Recruitment Strategies for HR Leaders in 2018

Posted January 25, 2018 by 

Effective talent acquisition and recruitment strategies help companies become more successful. But when things go wrong, business efficiency and profitability is negatively impacted — beyond the direct costs of poor recruiting processes.

Estimates place the value of avoiding a toxic worker at about $12,500, and it’s even more to replace one, according to leadership and organizational development expert Chris Cancialosi in Forbes. Entry-level employees cost between 30 to 50 percent of annual salary to replace, while the number rises upwards of 150 percent for mid-level employees.

One key to finding and hiring the right people is paying attention to culture. However, given the speed that some companies hire new people, culture can become an afterthought. This is even more of an issue with the way that recruiting has changed.

“Hiring today is not about vetting applicants who are eager to work for your company,” Leela Srinivasan, chief marketing officer at hiring software firm Lever, told Cancialosi. “In today’s business environment, the balance of power rests with the candidates. Today, recruiting is more about mutual evaluation and finding the right fit.”

The following sections explore how to enhance recruiting strategies and processes so that they are effective and reflect a company’s culture.

Recruitment Strategies for 2018

Core Strategies

  • Understand what makes your organization unique. What defines your company and separates it from every other business? You should know or find the answer from a business and a company culture perspective. The answer should be revealed throughout the recruitment process.
  • Implement competitive compensation and benefits packages. Your company should offer more than a paycheck — but the paycheck is important. Also consider employee perks programs, wellness programs, flexible work options and more that can help employees financially (and boost morale).
  • Start an employee referral program. Good employers use their own employees, customers and vendors as prime sources of new hires,” according to entrepreneur and author Liz Ryan in Forbes. “If you post job openings to the entire world before letting your employees, customers and suppliers know about them, you are not only missing out on an awesome source of talent but also insulting your own best recruiting team members. If you don’t value your employees enough to make them ambassadors for your brand, then your culture is broken.”
  • Provide realistic job previews. If recruiting is about mutual evaluation, giving employees a realistic look at their potential positions can save both sides from a potentially unpleasant situation. Getting feedback on these previews can be revealing for companies.
  • Actively promote your brand. Both sides in recruiting should be trying to demonstrate their strengths. Show applicants why they should work at your company.
  • Train hiring managers to interview well. “They should be evaluating candidates on various dimensions throughout the process, as opposed to rehashing things that have already come up in previous stages,” according to Cancialosi. “They should also be probing beneath the surface of a candidate’s answers to uncover useful insight into their skills and experience. This will likely require some form of interview training, so people feel ready to support the process when the time comes.”
  • Consider re-hires. The most effective approach to recruiting is training existing employees to take on hard-to-fill roles, according to nearly 3,000 HR professionals in a Society for Human Resource Management survey.

Creative Strategies

  • Apply for a local/state/national “best places to work” award. A third-party stamp of approval can catch the eye of your target audience. Explore awards that can get your company’s culture recognized.
  • Utilize organic and paid social media recruiting. There are several channels that you can take advantage of in social media recruitment. Many large companies are leading the way in using these networks effectively.
  • Handpick dream candidates and show them you want them. “Passive candidates (those who are already employed and not actively job hunting) are most likely to be your dream hires, but you’ll never attract them without letting them know how much you want them,” according to Business Insider.
  • Make yourself stand out with non-traditional media. Videos and podcasts can differentiate your company from competitors and promote your company’s culture.
  • Attend events other than job fairs. The best candidates typically already have jobs. Explore Meetup events and other creative ways to connect to passionate, skilled people.
  • Skip the resume and have candidates call directly. Use this method with care. Yet, it can be a powerful way to quickly interact with candidates and gauge how well they would fit at your company.
  • Create engaging, interactive content that sells your brand/culture. This can include fun, productive content like “game” ads that serve as tests for programmers.

Reshaping the Recruitment Process

As Robert Half describes, there are several steps in the recruitment process, and each step typically has some of the same actions. Yet, according to Liz Ryan, “leaders who are serious about hiring great people need to examine their own internal practices and fix whatever is broken.” Companies may need to change up what normally occurs. Here are some ideas for each step.

  1. Human Resources Evaluation: Typically, computer programs scan resumes for certain keywords and phrases. “You will never fill out your team with awesome people by letting a piece of code screen resumes for you — you have to do it yourself, the old-fashioned way,” Ryan says.
  2. Phone Interviews: Phone interviews help HR professionals gauge candidates’ communication skills, enthusiasm and discuss their resumes. This is where candidates should get a good feel for a company’s culture. HR professionals should discuss and demonstrate what makes the company stand out.
  3. First Interviews: This step involves managers conducting face-to-face interviews with candidates. Extending from the previous step, companies should make every effort to connect with candidates and help them see what makes the business great. “When you interview candidates, do you welcome them to the company and show them around?” Ryan asks. “Do you make sure to answer their questions first, before you start asking them questions? Companies that treat job-seekers like gold will never have trouble filling their open positions.”
  4. Second Interviews: A round of second interviews involves narrowing down the initial field. However, companies should examine if they need these at all (unless the position is a particularly high-profile one). This can clog the process.
  5. Decision and Job Offer: Candidates are notified of the company’s decision. Like the previous step, companies should aim to make the process as smooth as possible. “Your recruiting process has a serious problem if you make candidates wait weeks to hear back from you after a job interview,” according to Ryan. “It shouldn’t take more than two or three business days to get back to every candidate — the ones you want to meet again or extend an offer to, as well as the folks you can see are not a great fit for your company at this moment.”
  6. Salary Negotiation: This final step shouldn’t be as difficult as it is in some organizations. Ideally companies and candidates will be on the same page from early on. Ryan recommends sending an email like this before even conducting an interview: “Thanks for your resume! We love your background and are happy to hear from you. We have an opening for a product management coordinator. Here’s the job spec. The job pays in the low to mid-40s. Would that work for you?”

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