When you’re initiating the hiring process, how far into the future do you look? As a manager or an HR manager, it’s always beneficial to view the hiring process as the first step to increase employee engagement and retention. If you can set the right tone at the outset, there’s every chance that your recruitment strategies will lead you to talented individuals who will make a difference to your business for years to come. If you have a high turnover rate or you tend to lose valuable members of staff before you’re ready to wave them goodbye, it may be worth reviewing the hiring techniques you use and ensuring that you start the process on the right foot.
When you’re looking for new members of staff, it’s natural to want to track down the best candidates for the job. Qualifications and experience play a role, but they’re not the only considerations you should bear in mind. As a company manager or an HR professional, the ethos of the business should also play a role in determining which candidates are a good fit for the brand. If you can get the hiring processes right, this will help you identify people who have the characteristics, attributes and personality traits you’re looking for, as well as the educational and professional qualifications. If your hiring strategy isn’t streamlined, you’re not sure what you’re actually looking for, or you’re not using the right recruitment techniques, you could be missing out on talent pools that could provide you with candidates that are a perfect match for your company.
Before you start thinking about adding to your team, make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for and design a recruitment process, which will attract candidates who are looking for a job for years, not months or weeks. A structured, well-organized recruitment process will make a positive impression and appeal to people who are looking for long-term employment and the opportunity to climb the career ladder with you.
Recruitment is undoubtedly one of the most stressful and time-consuming processes businesses undertake. Forbes estimates that the cost of a ‘bad hire’ is approximately 30% of the employee’s first-year wage. Getting it right is essential not just for financial reasons, but also for the reputation of the brand, the efficiency and productivity of the business and the long-term success of the company. A successful business is built on a strong team, rather than a group of individuals. To get to the top, you need to create a team made up of people who are all striving for the same goal and working towards the same targets. Your recruitment strategy should serve as the first step to increasing employee retention and laying down a sturdy foundation on which to build. It’s essential to recognize the importance of recruitment, but how do you go about improving the processes you utilize and ensuring you attract the best candidates out there? Here are some tips to help you implement a perfect hiring process:
Recruiting new members of staff is a process that should involve the major players in any business. The team is integral to the success of a brand, both in the short-term, and more importantly, the long-term. If you’ve placed an advert or you’re working with recruitment agencies, and you’ve got piles of applications to review, make sure all the stakeholders are involved. Scan applications as a group, make shortlists and interview together as a panel. You may not be in a situation where every person can attend every interview, but ensure that everyone is involved in the decision-making processes. Take time to discuss candidates, share insights and opinions and reach a final decision together. It’s useful to have input from several people because they may have different ideas and observations. Often, stakeholders also have varied skill sets and backgrounds, which can come in useful when trying to identify the best candidates.
Set clear objectives
One company’s recruitment aims may be very different to those of another business. If you’re on the lookout for new staff members, be clear about what you’re searching for. Any adverts that you place or discussions you have with recruiters should be focused on finding a specific type of person. If you know exactly what you want, and also, what you don’t want, this can help to make the processes you employ more efficient and effective. Lay out your objectives from day one, and try not to veer off-piste when you’re reading applications or interviewing.
Take your time
Unless you’re in a mad panic to fill a role instantly, it always pays to take your time. If you’re rushing, this can affect the decisions you make. It’s better to take a few more days or weeks and find somebody who is an ideal match than to hire somebody who isn’t going to fit the mold because you’re short on time. Hiring the wrong people will cost you money, and it could also hold you back in terms of business progression and development. Be prepared to wait to find the right person and don’t feel like you have to make decisions instantly. Use screening processes to eliminate candidates who aren’t suitable for the role, and don’t be afraid to lengthen the process if you’re unsure after an interview. You may benefit from asking a couple of people to come back for a second interview, for example.
Focus on personality
In this day and age, it’s very easy to focus on how a candidate looks on paper, but personality is so important, especially when it comes to building for the future and increasing employee retention. Use phone and face to face interviews to get to know that person, find out what makes them tick and gain an insight into whether they will buy into the vision you have. Ask questions, learn about that person’s employment history, and use the interview to gauge whether or not the candidate has the attributes you’re looking for. Is this a person who is going to stay with you or are they a nomad who is always on the hunt for the next challenge or adventure? Interviews can be a major source of anxiety for many people, and nerves can prevent you from really getting to know somebody. If you are interviewing, try and create a relaxing setting and inject a bit of fun to get a more authentic idea of what that person is really like and how they would fit into your team.
