As with almost every other aspect of the business world today, people are being asked to do more with less. Recruiters are in the uncomfortable position of having to deliver skilled candidates to an organization, and they must do so in increasingly creative ways in order to locate and attract the best and brightest in the workforce. Here are some tips for improving your recruiting skills that can help benefit both your own career, and your organization’s talent pool.
You should always keep in mind the overall goal of this recruitment process. Are you looking to find one perfect candidate for an essential role? Are you looking to bring in several entry-level individuals that can be groomed to work directly with the organization? Do you need someone with very specific technical expertise? The type of candidate you are looking to find will determine exactly what it is that you need to do in order to locate that perfect fit. A course in business administration or human resources might help you understand your needs, and tailoring your process depending on what the needs are will help you find the right candidate. Remember to keep the goal in mind and ask yourself if you are on track to meet that goal during each stage of the process.
It’s important to make sure that you’re looking in the right places. Develop your network so that you can put the word out. When someone declines an interview, ask if they know of anyone else that might be interested. Make your job postings are exciting but clear and understandable. Make sure you’re reaching out where qualified individuals can be found. Encourage current employees to apply, or ask if they know of anyone that might fit well on the team. You never know what kind of resources are already available to you until you ask. Be proactive. Don’t wait for people to apply to a job posting; the best candidates are often already employed and aren’t actively seeking employment. Don’t be afraid to seek them out and offer a better position.
If you are looking to hire someone that is currently employed, make it easy for them. While it may mean working into the evening, or even on a weekend, scheduling interviews outside of a candidate’s current working hours will show that you are committed, and that you understand the value of their time. Respect their current employer’s time, and don’t expect them to answer repeated phone calls during their working hours. Asking someone to take time away from their current position, and potentially jeopardizing their security, is a great way to get turned down from the start. Always try to reach out and schedule interviews at a time that is convenient for them, and be certain to express to your organization the importance of doing so. Unless you have a plethora of qualified candidates at your fingertips, you need to be the one making concessions and catering to the needs of your target.
Do not rely on what the candidate states about their abilities. Make sure that you are accurately assessing their abilities, and compare them to the needs of the organization. Especially when it comes to technical skills, you need to make certain that you are clear on the candidate’s abilities, and what they may need to continue to learn. A candidate who doesn’t meet all of the qualifications may still be the best choice, if they have the soft skills and the drive to learn the role. Use real problems that have been encountered in the past to feel out how they would problem solve. And never hesitate to put someone through a technical interview or testing process before moving on with the interview. Asking for a demonstration of a stated skill should be expected, no matter what it is.
When you’re trying to attract the best talent, many people overlook the importance of the benefits. A great candidate who interviewed well might surprise you with a refusal. Remember that the best candidates are often not actively seeking employment, and you will need to woo them from their current position with a promise of bigger and better things. And don’t think a few dollars an hour more will cut it. Things like commute, insurance, security, and many other factors that affect retention also affect hiring. Few people will leave a secure job where they’re comfortable and understand the work and environment for a paltry raise. Make sure that you are offering competitive salary, benefits, and a great environment, or you may find yourself wasting your time.
Whatever you do, don’t make your ideal candidate “work” for the job, especially if they’re already employed. If you tell them to expect a call by the end of the week, make sure that they receive that call, even if it’s to tell them that there is a snag in the process or you’re still waiting to hear from the hiring manager. Too often, recruiters don’t stay in communication, and candidates may become frustrated and resentful if they have to call or hunt you down to get an update on the progress. Remember that they may be receiving multiple offers and that feeling ignored may tip the scales toward your competition.
Keeping these tips in mind should help improve your success in finding and keeping the best talent for the job. Remember that if you’re looking for strong candidates, you need to act as though you are working for them, not the other way around. The best thing you can do is to place a high value on finding the right candidate, and then making sure they know their value to both you and the organization you’re working for.