Having spent most of my career of 20 years identifying and winning customers, I see the process of recruiting talent into the company in a similar light. Let us analyze the process of winning the right customers for a product or services company. First, the marketing team BUILDS a BRAND for the target audience. Then, the sales team is tasked to identify all the potential customers interested in the product by FILLing a sales funnel. It is then the function of the management team to SELECT the customers who could provide the maximum return for the time and effort invested (ROI- Return On Investment) by the company. With a short list of targeted high ROI customers, the entire team rallies behind the sales team to CLOSE the deal. Let us analyze the similarities between winning customers and the process of a successful recruiting process in a company.

BUILD A BRAND: It is important for any company that plans to build a mid to large sized team to focus on building a brand of itself in the job marketplace. The objective is to conjure a very positive image of the company in the heads of job seekers. The effort must result in job seekers wanting to work in the company. Google, Goldman Sachs and Mckinsey are prime examples of companies that have built a solid brand in their respective markets. The focus for any branding campaign is to communicate effectively the culture of the company and the quality of work for wholesome development.

FILL THE FUNNEL: Once a brand is successfully established over time, the company should have no problems receiving a constant flow of resumes. However, when the company has not built a strategic brand, the HR team is forced to expend a ton of energy in filling the funnel. Using the current employee network is a good source of qualified resumes to the company. Remember, employees will never recommend someone who'll pull the company down.

SELECT A FEW: This is probably the toughest of all steps in the recruiting process. In countries such as India and China, where the ratio of incoming resumes to number of positions open could be in the thousands, it is critical for the company to identify sources of talent with the best ROI. Utilizing personal networks of current employees and alumni, employees of competitors, personnel from companies of similar knowledge base and top notch schools and their alumni are some of the channels that come to mind. Effective utilization of social networks such as LinkedIn and Facebook can be also prove useful in the search for qualified candidates. Although, employee references have been used for a couple of decades, I continue to believe that the network is under utilized.

CLOSE THE DEAL: Once a few have been selected with a match to the culture of the organization and the skills needed to get the job done, it is of utmost importance to close the deal. Most of the deals I have closed had nothing to do with the $$$$$. Potential employees are excited about the prospects of working with employees who are having fun and are learning every day. I remember one of my managers telling me during an interview that the opportunity will help build on my resume. At the end of the day, if you make the connection and you see the value in the candidate, find a place in the company. Solid candidates whose values match with the culture of the company are hard to come. Pick them up. Train them. Keep them.

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