When hiring, companies always want the best candidates, but finding "the best" is often easier said than done. With so many hiring sites and competitive recruitment processes, the person who is the perfect fit for your job may never even see your listing.
We asked members of Forbes Coaches Council how companies struggling to find top talent can change their strategy and increase the chance of attracting top candidates. Their best responses are below.
1. Qualify Your Talent
Set the tone that you have to qualify to get to great candidates. Too many organizations are accepting talent, but are they qualifying them? That's a different thing. Setting clear expectations for the type of organization you run and asking key questions on how you qualify in these situations will get you one step closer to building a synergistic team of high achievers. - Marlo Higgins, Marlo Higgins, Your Chief Inspirational Officer
2. Define Who Will Succeed In Your Organization
It's hard to predict something intangible. The core task is to define who will succeed there. Be it uber-diligence, unbounded creativity, a nose-to-the-grindstone approach or a personality-based relationship builder, name the traits of top talent. Then, craft questions about those traits and don't compromise if people lack them. Hiring is tough, but you have to be hard on the core critical issue: success. - Kathy Morris, Under Advisement , Ltd.
3. Stop Relying On Applicant Tracking Systems
Make the applicant tracking system disappear. Seamless conversations with individuals that make them feel seen will draw A-Players like moths to a flame. Top talent has little patience for long, cumbersome application processes. - Cara Heilmann, Ready Reset Go
4. Focus Your Interviews On Personality And Culture Fit
One of my favorite adages is, "you're hired for what you know, you're fired for who you are." Interviews focus too much on skill and not enough on personality and culture fit. My experience shows it is behavior, not skill, that gets people fired. Spend more time getting to know the person and their behavior style and learning how they think, process, react and communicate to get a clearer picture of true fit. - Sheryl Lyons, Culture Spark LLC
5. Tell Candidates What Success In The Role Looks Like
You need to clearly define to the candidates what success looks like for a person in that position. Job descriptions do not cut it; they just set out basic qualifications for the job. Be granular with statements like, "Within 60 days you will be able to achieve..." You also need to prepare and review with candidates the actual expectations you have for what that person will be expected to do. - David Galowich, Terra Firma Leadership LLC
6. Articulate Your Employer Value Proposition
Companies must clearly articulate their employer value proposition, which outlines the benefits of working there. Companies are good at marketing their value to customers, but not with potential employees. Every company must develop a clear set of employee attributes for the company, promote and then deliver on them. - Shane Green, SGEi
7. Remove Any Opportunities For Unconscious Bias
Focus on removing any opportunities for unconscious bias. The most strategic companies hire for diversity of thought. All too often, hiring managers hire people like them or perhaps take little risk in moving people into other roles. The best talent challenges the current state, sees things differently, innovates, delivers with excellence and quality and embraces the mission and values of the organization. - Denise Russo, SAP
8. Look For Motivation And Drive Above All Else
Look for motivation and drive–even if a candidate’s hard skills are lighter than expected. Dedication and willingness can’t be taught! Critical areas of expertise, such as consultative selling, technology tools or accounting practices, can be satisfied with training or job shadowing. By hiring candidates with a mix of soft skills and aptitude, employers can have the best of both worlds. - Laura Smith-Proulx, CCMC, CPRW, CIC, COPNS, CTTCC, An Expert Resume
9. Fix Your 'Leaky Bucket’
Fix the “leaky bucket” in your organization. Rather than thinking short term and trying to compete for top talent with high salaries, focus on establishing a company culture where team members feel valued, align with the organization’s objectives and see the impact they are making. When you empower your managers to be coaches of their people, top talent will find you. - Aaron Levy, Raise The Bar
10. Market The Role In Unique Ways
First, fully understand what characteristics you are looking for in the role and in the person. Then, market in a different way. Have quotes from team members or quick 30-second video messages from the hiring manager included in the job ad. Do and say something authentic about working with you, the team and the organization to showcase the workplace culture and values. - Shelley Smith, Premier Rapport
11. Appeal To The Next Generation Of Talent
Younger workers have specific needs. They prefer ﬂexible schedules and a casual work environment. They also hunger for feedback from bosses. Younger workers prefer a ﬂatter organizational structure where titles and hierarchy are less important and where they feel a sense of belonging. To motivate a younger team, adjust your communication and leadership style to accommodate and address these needs. - G. Riley Mills, Pinnacle Performance Company
12. Write Thoughtful Job Descriptions
Write better job descriptions and don't abdicate this task to anybody. Be thoughtful about how you inspire candidates upfront, be clear about the role’s expectations and share the background required. Avoid rolling through the day-to-day tasks and elevate the skills you need and the results you are looking for from them. Most of all, respond to all candidates with a note of their status. - Dana Manciagli, Job Search Master Class
13. Give Candidates Space To Innovate In Their Role
Where possible, allow space for candidates to innovate the role/job description to make it even better. In the recruitment process, save five to 10% of the job for the candidate to define if selected. After 30 to 60 days on the job, invite them to submit their suggestions to their manager for approval. Who wouldn't want to help design their new next best role? - Karan Rhodes, Shockingly Different Leadership
14. Seek Out Rising Talent
Everyone likes to hire the fully-vetted and capable employee who can hit the ground running. That's always nice, but that's also why they are hard to find. Look for talent that is "on the rise" and has the ability to learn. People who show an ability to learn and grow can have higher upside potential and often mesh better culturally as they adapt to your environment. Hire for a growth mindset. - Jim Vaselopulos, Rafti Advisors, LLC
15. Focus On The Way People Work
Focus on attitudes, beliefs, work habits and focus less on technical skills. Technical skills can be taught and although not identical, they can be transferred from one job or industry to the next. However, attitudes and work habits like teamwork are more difficult to change. By focusing on the way people work, you can open up your recruiting pool and improve performance. - Brad Federman, PerformancePoint LLC
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