Recruit Better Than “Good Enough”

Hiring the best people for the job is a team sport that involves not only HR and Talent Acquisition, but just as importantly, it also has to involve the Hiring Managers and their teams. Over the past 8 years we have all seen the markets swing from employers being in total control with plenty of talent at their disposal, to having to take on a more candidate-driven approach – it’s just like the developer boom of the early 2000’s all over again.

This shift has pushed companies to change the way they hire. Companies who want to survive the next 5 years need to be agile, attractive, and although not necessarily early-adopters of the newest technologies but rather innovators in how to accommodate the new technology and how people want to use it and work with it. In essence they almost need to change their corporate DNA to match the new world of work.

It’s the classic boiling frog situation – if a frog is dropped into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in cold water which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death.

You will wake up one day and decide that you need modern day skilled individuals and by then it will be too late. The very best talent will be working for your competitors with multiple offers lined up and you will be recruiting from that horrible “good enough” pool. Good enough to just get along and do a good enough job. This “good enough” trap is something we are passionately and desperately trying to fight. If you don’t hire excellence you won’t become a leader in your sector, you’ll only be good enough. Not growing, not exceeding, just stagnant and “good enough”.

So how do you jump ahead? How do you navigate this Talent Acquisition headache? Here are 4 starting points, ranked in our opinion of order of importance. Do even one of these and you will no doubt significantly increase your chances to recruit better than “good enough”

Talent is the job of HR or Recruiting
Quite simply this is not the case anymore. Full collaboration in the hiring process from hiring manager to recruiter to the team with the actual open vacancy, is absolutely essential. Throw out the old requisition that was copy and pasted from the internet 5 years ago. Get the recruitment team and hiring team together and assign responsibility. They stand to gain just as much as you, and they also stand to lose – if the wrong person joins a harmonious team, that balance might get disturbed and you may run the risk of losing key talent because of one bad hire. By involving these key team members you will get so much insight into the actual job. You’ll get updated, clear, live, blow-by-blow insights into what it takes to be part of this team. Use these insights to create a data-rich job spec that feels real and sincere.

Secrecy in the Recruitment Process
Not disclosing team names, salary, projects, technology and clients must also be avoided at all costs. You need to embrace an open and transparent process. Give the interested parties all the info they need to make a decision. Tell them what you are struggling with, show them your process, code base, and quality of your team. If you have exceptional people, they will attract other A team players. Be real. People want to be pushed in their jobs, be inspired by colleagues and ship a great product or service they can associate with, which is much more attractive than a salary.

To the point above – show your team and what they do. Share contact details of an actual real life person on the team, you need a lead on every role. Someone that will champion the process, give the info candidates want, actually engage and drive interviews, collate interview feedback and own the whole candidate experience. If this champion can be a member of the hiring team or even the hiring manager himself, so much the better. Let HR and the recruiters focus on the top half of the funnel and bringing good people to the table. Selling them the job and opportunity is the work of the managers and team.

To the HR teams – this one is for you. Don’t hide behind your “if you haven’t heard from us in 2 weeks, consider yourself unsuccessful” and “We will keep your CV on our Database” lines. Candidates know you won’t and they will think you and your company are full of it. Get better tools, invest in better technology, train your people, and actually use it! These tools are designed to act like an assistant for your team and your hiring managers, and don’t forget about your candidates. Let technology enable you to tell better stories about your company. It’s the last point of the four and purely an enabler for a great talent strategy. But keep this disclaimer in mind – don’t start with tech, it won’t work in isolation.

This post is sponsored by jobspace – transparent job ads for future employees

Written by WP Strauss, Founder of Hashtagtalent and jobspace

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