This is article two in a 5-part series on recruiting trends and industry insights. Each article will focus on key areas affecting HR professionals and senior executives. Data referenced in each article comes from a recent GRN survey of C-Level and HR executives and is meant to help readers benchmark their own company.
We have written in the past about how important the interview process is. Given low unemployment and a shortage of top talent, your interview process and building your employment brand are more important than ever.
The best candidates oftentimes don’t advertise they are looking for a new job or put themselves at risk with their current employer by saying they are open to new opportunities. If they are passively looking, quietly on their own, they may be happy with their current job but there is likely something bothering them that has got them looking. You’ll want to understand and be comfortable with the reason(s) they want to leave their current role. You don’t want to inherit others’ problems.
So how do you attract the top talent? It begins with your job posting. Don’t just put out the standard job description. You should have links to company videos or marketing materials on your website that give your company some “sizzle.” You must create the image that your company is a destination of choice for top candidates. Talk about your benefits, career and financial growth potential. Your posting is a sales pitch to get someone excited to explore more. You need to be aggressive and get your job out there in the public eye. Post on job boards, network locally with vendor partners and customers, email and/or call people of high potential in the marketplace. Be creative and make sure you are utilizing every means of communication available to your company.
What do you do once someone has applied? This is a critical component to success. The longer a top talent waits for your response, the less interested they get. You need to have someone assigned to tracking applicants and getting back to strong candidates with an action step within 24 hours. Make voice contact with that candidate. It sends them a message that you are interested and want to pursue them. Again, speed of response is very important.
The interview process is not only the opportunity to interview a candidate but a great opportunity to showcase your brand as well. Top candidates have many choices. One that is truly exploring the marketplace will likely be highly sought-after. Our recent survey indicated that over 80% of candidates contacted are willing to listen to new opportunities. Once you have a qualified candidate who is interested, get them into the interview process quickly… within days. All interviews must be conducted crisply. We see more and more clients using video/digital interviews as an immediate first step. That is also a gauge of candidate interest; it demonstrates their commitment if they are willing to do a video interview. This technology, if used correctly, also shows that your company is technologically savvy as well as your candidates.
Recruitment is a combat sport – those companies willing to engage the candidate throughout the process and make recruiting a two-way exchange of information have a much better chance at obtaining top talent. Employers must continually be presenting themselves in the best light throughout the interview process as candidates are much more interested in company culture now than ever before.
Part three of this series will discuss best practices in recruiting talent right out of school.
About the author: John Salvadore is the founder and Managing partner of GRN Coastal. GRN Coastal is a full-service recruitment company. You can reach John at Jsalvadore@grncoastal.com