Do You Have a Growth-Focused Recruiting And Talent Acquisition Game Plan?
Posted by Marcia Zaruba O'Connor on October 16, 2019
Growing your business requires a great game plan. That’s especially true when it comes to your recruiting and talent acquisition strategy.
Top talent injects your company with a burst of knowledge and creativity, right at the time when you need it most. But on the flip side, if you lose new hires, it’s bad for morale, profitability, and growth.
So let’s look at some ways to keep turnover to a minimum and acquire top talent in a company with a growth-focused culture.
Beware of the Underlying Costs of Frequent Hiring
First, watch out for a hidden cost of frequent hiring: wasted internal resources. The hiring process itself can actually harm your company if you handle it poorly. Each interview takes your employees’ precious time away from other activities, so it’s vital to make good use of their time by finding the best candidates possible.
It’s also important to rethink how many people actually need to be interviewing each candidate. How much per hour is each person being paid to give up their time and interview someone? Would it be more cost-effective to pick 3 to 5 most-important interviewers?
In most cases, the answer is: yes! Select a core group of people to handle the interviews. Choose people who represent your culture well and understand the key qualities required. That’s usually more than adequate to make a good hire.
Consider the Impact of a Low Unemployment Rate
We have a 3.7% unemployment rate again and could be facing a recession. In this climate, some company CEOs might think: Why hire right now? Why not wait?
Don’t put off hiring simply because of economic fear, or because it seems that there’s a smaller pool to hire from when the unemployment rate is low. A low unemployment rate means you’ll be more likely to hire employed people rather than unemployed people. That’s not a bad thing.
But keep this in mind: It does mean your offer must be good. Employed people already have a job to fall back on, so they may be more skeptical of your offer. They may also be more risk-averse in the face of a recession.
Make it a Priority to Hire for Culture Fit
Are you making it a priority to screen candidates for their culture fit? This is an absolutely essential part of hiring the right people.
We recently shared a blog post called Hey CEO – YOU ARE YOUR CULTURE!, so take a look at that post for some tips for hiring culture-matched candidates. In most cases - especially within small companies - the CEO has a massive impact on a company’s culture, and that’s something to keep in mind as you hire.
Hire According to Core Values
Working hand-in-hand with your company culture is your company’s set of core values - the principles that guide your mission. Make sure you’re making new hires with these core values in mind, and keep a laser focus on seeking them in your candidates.
For example, let’s say your company’s core values involve collaboration, integrity, execution, and curiosity. But during an interview, a candidate indicates they prefer to not work in a team environment.
This person does not match your core value of collaboration. Don’t hire this person!
The same goes for other core values like having a customer service focus or caring about the details. If an interviewee is 9 minutes late, it might not seem like a huge deal. But wait. Maybe it is a big deal.
Does someone who shows up late really care about the details? Will they be late responding to customers? The hiring committee should be discussing these issues before making an offer.
Don’t Just Hire - Build a Pipeline
Hiring top talent is about more than just making a hire here and there. It’s about building a flowing pipeline of potential hires, so you can pluck someone out of the pipeline whenever needed.
This means your talent acquisition plan should be proactive rather than reactive. Here’s the difference:
A reactive hiring plan says, “We have an open job. Let’s hire someone.”
A proactive hiring plan says, “Let’s stay on the lookout for the right people, always.”
A proactive plan helps you stay one step ahead of the competition. It welcomes referrals from other star employees. It helps you maintain a line up of 5 potential hires on the bench, who share your core values and would be assets to the company.
Hire for Fit, Not Roles
Companies must stop hiring for roles and start hiring for fit. Job descriptions are helpful, but what’s more important is whether the person is the right fit.
This means job descriptions can evolve over time as your company’s needs grow and change, but you’ll always be looking for the same kind of people. That’s a big change from the current thinking at many companies.
At The O’Connor Group, we often hear people say, “My next hire must come from Pharma. They must have X background.” But this is a misguided strategy. What if your next top-selling sales rep currently works in a totally different industry?
With the right skillset and personality, someone from outside your industry could step right in and be your next superstar employee. Don’t ignore candidates from diverse backgrounds.
Remember the Lifestyle Factors
It’s not just about salary. Particularly in times of low unemployment, employed people place a high value on the alternative benefits of their jobs. Is it a supportive place to work? Is it a flexible work environment?
By offering a competitive benefits package you acknowledge the value of their time, health, family, and lifestyle. So if the pay is low but you can offer PTO and paid holidays, this will hold value for potential hires.
Flexibility is also important. If an employee feels like they have flexibility, they tend to be more productive when they do work. When a company offers flexible hours, work-from-home arrangements, and other hallmarks of flexibility, they are more likely to attract and retain top-tier employees who have many other options.
Check on New Hires
Finally, don’t take a set-it-and-forget-it approach to hiring new people. The months after the hire date are also a crucial part of talent acquisition and retention.
Schedule a check-in at 30, 60 and 90 days. Ask how they’re doing and what they need from the company. Keep the momentum going and take care of them, and they’re much more likely to stay for the long haul.
The Bottom Line: There Is No One-Size Fits All Approach
Hiring isn’t a cookie-cutter process. It should incorporate your company’s culture, its unique set of core values, any missing competencies, and room for future growth.
If your company needs a fresh approach to HR, maybe it’s time to outsource your hiring. In fact, a growth period can be the perfect time to outsource HR because it allows you to budget wisely and have the cash on hand for other growth-focused activities.
Allow The O’Connor Group to handle the hiring, and you can get back to all the other tasks that are helping your company thrive. For more information, reach out to us today.
This information is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as legal advice. The O’Connor Group makes no representations as to the completeness, suitability, or validity of any information contained herein and will not be liable for any errors or omissions.