Many organizations have highly sophisticated procedures and processes for accomplishing goals, from finance to product requirements, etc. In fact, they have these sophisticated processes everywhere in the company except when it comes to talent strategy.
Do you know the best way to select candidates?
To build an effective recruitment strategy within your company you must first have alignment of your executive team as well as a clear business strategy because your talent strategy must be in direct alignment to it. Executive team alignment can include clarity around vision, values, and mission, cultural alignment, alignment around goals and objectives, growth, etc. Once these items are aligned, then you can deal with business strategy and how to accomplish it. Next, you can begin to work at building an effective talent strategy.
Benchmark Your Employees
Once you’re aligned it’s time to develop an effective recruitment and selection process. First, you need to look at each department and benchmark all your employees (assuming your company is big enough to have employees) and find the common denominators among all your people, star players and poor performers. You need to look not only at skills and abilities, but the more esoteric things like personality traits, what drives your people, how they speak to customers and each other, tone of voice, work ethic, etc.
It is crucial that you take a look at all employees and factor in all qualities relevant to success and failures in their position. For example, if your company has a team of eight programmers and three of them are star performers, most managers will only review the three star performers and try to duplicate their qualities. However, to develop an effective recruitment and selection process you need to look at the other five employees. Ask yourself what are the common denominators among the employees who are not star performers.
There will be an overlap in the star performers and the poor performers. All eight programmers could be geniuses at writing code. However, the five programmers that are not working well may be performing poorly because they have no idea how to communicate when they get together with the other seven people they work with, and therefore, can’t get much done when they need to work as a team.
A lot of people will hire these website developers to just sit at their house and never interact with anybody. However, if you are managing a team and they need to interact, you need to factor in all important qualities that lead to success.
The key lesson is that you need to learn just as much from observing the poor performers in your company as the star performers. You might even learn more. The objective should be to look at what’s working and what’s not.
Put together a hiring profile, factoring in your business strategy as well as what you have discovered from the benchmarking exercise. It is this profile that you will build your talent strategy around.
Your recruiters need to understand how to source, speak to, and effectively present the opportunity to candidates. They need to be clear on corporate messaging, know how to screen and interview candidates based on the hiring profiles, and be able to work effectively with management. They need to be pros.
Develop a list of questions that recruiters can ask for each position that will help uncover whether the potential hires are a fit with your business strategy and fit the profile. Put together scorecards with each quality you uncovered in the benchmarking process and rank each quality on the scorecard in low, medium, or high importance. In the interview process rank each applicant from one to five in each category. This way you will have a record of all the people that are interviewing for each position and you can compare them in an objective manner. It is important to conduct your recruitment and selection process in this objective way, instead of relying on a gut feeling.
Interviews and Selection
All recruiters and managers must be trained to interview. Get to know your candidates and, if possible, have them spend some time with people they will be working with. In a perfect world, we’d be able to have candidates work with us for some period of time to best determine if they will really fit but this isn’t realistic. Interviewing is critical to help determine fit.
Package Negotiation and Close
Be sure that you are closing candidates of interest throughout the process. The last thing you need is to be blindsided by a candidate who bails just when you’ve gotten him to the alter. Whomever is doing the negotiating with the candidate should have the power (within reason) to make the deal. I had a client once who had to suffer through negotiating with an internal recruiter who had no power to negotiate package. Every time he’d tell her what he needed she would have to go up the food chain and it would take days to get a response. Needless to say he got very frustrated with the process.
Be sure to ask the candidate if the offer you have both agreed upon will be accepted. If you don’t get a firm “yes”, you may need to handle objections and delve into why the candidate isn’t accepting. If you are the bridesmaid offer, you want to know this. You may have another candidate in the running that you also feel would be a winner for you and will accept. Don’t send out any written offers unless and until a candidate has agreed to accept.
Setting up a recruitment/talent strategy takes a lot of effort and attention to detail. It will not get complete overnight. You may have to make some changes in your recruiting department as well as give your recruiters some additional training. This overview should give you some ideas that will help get you started. Just remember, once you have an effective recruitment strategy in place life at work will become much more streamlined.