If your firm is expanding rapidly, one of the most essential activities you, as CEO, need to oversee, is the hiring of qualified professionals who will make your team the best that it can be. Here are some tips to help guide you and your staff during this exciting time:
1. Hire a Recruiter
Do you have a dedicated Human Resources professional on staff as your company begins to expand? One of the first things you should do, as your firm grows, is have a dedicated recruiter so that one person oversees all aspects of hiring. Recruiting and hiring involve attention to detail, paperwork, and knowledge of legal issues. Don’t have these responsibilities spread across the firm in a scattershot way. Keep them centralized with one person.
Using an Applicant Tracking System (ATS) will help streamline your recruitment efforts. An ATS can be implemented or accessed online on an enterprise or small business level, depending on the needs of the company. Free and open source ATS software is also available.
2. Always be recruiting
There are plenty of reasons why you should always be recruiting. After you have completed one search, the top two or three candidates you selected should be treated as potential applicants in another recruitment effort. You identified strong qualities in each of them, and although they may not have landed the first job to which they applied, they may be suitable for another. You will also save yourself time and money by keeping track of these high potential individuals via ATS.
3. Create an employee referral program
Do you have an employee referral program at your firm? Often, your loyal employees will know of a friend or former colleague who has the qualities you are seeking in a manager to join your company. Make sure that your staff knows about ongoing searches you are conducting. Keep your company website up to date with the opportunities available. Offer employees a reward for referrals: an extra day off, a cash reward, a gift card for a free dinner for the family.
4. Conduct reference checks
Be sure to check references of all candidates. If your staff is under pressure to make a hire immediately to meet a manager’s demand, that does not mean that you should take any shortcuts. Your recruiter should speak to each reference on the telephone and check all information about college degrees, former employers, and other pertinent details.
5. Ensure a positive candidate experience
During the entire recruitment process, keep candidate experience at the top of your mind. Consider this fact, “People who are satisfied with their candidate experiences are 38 percent more likely to accept a job offer. Experiences are amplified: a majority of candidates (over 60 percent) talk about their experiences with friends,” according to research conducted by IBM.
Ensure that your employer value proposition is made clear to the candidate. The IBM research showed that “The impact of candidate experience extends beyond recruitment. Our research reveals that candidate experience is not just affecting the hiring process, it could even impact potential sales. The desire among candidates to be a customer of the hiring organization is higher among those who had a good candidate experience (53 percent) compared to those who had a poor candidate experience (just 25 percent say they want to be a customer).”
6. Highlight company culture
Make sure that your company culture is understood during the entire recruitment process. Your job descriptions should speak to your culture. If you use words like “seeking a warm individual who is collaborative and adventurous,” you will attract individuals who are seeking an environment where such qualities are prized. If your firm is allowing employees to work remotely one or two days a week, with management’s approval, state this fact.
Is your culture family friendly? If your firm has in-house daycare or offers employee discounts to nearby day care facilities, explain this. When you are inviting an individual to work at your company, you are welcoming him or her into your culture. Ensure that the fit is a good one. You want to hire a new manager who meshes well.
7. Develop a recruitment marketing strategy
Your recruitment process should reflect your company’s brand, as noted by IBM. “Candidates who like the brand or reputation of the hiring organization are more likely to apply and, even if they do not receive a job offer, they are more likely to apply again. Therefore, organizations should start with a good employer branding strategy that relates specifically to the hiring situation.”
Is your firm active on social media? How often does your company appear at networking events in your field? Are you a sponsor of community activities? All of these are low-cost ways to improve your marketing and increase your visibility. If you are sponsoring a 10K run for your local YMCA, you may attract runners and their friends who not only want to support the Y but are impressed by companies that take such an interest in their communities. These marketing activities can influence your recruitment.
HR Technologist also noted, “A company's careers website is a recruitment marketing plan's nerve-center; a hub for all the data one needs, and a space for greater engagement and connectivity, as Microsoft recently showcased.
“Remember, it's vital to offer information in a manner which allows job-seekers to rapidly locate what they are looking for, easily understand requirements, and search & apply for the jobs/roles posted.”
It’s also critical to keep the data you have found on potential candidates and track whether a person has accepted a new job with one of your competitors, and other aspects of the individual’s movements. The fact that this candidate may have spoken at an industry conference or won an industry-wide award will aid your decision-making. The data will help you create a complete picture of the candidate.
Your in-house recruiting efforts can proceed smoothly if you hire a recruiter, keep track of applicants via ATS, and are always on the lookout for qualified individuals. Your employees can serve as a good resource for referrals, and if you develop a solid recruitment marketing effort, you will be advancing your brand while at the same time attracting qualified applicants.
These steps will help to take your company to a new level of excellence. Enjoy the journey!