In recruiting, the best candidates tend to be those who are self-motivated, have an ability to motivate others, are achievement-oriented and have an insatiable need to solve problems. Yet many hiring managers rely on first impressions, faulty interviewing techniques and their intuition to make decisions, in effect missing out on that top talent. Finding new recruits who add value to your company is the most crucial role you have as managers and leaders. The ability to thrive in this economy correlates directly to the hiring decisions you make.
Recruiting is most successful when it is comprehensive, proactive, valued and a refined process. Below is a quick but comprehensive list of recruiting tips to make your next hire the best you’ll make:
If you’re looking to find someone who is interested in a career rather than a job, make the description the real deal. Create a link showing how the ideal candidate will apply their skills and experiences for success. Paint a picture of the influence they can have at your company. Top talent seeks roles where they can grow and add value to themselves and a winning company. Remember, it’s not all about you and your firm; it is about the candidate and what they can contribute and learn.
Though more good talent has been available during the recession, it is still hard work finding good people. The people you want to hire are usually working for the competition. So rather than cast a wide net with tactics such as a Monster.com or Craigslist posting, develop more targeted tactics to attract these individuals.
You have seen them all, from the absurd, “if you were a tree, what type of tree would you be, and why?” to the interesting and relevant. The goal of an interview is to gain insight into the candidate’s motivations, competency, leadership and team building skills. Ask two questions to get to the heart of the matter: “Tell me about your most significant accomplishment at work,” and “To be successful here in the role of X, how would you solve the problem of Y?” These straightforward questions, when coupled with follow-up questions, will help to uncover someone who can deliver. Ask questions to uncover the lessons they have learned, the environments where they are most successful and their ability to take initiative and leadership. If this is done correctly, you’ll be able to easily sniff out a rock star or impostor.
Don’t let your emotions dictate your decision about a candidate. Hiring managers often make decisions based upon a person’s presentation and packaging rather than their content and experience. Make evidence-based decisions, not emotional ones. Start by creating an unbiased matrix that spells out the skills, traits, and experience needed for success in the job. Objectively use the matrix as you score candidates, and don’t make a final decision about their candidacy for at least 30 minutes. Sometimes the best candidates are not the best interviewers, and it may take time for you to fairly determine if they should move forward in the process.
Some say the next C-level position will be the Chief Talent Officer, underscoring the relevance of talent-centric planning, hiring, engagement and retention. The best companies support their recruiting teams with ongoing training, exposure to business goals and objectives, and tools and technology. How potential candidates are sourced, screened, treated and ultimately hired will, over time, will make or break your business. The rules have changed, but the goal to find the best talent has only intensified.
The best recruiters are consultative, business-minded and skilled at learning about and respecting each person they meet. Match those skills with a refined recruiting system and you will enable your company to not only hire one great person, but dozens and maybe even hundreds of wonderful people who will make the difference for your business.
Stephanie Klein is past president of the Colorado Human Resource Association and President and CEO of Experience Factor, a Denver staffing and placement firm. Contact her at 303-300-6976.