Companies are in a constant battle for the best talent. Behind the scenes, hiring managers are always trying to outsmart the competition so that they can uncover high level candidates first. It’s as if every recruitment pro must don his or her superhero suit and fight back the opposing forces in order to protect their organization from impending doom (or rather, protect them from not having enough talent to support company growth and sustainability).
And these talent management superheroes have multiple missions to juggle at once. Any business that wishes to survive must also acknowledge that recruitment isn’t just about reaching the best candidates first, but also about selecting candidates who will stick around long term. 60 percent of employees are seeking other career opportunities, based on a recent Addison Group workforce study. So when recruiters or hiring managers have their work cut out for them when it comes to finding, hiring, and keeping the talent that will propel their companies into the future.
So when considering your HR’s talent management, ahem, endgame, make sure you consider all the most important factors that will set your hiring team up for a successful mission.
What hero factors make for a successful talent management program?
When in doubt, take a page from the playbook of our favorite avenging superheroes and think about how you can find all those pesky infinity stones. Obtaining them will ensure your talent management program is strong enough to survive anything, even the never ending war for talent.
Space – Hiring Clarity
Before any job vacancy is advertised, recruiters should take a step back and examine whether they have the full view of what position needs to be filled and why. It’s easy to fall into the habit of relying on autopilot, especially when dealing with multiple searches or candidates. With space and perspective, however, a hiring manager has a better shot at finding the best solution. Instead of falling into habitual patterns, ask yourself what skills and traits you need to fill this open position. Then think about whether hiring externally is the best option. Sometimes a team needs to be shuffled and have the work redistributed rather than needing a new team member. Other times, there might be a great internal candidate who might not realize a position is open. Taking the time to understand the hiring needs behind a job posting will help increase your odds of finding the right person to join the team.
Power – Employer Branding
Zoë Harte, Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Upwork, shared on Forbes that the best companies focus on their employer brand in order to attract and retain talent. This is much like any other marketing effort, with the goal of creating brand interest and long-term loyalty. Harte said that a candidate’s, “impressions can impact whether they apply for a job, accept a position and, ultimately, stay with the company.” Thinking about your company’s recruitment marketing, how powerful and consistent is your employer brand?
Mind – Structured Interviewing and Assessments
Hiring managers want to get to the core of each candidate fairly quickly, to understand how they think, act, and respond to certain situations. Structured interviews are one of the better methods of accomplishing this. Every candidate has a fair shot at the job because they are treated to the same structure and interview questions for each role. Pre-hire assessments can also help to reveal more about the candidate’s way of thinking, personality, and work style to make sure they fit in with the team. That assessment work will also help pave the way for a smoother team transition and ongoing self-development of your new hire. So when you want to know about your candidate’s inner self, don’t rely on gut instinct alone.
Soul – Candidate Experience
From the moment a potential job seeker encounters your company, they form an idea about what they can expect in the recruitment and hiring process (often thanks to your employer brand). Much of this comes from your recruitment marketing aspects, the applicant tracking system and the communication they receive once applying. But this is a job seeker’s market and one negative red flag can send a candidate running for the hills. That’s why your candidate experience matters. Show every candidate the heart and soul of your company and walk you talk. Some easy wins to give your candidate experience approach a boost include keeping the lines of communication open, being transparent about the process, and letting everyone know about the result of the search, even unsuccessful applicants.
Reality – Onboarding
Once a candidate is selected, it’s time to introduce them to the daily life of the company and onboarding commences. This should be structured so that every new hire gets the same information. Leave the old-school orientation in the past where it belongs, and focus on making onboarding a full learning experience for new hires. After the initial introductions, have a set of milestones that new hires can reach as they learn their role and become more productive. This onboarding should be based on the real day-to-day aspects of the company and their part in its success.
Time – Succession Planning
Hiring managers must employ their crystal balls in order to think ahead to the future needs of their organizations. Understanding the company’s history and future trajectory, anticipating what new skills will be needed, and how to navigate an ever-changing job market are the traits that set HR heroes apart from zeros. Be active in your field and keep on top of market trends so that you’re prepared when the company needs to switch gears. And remember, always plan ahead. Whether from turnover or retirement, your employees will eventually leave their roles. Understanding what’s heading your way will help you put plans in place now to protect you in the future.
What are some recruitment traps to watch out for?
While gathering the infinity stones might help guide your recruitment in the right direction, there are still a few dangers any self-respecting talent management superhero knows to avoid. Such as:
There’s no “I” in team
Don’t be a lone wolf and try to figure everything out alone. Being a successful recruitment professional means using all the tools available to you. Use recruitment marketing software to manage hiring campaigns and measure your results. Interview employees with knowledge about an open role to get a sense of what you’re looking for. Use assessments to gather candidate information. Have multiple people compare candidates with you to avoid your own biases. Hiring isn’t an activity that should happen in a vacuum and when you have input from multiple people or tools, your more likely to find the candidate of your dreams.
Keep that green monster contained
We all have our own biases in how we view the world and when it comes to recruiting, sometimes it can be hard to ignore that voice in the back of your mind. This is a common problem in hiring – people want to hire others just like the last successful hires or those who are most like them. Unconscious bias can be eliminating by masking certain identifying information within the ATS and focusing solely on the skills and experience that each candidate has.
Don’t make any “snap” judgments
It can be tempting to jump at a shiny candidate, particularly if you think a competition will scoop them up. But wrong hires have real costs attached, not to mention the damage they do to team morale and culture. Taking your time to examine all the information and make a strategic decision is worth more than leaping because an opportunity presents itself. To be a hiring superhero you have to know the difference between when you need to react quickly and when taking your time is more beneficial.
Every recruiter has the potential to be a hero in the talent acquisition war. Whether you’re building a well-rounded talent management program or simply hiring one or two roles, keeping these strategies in mind will help you find the right person more efficiently. By understanding the trends and habits of the recruitment industry, you’ll be able to Hulk-smash your way right through the competition.