Staffing: What's Love Got To Do With It?

Recently, I had a flash back to the '80s and Tina Turner's song - "What's Love Got to Do With It?", which I found playing on the radio one day while driving.  Appropriate because it is Valentine's Day this week.  As I listened I got a clue into a theme which plays out every day, 365 days a year, not just in February in Staffing/HR Departments across the world.  The concept is "FIT" and really "What's Love Got To Do With It"? So I got thinking - interesting isn't it - is it not that element of what "FIT" mostly comes down to?  The "WOW" factor sometimes, the culture fit, and the skills that meet the needs?  But is it always about the "hard skills"?  The straight answer is no - it is not always about the hard skills but the symmetry of the candidate and the hiring team and how they connect with each other in the interviews, and in the all around staffing dynamics.  Recruiting is the science of "connection", the science of "match making", and the connection between multiple decision makers to arrive at a long term marriage of skills, abilities, and opportunities.  In short, staffing is all about the messaging that a candidate and manager provide to each other.  Fit is core to everything we do.  It's when fit is miss-matched, and that "Fit" is misunderstood that staffing pain comes to pass.  And on the other hand when "Fit" is understood the vice versa is true. And so it leads me to ask how do you "Get Love" to your staffing process where symmetry and design of your perfect outcomes come to pass.  What follows are 10 points of the analysis to every successful staffing venture that lead to long term "Love" and "Match-Making" in your staffing function where candidates elect to stay, and where manager's build a strong bond between candidate and company.  Perhaps not a "silver bullet", but powerful none-the-less.  So "What's Love Got to Do With It?" EVERYTHING.

1. Your sourcing function is married to your employment brand and is a well oiled machine which generates constant and fluid engagement of candidates through marketing, building relationships, and moving candidate flow to your website, and career options.  This is done by a few key factors:

A. Knowing your red hot skill needs.

B. Engaging with Professional Associations/Conferences/Websites and Sponsoring events that give your employment brand visibility.

C. Cultivating Staffing Relationships with key colleges and universities even before needs arise.

D. Regular engagement of passive talent, and constant relationship building from the CEO, to the Entry Level Professionals of these Passive candidates.

2. Your Employment Brand Shows Candidates Love.  Your employment brand is an extension of your PR marketplace, it ensures that there is constant movement and synergy between Social Media, Job Postings, Web Presence, Industry Publications, etc.  Does your brand win awards and accolades for being a strong workplace?  Does your culture foster innovation?

3. Your company is a "red hot" industry player that candidates are flocking to.  You are recognized in the space as being a valuer of your staff that shows them "the love" and being a place that employees enjoy coming to work at each day.

4. Your company has a fair, and equitable interview flow.  Your interview process is flat, and gets decisions out timely to your candidate pool.  You know how to engage your candidates so that they are genuinely interested and that your company has a genuine interest as well.

5. You are the type of company the "A Player" or "Purple Squirrel" candidates flock to.  This is match making and relationship building at it's best.

6. Your Associate OR Employee Referrel Program creates the "love" by paying your team for referring strong talent, building trust, and fostering knowledge of multiple skill set disciplines within your line staff.  Your referrel program is also ripe with options and could have some creativity added to get others to "drink the Koolaid" OR build the referrel pipeline.

7.  Your Applicant Tracking System spreads the love by being an engagement OR applicant friendly tool, and doesn't cause excess Administrative burdens on your team.  It allows your applicants to get informed, and then in turn help them facilitate their goals.

8. Your hiring manager's are ambassadors of the bigger company culture picture.  They are talent advocates, and also help their internal staff to feel valued, successful, and have the ability to make your company culture truly one of engagement, and reduced turnover.

9.  Your environment attracts innovators - the life-blood of any business, and focuses and keys in on engaged careerists whose main purpose is to grow the line of the business, and add value to the overall equation of your main staffing metrics, time to fill, time to train, and cost per hire.

10.  Your revenue cycle in turn blossoms when your staffing outcomes are in sync with the organizational mission, vision and values.  It is this very thing that transforms your organization from good to great.

So again the question "What's Love Got To Do With It?"  Everything.  As you define your staffing process this Valentine's Day or for that matter for the entire year, remember this simple premise, people hire people, and it is up to strategic thinkers to redefine the employment focus to allow for greater outcomes of success.

And so staffing fosters a strong culture and builds and brings in new skill life, new ideas, and new ways of growing your business.  The sooner hiring managers, and recruiters realize the depth of importance of the staffing function, it can then be realized greater hiring numbers for the right reasons, where a candidate turns into the long-term fit, and well that marriage of key relationship building enterprises becomes realized.

So think "Love" this Valentine's Day and while you do, you may just pick up some key focus areas for staffing success.  Really because "Love" has "Everything" to "Do with it".

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Comment by Katrina Kibben on February 11, 2015 at 3:14pm

Thanks for the great post Mike (and for getting Tina Turner stuck in my head). I just featured it on our LinkedIn group as well: 

Comment by Steve Levy on February 12, 2015 at 12:27pm

You sleep with the one you love. Just a reminder.


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