates for your business. How do you determine who the right candidates are? By creating job profiles. How do you create job profiles? By doing this:
- Define your company culture and values. Every organization is different, and in order for an employee to be successful, you need to match their personality and work style to your organization. This is more important than matching skills. Skills can be learned, cultural fit cannot. When examining your company culture, consider the following: Is your organization flat, or hierarchical? Bureaucratic or entrepreneurial? Are you competitive or collaborative? Is communication open or selective? Do you place more value on goal achievement, or time in the office? It may be tempting to look at the above list of attributes and pick out those that create the 'perfect' corporate environment, but the real world is not perfect, and hierarchical, bureaucratic organizations can be very successful (think big pharma), provided they hire people who match their organizational style. In this case, a bureaucratic collaborator with a 'selective' communication style can be very successful, in the right environment. This makes them the RIGHT (and best) candidate!
- Detail the goals of the position. Make the most of your intake meeting with the hiring manager by discussing the 6 and 12 month goals for the position (why not 3 month goals? Because the goal of the first 3 months is to learn the job). Then discuss the 24 and 36 month goals (after 36 months, the employee should be focused on closing the skills gap in preparation for career advancement). Once you have goals, you will have a clear list of required skills. This will be a real list based on business needs, not an imaginary list of technical buzzwords that the manager saw in a trade magazine. Knowing the goals will also allow you to craft compelling job ad copy which will attract the right candidates (not that you're going to be posting to a job board. I'll cover the correct use of job ads in another post. For now, let's just say that there are more effective ways to attract the right candidates than Monster and Careerbuilder).
- Detail what is needed for career advancement. Very few people want to stay in the same job forever, so putting together a plan for career advancement is critical to attracting the right candidates. Just as you did with the position goals, make a list of skills and experience needed to advance to that next step on the career ladder. Then make sure employees are given opportunities to develop those needed skills. This is not something that can be accomplished by a reactive HR function; you need an active Talent Management Department to make employee development happen.
Next Time: Building a talent pipeline