The Recruiting, Staffing and Search cycle must begin somewhere. How does one begin the most important phase of the search or the entire life-cycle? If you are like most organizations talent/recruiting/HR functions are aligned to a "cost center." This to me is a core mistake. Where do you start the most basic effort to align your talent outcomes to superstar proportions? What is it that launches your magical sourcing engine, value add, and effort to become a whole, integrated search powerhouse? It must begin at one end of the cycle - is it reactive OR proactive. Does it start when an employee decides to leave? When a gaping hole in your staff shifts the burdens of work, stress, and life to an already overburdened team? OR Does it start way before the need arises in a virtuous cycle that gives rise to amazing talent EVEN BEFORE the need is there. How do you transform your organization from a full blown reactive engine to an ever engaging talent motivator even before the need arises? Here is what I suggest.
1. Create a Talent Attraction Culture - Frequently go to your staff, talk to them about the Employee Referrel Program, and make it easy for them to gain the employee referrel bonus. Make technology, ATS, HRIS, systems and Job Descriptions together easy to maintain and compelling for outside talent to join with you in your company's cause. Just the other day I reviewed a job description which had almost Kindergarten references to rules that were placed as qualifications, namely specifying areas that really shouldn't be in a job description and would scare away any job seeker. That's one example. Also - make your Applicant Tracking System friendly to social networks - LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and make job descriptions share-able and interesting with effective information that draws the reader in.
2. Create a sourcing culture - everyone from the CEO to the Mail-room staff is empowered to find new talent. Create your employment brand by being responsive, keeping to your promises, and delivering value in multiple scenarios. Create a culture that wins awards, empowers creativity, and removes barriers to staffing's ability to deliver.
3. Empower hiring managers to give good interviews - no candidate wants to be part of a company where hiring managers just go through the motions, instead train managers to be open minded, show forth a business maturity, and engaging. Teach them about Behavioral interviewing skills, and help them screen talent even more efficiently.
4. Reduce Recruiting/Staffing Fatigue, by giving recruiters empowerment to cut down on layers of interviews, only the most essential stakeholders, build trust between HR/Staffing/Recruiting and remember recruiting is joined at HR's hip.
5. Ensure your Compensation/Benefits Package is competitive - By constant bench-marking, and paying reasonable wages to candidates with lots of choices, ensure candidates and hiring managers have adequate support steps in the process to know and provide expectations of what the carrot is. In today's hyper-competitive talent market, the robust benefits package is king.
6. Ensure internal career path options are available - clearly defined Job Descriptions that enable understanding of the "what's next" question can keep your rising superstars and high potential staff clearly engaged. Ensuring HR and Staffing communicate the career road map internally is as vital as the external recruitment efforts.
7. Training and Development opportunities are key - Ensure training options and career growth options are firmly supported. Help internal candidates know how they can advance and what steps to take to further their career growth for years to come. Ensure training is consistent with business and departmental needs, but allow manager and employee to talk about what they want to see occur, and then deliver.
8. Telecommunication Options and Flexible Work Arrangements - allow your staff to be empowered to work from multiple locations, or home offices, give support to building a Flex Work program.
9. Train managers to represent the Employment Brand - get managers involved in the front line recruiting steps, let trust be built between hiring managers and staffing personnel. Work well together and allow managers the opportunity to help with career fairs, as well as employ them/enable them to take part in their professional associations/interest groups. Help staff to create an image that lends itself to greater approaches, and outcomes that will attract new talent.
10. Finally Upgrade your Applicant Tracking System and other candidate facing tools - Many times managers and candidates may have strong suggestions how to improve the technical and practical career center portals. Encourage survey taking, and providing of suggestions from current staff about the reality of the systems and then be prepared to listen, engage, and fix problems observed by the staff real time.
In doing these 10 steps above your company can create the talent pool they may need for that critical incumbent position that happens to open up. An engaged talent pool, and engaged recruitment staff results in greater ROI, efficiency, and amazing outcomes that relate well to your company. And who doesn't in recruiting want a brand that cuts down on time to fill, metrics measurement, Time wasters, and enables the most amount of filled jobs and culture fit candidates available.