Looking for talent? The smartest employers, who hire the best people, recruit a pre-qualified candidate pool of potential employees before they need to fill a job. Or, as Harvey Mackay, well-known, irreverent, author and speaker, says about networking, Dig Your Well, Before You're Thirsty (Compare Prices).
You can develop relationships with potential candidates long before you need them. These ideas will also help you in recruiting a large pool of candidates when you have a current position available. Read on to discover the best ways to develop your talent pool and recruit employees.
The earlier you adopt these practices, the better your organization will do in the upcoming war for talent. (And, trust me, you will experience wars for talent as the baby boomer generation retires.) Read on to discover the best ways to develop your talent pool.
Recruiting Your Ideal Candidate
A job description that tells potential employees the exact requirements of the position is useful. Even more useful is the process you use to develop the job description internally and the behavioral characteristics of your ideal candidate. Assemble a team of people who represent the best qualities of the people who currently hold the same or a similar position. Include the hiring manager.
Develop a job description that delineates the key responsibilities and outputs of the position. Then, define the behavioral characteristics of the person you feel is your ideal candidate. Finally, list your five - ten key responsibilities and characteristics you will use to screen resumes, perform phone screens and eventually, establish the questions for the candidates you interview.
Sound like a lot of effort? It is. But, you'll have a much better idea about the characteristics of the ideal candidate you want to attract to your company when you do this planning via email or a recruiting planning meeting.
Tap Your Employee Networks in Recruiting Candidates
Spread word-of-mouth information about the position availability, or eventual availability, to each employee so they can constantly look for superior candidates in their networks of friends and associates. In this age of online social and professional networking, the chances are, you and your employees are instantly connected to hundreds, and even thousands, of potential candidates. Tap into this potential audience on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, to name just a few.
Use trade show booth time to meet and get to know potential candidates as well as customers. Encourage employees to gather business cards from, and develop relationships with, high potential possible employees. And, don't stop with employees alone; tap the networks of your social, board, funder and academic connections, too.
In a client company, the sales manager referred a childhood friend, who was moving back to our state, for a position. Out of touch for several years, the now new employee had contacted all of his friends when he needed to relocate from Chicago to the Detroit area. My client benefitted from the sales manager's network and hired an outstanding employee.
Make sure you publicize your interest in employee referrals. In some companies, employee referrals, especially for hard-to-fill positions, are even rewarded with cash bonuses. Posting all open positions, announcing openings at the company meetings and sharing growth plans with company members will help spread your message.
Take Advantage of Your Industry Contacts, Association Memberships and Trade Groups for Recruiting Candidates
Pay for employees to participate in and network in industry groups, conferences and trade shows. Periodically, create master lists of industry leaders and other potential employees from customers, colleagues, coworkers and friends. Develop a plan for contacting these people systematically and regularly. Be prepared to share your job description with them through mail, email, on the Internet and by fax. Follow up on every good lead.
Use extensive telephone networking. Bring people in for interviews before you have an available position. You may even want to consider starting a periodic company newsletter to keep your master lists of potential employees, customers and interested others up-to-date about company progress and happenings. You can use online and/or mail distribution to send these out.
Looking for the "right" associations to join? Check out this resource: Find Associations, People, and Businesses from the American Society of Association Executives.
Use Your Web Site for Recruiting Candidates
Does your "Join Our Team" section of your company Web site tell and even, "sell," potential employees about the vision, mission, values and culture of your company? Do you present a message about how people are valued? Do you express your commitment to quality and to your customers? If not, you are missing out on one of the most important recruiting tools you have to appeal to prospective high-potential employees.
Instead of the typical, dryly-written job listings about available positions, your Web site needs to include this vision, this information that sets your company apart from others in your industry. Your job listings must sparkle with personality so a potential candidate thinks, "this organization is for me." And, now that you have their attention, you also need to provide a way for candidates to easily submit resumes for consideration for future positions.
One client Web site has a "Talk to the President" link and, believe me, people do. We receive a constant stream of resumes and contacts through this invitation and even hired a Director of Production who made his first contact here. Another posts generic position descriptions for positions that frequently need applicants. People respond. Web site recruiting works.
Want more ideas for recruiting great candidates? Read on ...