Recognize the importance and value of questions
It’s traditional for employers to fire off a string of questions during an interview. You can learn a lot from the answers provided by candidates, but you can also gain an insight into that person’s personality and their mindset and career goals by encouraging them to ask questions too. If they’re asking questions about progression, career development and opportunities, for example, this indicates that they’re keen to climb the ladder, and it could help you ascertain whether they’re eager to take those steps with you or whether they’d be open to considering other offers.
Outlining the value of your package
When you’re recruiting, and you’re looking for the most talented candidates, you need to sell your business and the package you’re offering. You may be in a position where you want the best outcome, but you also have to bear in mind that you might want candidates who have received multiple offers. Although you want a candidate to impress you, you also need to be prepared to fight for the people you really want. It’s essential that candidates are aware of what you’re offering. If they’re in a position where multiple companies are making offers, you want to ensure that your proposition is the most attractive. What does the employment deal involve? What can the candidate expect from you if they choose to accept your offer? Why is your business better than others? How do you reward your employees?
It’s natural to look for talent when you’re hiring, but try and ensure that your focus is the long-term success of the business. You want to find people who have the expertise and the knowledge to do the job, but you also want to identify candidates who have the right mindset and ambitions that fit with your company ethos. You don’t want to hire somebody to then lose them a year later or recruit a candidate who is only interested in their own development. You should always have an eye on the future and look to improve employee retention through your recruitment campaigns. If you’re hoping to hold onto star players, it’s worth considering these steps:
Promote your employment brand
A candidate who is applying for a job at your business should have an accurate idea of what the company does, how it operates and how it rewards employees. Every advert you place or phone interview you undertake should underline the ethos of your business and the strength of your brand. Promote the brand, and make people want to work for you. Provide answers to questions like ‘Why should I choose you over other companies’ and ‘What’s so good about working for your firm?’ Get a clear idea of how you want your business to be perceived and focus on achieving this objective. If you’re passionate and driven, you’re more likely to find people who feel the same way.
Every advert, communication and discussion with recruiters or candidates should focus on the same core values and objectives. Be clear about how you want to represent the business and the type of candidate you’re looking for.
Don’t ignore internal candidates
Most people you hire will have ambitions to progress and further their careers. If you’ve got opportunities in the pipeline, don’t underestimate the impact of considering internal applicants. If you’ve got a group of people who feel like they never get the chance to take on more responsibility or give a management role a shot, you may find that they look elsewhere. Recognize talent, reward loyalty and help your team fulfil its potential.
Establish long-term goals
Interviews present a really useful opportunity to gather information about potential employees. Use questions and general discussion to obtain an insight into a candidate’s long-term ambitions and goals. If you’ve got people who want to travel or there’s a mention of a career change, for example, this may indicate that the individual is not a good match for your long-term objectives.
Once you’ve got talented individuals on your team, it makes sense to try and keep hold of them for as long as possible. To encourage engagement and retention:
Welcome new members of staff
This sounds obvious, but it’s so important to prepare a new member of staff and extend a warm welcome. Ensure that they have access to all the information, equipment and technology they need and provide them with paperwork in advance of the start date. Set up an informal meeting to introduce new members of the team and provide an insight into the background of the business and an insight into where you see the company going. You want every member of staff to buy into your vision as quickly as possible. Personalize the initiation process, rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach, and organize regular get-togethers in the first few weeks to check-in and see how your new recruit is getting on.
Encourage communication and collaboration
If you’re trying to build a strong, cohesive team, communication is key. Make it easy for your employees to share ideas and opinions, keep channels of communication between managers and employees open at all times and make sure your targets are clear. You want everyone to be working towards shared goals. Work as a team, and when you hit those targets, celebrate as a unit.
Many people want to continue climbing up the career ladder when they get a new job. If you want to nurture talent and retain employees, it’s important to understand and respect their ambitions and goals. Create opportunities for progression, provide training and make sure that every member feels valued.
Are you keen to improve staff retention rates at your business? If so, it may be worth reviewing your recruitment strategies. A clear, cohesive hiring process can help you identify the right candidates and create a culture that underpins and celebrates the ethos of your company.
Acquiring new talent for your business has always been difficult.
But in 2018, the process has taken on a new identity and with it new challenges.
If your business is looking to hire more talent and considering using recruiting services, contact us today.
Our expertise in your industry means a rapid, on-target search, resulting in top candidates for your organization.