I love rock and roll music—The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi… Aerosmith. There’s something about the energy, intense rhythms and amazing talent, especially from the classic 80’s. Don’t you wonder how talent scouts find the next Mick Jagger or Steven Tyler? Maybe it’s because I’m in the field of Human Resources, but I can’t help but think if I was seeking the next big Rock Star, I’d want to have a process and some criteria, so I could increase my odds of success. Plus I know that hiring correctly can help me keep top talent.
If you’re planning to grow your team in 2017, you’re probably looking for your own Rock Stars. Consider these 3 tips to increase your success rates:
1. What Kind of Rock Star Are You Looking For?
Just like the talent scout in the music world, you need to clearly define what kind of talent you are looking for. There’s no sense for a record label to spend precious time watching country artists perform, when they’re really trying to identify the next big heavy metal Rock Star. Sounds simple enough, but is it? Ask yourself, “If the perfect candidate walked in and sat across the table from me, would I know it?” Think about:
a. Major goals of the role
b. Toughest parts of the role
c. Basic duties
d. Who this role interacts with
e. Knowledge and skills needed
f. Natural behaviors required for success
If you haven’t clearly identified what you’re looking for, how will you know when you’ve found it? Spending time now can prevent you from settling for hiring “the best I talked to” and instead result in hiring “the best talent for your organization.” It takes some time now but it can save a lot of time later in the process.
2. Culture Can Break Up the Band
Adding a solo diva to any band, no matter how talented, would likely end in disaster! Ensuring your candidate is a fit for your company culture makes a big difference for everyone, not just the new hire. Culture can and should be used two different ways in the hiring process.
a. Use your culture to recruit. How can your company benefit a potential hire? We’re not talking about the traditional benefit package of medical and dental coverage. What do you offer that they may seek? Is it flexibility? Is it the ability to speak to leaders and get quick decisions? Knowing what cultural benefits your organization brings to an employee can be used to attract the right candidates.
b. Assess for culture fit. Think about your company culture. Think about the type of people who fit in and thrive in your culture. Take time to write interview questions that would help you identify individuals who would align with your culture. For instance, if your culture is very customer focused you might ask, “Tell me about a time when someone in your organization (or you) dropped the ball on a customer request. What did you do?” Then listen to make sure their answer aligns with how you would want it handled within your culture. Did they:
i. Involve as many resources as necessary to troubleshoot and resolve the issue?
ii. Verbally walk through the problem solving steps using an analytical thought process that would be repeatable in your organization?
iii. Put steps in place to avoid the problem in the future?
3. Like a Talent Scout “Always Be Recruiting”!
Talent scouts are always listening for who has the best beats or distinctive sound; they’re always on the lookout for new opportunities. Likewise, with hiring, an effective way to ensure you always have top talent is to continually look for it. If your only recruiting strategy is to place an ad when a position opens up, make a New Year’s resolution to explore other strategies. After all, according to research firm CEB, an Arlington, Virginia-based management and technology consultancy, the average time to hire for white collar positions is now a whopping 68 business days—26 days longer than it was in 2010.
Just like you work your prospect pipeline for sales, cultivate a candidate pipeline by evaluating people looking for work (active candidates) and people with the skillset you desire but who aren’t looking for work (passive candidates).
The goal is to have some bench strength identified should a position open up on your team. Then you can reach out to these prospective candidates before you ever place an ad. Or at some point, someone in your talent pipeline will have a bad day and you’ll be top of mind for them, allowing you to hire market leaders before your competition even knows they’re available!
An “always be recruiting” mindset allows you to reduce the time it takes to fill open positions which minimizes disruptions to your business and helps ensure constant contact with your customers.
If you want to sign the most promising talent in 2017, there’s a bit of an art to it. With a little thought and planning, however, you’ll be jamming with the Rock Stars in no time. I wish you great hiring success in the New Year!
Resources: If you’d like to learn more about effective recruiting and hiring practices, visit the PathShare HR Services website: www.greatamerica.com/pathshare
Related: Which Came First, The Sales Process or the Sales Person? (Unified Communications & IT Blog by Denise Miller, PathShare HR Services)
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