The Art of Recruiting
Effective recruitment is the process of finding and hiring the best-qualified candidate (from within or outside of an organization) for a job opening, in a timely and cost-effective manner. The art of recruiting is a process that includes analyzing the requirements of a job, attracting qualified candidates to apply for that job, screening and selecting the best possible applicants, hiring, and integrating (early-on) the new employee to the organization.
What are applicants in 2017, 2018, and forward-looking for? What kind of hiring process do they expect? Does the company meet the 21st-century expectations (Millennial’s, Gen Z and whatever comes next)? Below are steps to help you rise above the competition and create an effective recruiting process.
Your company website plays an important role in the “apply or not apply” decision, so it is important to have a clear hiring message and an easy-to-use application process. Today’s top talent expects an intuitive and simple hiring experience. This starts with your website, which is a window into your company to show what you have to offer, including your company’s history, culture, values, and goals. It has been proven that it only takes seconds for a visitor to your website to make a lasting impression of your company.
Advertising Location, Location, Location
To locate and draw in the best candidates, it’s key to promote opportunities through those channels most likely to reach the best pool of candidates. Effective methods or sources may include:
Employee Referrals – If current employees are satisfied with the company atmosphere and are working with great colleagues, they are more inclined to refer their friends to join the team. Create incentives for them to do so, such as offering a referral bonus.
Passive Recruiting – Passive candidates are people who are already employed and are not actively looking for another job. This may sound like a waste of a large investment of time, but trying to reach the best talent can be a very rewarding process. LinkedIn is one good avenue for this type of recruiting.
Job Posting Websites – Some offer free postings while others only offer paid postings. A post can range between $75 and several hundred dollars, so it is advisable to do your research before posting a job/position to determine which sites are most likely to provide a source of qualified applicants. Consider the type of position being offered such as whether it’s manual labor, clerical, technical; specific levels of education, experience, or certifications required; and other factors specific to the position to help you determine if one posting option is better than another. Asking other business owners what has worked best for them can also provide insight around the best options. As a final note, as soon as an applicant or candidate who matches your needs is identified – contact them! Don’t wait too long, as the possibility that they are being contacted by other competitors is very high and even higher in a tight job market.
First Contact: The Phone Interview
This step is NOT A MUST, but can be very helpful in determining a basic “fit” of the candidate with the position and culture of the business and will help to narrow down the applicant pool to those most likely to possess the skills, experience, and knowledge to be successful in the position and company. It’s also a perfect chance to dig deep into those questions that pop up when reviewing a resume. Prepare ahead by writing down 3 to 5 general questions that will assist in determining if an applicant has the right amount of:
– How long have you been in this industry and what motivates that interest?
– What is it about this position that interests you?
– Describe your educational background and experience.
– What challenges are you looking for in this position?
– Can you describe a past situation that led you to grow as a person?
– How would you describe the perfect work environment for you?
Questions don’t have to be asked in order; be conversational, actively listen, and communicate a smile. This is NOT an interrogation! Engage the candidate in a cordial conversation, keeping in mind that the goal is to gain as much information as possible regarding past job experiences, present intentions, and future goals. During the phone conversation, it is a good idea to take notes of specific comments that in your opinion are important and that may be crucial for the final choice.
The phone interview should not be longer than 20 minutes. Always ask at the end if they have any additional questions, and let the candidate know that he/she will be contacted regarding the next step no matter the outcome.
Second Interview: In Person
– Be on time, be friendly, and keep in mind that you are trying to impress the applicant as much as they are trying to impress you.
– Make sure to have available and review their resume, phone interview notes if applicable, the job description, and a few key questions written down.
– Introduce yourself and start with a light conversation such as “Nice to meet you in person”, “Can I offer you a glass of water?”, “How is your day going?”, etc. The goal is to create an environment where the candidate feels comfortable and relaxed.
– Start the interview by providing a brief description and purpose of the role. Make and keep eye contact to help him/her to feel engaged in the conversation and show that you are listening and focusing on what the candidate is saying.
– Observe the candidate’s body language and response to questions; they can give you information regarding their interest level in the position. Are they confident or insecure? Is the attitude passionate or passive?
– At the end of the interview, always ask the interviewee if they have any questions regarding the position of the company.
– When the interview is over, take 5 or 10 minutes to put your notes together and reflect on how the candidate would fit the role and the company’s environment.
The decision to invite applicants for a second or a third interview should be based on the number of candidates. The more interviews, the more you need to get to know and compare them to each other. Keep in mind that an overly burdensome number of interviews, in addition to the impact on the business’s time and resources, it will likely end in a loss of interest from the candidate’s point of view.
Once you choose the best fit for the position, don’t waste any time. Call the candidate immediately and give the good news along with the reason why he/she has been chosen (positive future impact, long-term opportunities). The goal is to raise the “excitement bar”. Also, mention that a follow-up email with the offer will be sent the same day and discuss the next steps of the hiring process as well.
Always require the offer letter to be signed and returned by the date specified (3 business days is a reasonable amount of time). During this period, keep in touch with the prospect. Competition never sleeps, and the risk that they accept another offer is still high. Be prepared to negotiate. Today’s top talent is not afraid to ask for more; they know what they want, what they can get and — most important — they have access to information like wage and benefit offerings in the market.
Following these simple and powerful steps will help to:
Improve your position in the competitive recruitment field;
Give visibility to the company; and
Increase employee engagement and retention.
Notice to applicants – The decision to not communicate the next steps to an applicant, regardless of the news, throughout the application and interview process can have a profound impact on the company’s reputation and credibility. Let applicants know where they stand in the process. It shows that candidate that you respect their time.
Recruiting is an art. The ability to read body language, being able to make conversation, and getting the answers that you are looking for to require experience and lots of practice. Good Luck!