Succeeding in today’s business climate requires companies to find and retain individuals that possess incredible talent, unrivalled passion, fierce commitment and immense brain-power. And with the competitive recruiting environment currently facing many organizations, losing time, money and resources on an inadequate hire isn’t an option.
So, as a human resources professional, what steps should you take to ensure your hiring process results in the most talented individuals?
Optimize your Process
Have you ever considered the number of potential applicants that may have lost interest in your company simply from the user-friendliness of your hiring process? Hour long assessments, faulty communication, too many decision makers and lack of a standardized process can easily push quality candidates far away from your doors.
For companies, this doesn’t mean interview everyone that applies for a position, but implement a process to filter potential hires from those that don’t fit your company goals, objectives and values.
To ensure your hiring process is optimized and that you are spending time with serious candidates, prepare assessments that truly measure value – a resume screening, quick online assessment, screening interview and reference checks before the final interview, while being prepared to make an offer within 48 hours of the final interview.
Learn To Market
Before the application process and even prior to performing due diligence, potential applicants need to know a job exists – which is easier said than done for smaller companies.
An organization needs to attract and retain skilled employees just like a marketing department does customers. Through advertising (pay-per-click, social and traditional), social media interaction, email marketing campaigns, SEO (search engine optimization) and mobile advertising, human resources departments can reach outside their prospective candidate pools and acquire talented individuals that they wouldn’t have otherwise .
Traditionally, marketing tactics like these have only been employed by large organizations that have the budget; however, with technological changes in recent years, almost any company can utilize their brand as a marketing strategy to pull in top prospects that are traditionally outside of their reach while spending little to nothing.
For example, one highly-innovative tactic that Veterans United created to enhance reach is through the use of Virtual Career Fairs. By utilizing the Hangouts feature on Google Plus, interested applicants can now see the inner workings of the company they wish to work for.
What to Look For
Unfortunately, not every applicant results in an exemplary candidate; however, many times you can catch this right away. What about the candidate that has exceptional presentation skills and the ability to flatter a human resources manager into a job they aren’t qualified for?
There are a select few qualities I look for in every job interview. First off, look for passion, personality and creative ability. Many skills can be taught, but these are developed.
Other qualities to consider involve searching out competencies, skills, experiences and education in relation to the job description; compatibility with clients, partners, co-workers, values and company culture; and the applicant’s pleasure for doing their job.
Cultivate Company Culture
Fostering an extraordinary company culture can attract more talent than you can ever imagine – which has been the experience of Veterans United Home Loans, recently named the 21st best place to work by Fortune Magazine.
Veterans United has built a culture surrounded by values that focus on their employees, the community and the end user. Staples of the company’s culture include a relaxed atmosphere, weekly massages, an on-staff life-balance coordinator, complimentary gym memberships and an employee supported and sponsored non-profit foundation.
Perks like this, in addition to 42 percent of jobs being filled through internal promotions, make Veterans United a beacon for recruiting and retaining employees.
What any Human Resources executive can take away from this is that a culture that places employees first, provides a bevy of accessible resources, maximizes the potential of current employees and sets expectations with unfaltering values will find a way to attract talented individuals.
This type of workforce lies in the ability of Human Resources professionals to effectively recognize and manage human capital, while enacting procedures that allow organizational teams to become more efficient and productive in the process. Step outside of the box and attract quality applicants that can be true contributors to the success of co-workers, company and the community.
About the author:
August Nielsen is the human resources manager for Veterans United Home Loans, and is responsible for hiring over 1,000 employees in the past five years for a company recently named the #1 job creator nationally in the financial industry by Inc. Magazine as well as making the Great Place to Work top 25. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Google+.