Recruiting is so much more than posting a job and sifting through resumes to find the most qualified candidate. Recruiting is an opportunity—a chance to secure the perfect person to build out an even more solid, collaborative, diversified team, someone who not only fits beautifully into your culture but also enhances it. Get it right, and your new hire and your organization will thrive and prosper together, today, tomorrow and well into the future.
When you’re ready to fill your next position, try our ten strategies for reimagining the way you recruit and securing the ideal new hire:
- Start smart. Before you even begin the search, take stock of your needs, your expectations and your resources for filling the job. Would you be best served by hiring a professional search firm, using an internal recruiter or handling the search yourself? Develop an effective recruitment plan from the start, including a targeted timeline and budget, and use it to guide you through the process, from attracting and managing a selection of highly qualified and motivated candidates to making and retaining a top-notch placement.
- Refine your position. Take a critical look at the job description as it’s currently written. Does it accurately reflect the position and what you want from a candidate? Pay particular attention to the desired skills, experience and qualifications. If a certain body of knowledge or prior experience is essential from the get-go, say as much, or risk the mutual frustration of hiring someone who is “willing to learn” but won’t actually have the time to do so. On the flip side, don’t “require” an easily trainable skill, or you could potentially miss out on an otherwise ideal candidate who merely lacks something quickly and readily acquired. Know the job—and most importantly, know what success in that job looks like—and refine the description accordingly.
- Consider culture. While it’s important to find someone with the right proficiencies, skills and experience for the position, it’s no less vital to find someone well suited to your organization’s culture. You’ll want a person who feels at ease with the social customs, working habits, personality, energy and pace of your organization. Casual Fridays, regular working lunches, group brainstorming sessions—whatever the norms at your company, be upfront about them, because even the most brilliant candidate can only shine in a work environment that’s comfortable.
- Expand your search. Don’t limit yourself to just the obvious candidate search areas, and don’t get discouraged and settle for less than what you need (and want!) in filling a position. Remember, the best and most talented candidates might not be scouring the usual job boards, or they may currently be employed in a different industry altogether. Take advantage of non-traditional job postings as well as social media, word of mouth and referral opportunities. Looking beyond this particular position, think about ways you might begin to identify emerging talent and promising leads in your industry, as well as develop and nurture industry relationships that could yield candidates for future openings.
- Think long term. Give some thought to your long-term strategy for the position you’re trying to fill. Is this a job an employee will be expected to keep indefinitely, or will it more likely to be a steppingstone for advancement to other areas? A motivated candidate will undoubtedly ask what the position might look like one, five and ten years down the road.
- Look beyond. When evaluating candidates, look beyond current skill sets and even past the position at hand; take into consideration the person’s potential for development. Organizations are constantly evolving and presenting new opportunities. Stellar candidates are adaptable team players who are capable and eager to learn and grow with the company.
- Freshen up your interviews. Question-and-answer drills are things of interviews past. For a much more informative and memorable session and a truer indication of who a candidate really is, implement creative new interview styles and approaches, such as behavioral-based questions, sample scenarios and role-playing, and interview sessions with key individuals, teams and stakeholders.
- Spotlight the good. While you know your company offers great benefits, perks, working conditions and compensation, your interviewee doesn’t…yet. Remember that your candidate wants to know about the company as much as you want to know about the candidate. Highlight what sets your organization apart and makes it such an incredible place to work, and that candidate will accept your job offer with zeal.
- Focus on onboarding. Once you’ve found and hired just the right candidate, your focus should shift to facilitating the smoothest possible transition to the team. Your onboarding process should be clearly defined and well executed, and your new employee should feel confident that your door is always open for follow-up questions, help and support.
- Reward and retain. When you’ve successfully placed and transitioned the perfect new member to your team, you’re still not done! Make sure you have a set of well-developed retention strategies in place, including competitive wages, performance evaluations, development opportunities and recognition activities, to keep your new employee engaged, challenged, happy and loyal.
Effective recruiting can be hard work, but it’s well worth the effort, because a truly great hire can dramatically boost your company’s success. At Leap Solutions, we’re well connected and uncompromising in our commitment to zeroing in on what you really want in a candidate and delving beyond the skills and experience listed on resumes to the intangibles—personality, motivation, ethics, curiosity, insight and more. These can mean all the difference between a ho-hum placement and a devoted, lasting employee who both shares and actively contributes to your company’s vision, mission and core values.