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 recruiting agencies and maybe even an RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) 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:

  • Define your company culture and values. Every organization is different, and in order for an employee to be successful, we need to match their personality and work style to our organization. This is more important than matching skills. Skills can be learned, cultural fit cannot. When examining company culture, consider the following: Is our organization flat, or hierarchical? Bureaucratic or entrepreneurial? Are we competitive or collaborative? Is communication open or selective? Do we 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.

  • Create Job Family profiles. Company culture and values are inviolate and must be part of every role in the organization, but individual job families will add to the values by considering different areas of our organization. What does it take to be successful as part of our Marketing department? What do we need our Finance colleagues to achieve? We can’t simply say “we want the best candidates” without clearly defining what makes a candidate ‘best’. After developing a list of attributes based on company culture and values, we need to examine what we need in each department. For example, Marketers need to be creative, Salespeople need to be able to overcome objections, and our Legal staff needs to be detail oriented and risk averse. Job profiles focus on the type of person who would be successful in each of the different areas of our company.

  • Detail the goals of the position. Make the most of the intake meeting with the hiring manager by discussing the 6 and 12 month goals for the position. Once we have goals, we 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 from a trade magazine. Knowing the goals will also allow us to craft compelling job ad copy which will attract the right candidates (not that we’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 posting on 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 we did with the position goals, we’ll make a list of skills and experience needed to advance to that next step on the career ladder. Then we’ll make sure employees are aware of the needed skills and given opportunities to develop those skills.

Once we’ve defined these four areas, we will have a clear picture of the values, personal attributes, competencies and skills needed in our ideal candidates. Additionally, documenting what is needed for advancement will give us an edge when contacting prospects, showcasing that we have put considerable thought into employee development and growth.

What do you think? Email me at stevemyers75@gmail.com


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