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Right-on-the-nose recruiting for top people

Employment today is as much about purpose and relationship as it is about the job. Why do you do what you do—can you express it clearly? And what’s so special about your leadership—why would people want to follow you into battle every day? How well do you communicate your “why” to candidates and employees? How do people experience your recruitment process? Do they feel like an afterthought, or do they feel respected and valued at every step of the way? Thoughtful, honest answers to these questions help form the most powerful recruitment strategy you can have.

Recruiting the right people with the right fit is crucial to growth and yet we seem to be failing at it because far too many business leaders and HR professionals don’t understand that recruitment must be strategic and cultures human centric. They are doing things the same old ways—the wrong ways. In the past, people felt thankful to have a job. Today, they want more, much more, from their employer, starting with purpose and relationship. People decide to work for you for the same reasons they buy your products or services: largely because they’ve come to trust or like you based on what you say and do. Recruiters who are strategic and proactive in their communications and processes are the ones out there winning the talent war. They’re stealing the talent you want—as well as the talent currently under your roof. What are they doing right that you’re doing wrong?

Recruiting has changed—have you?

The expectations of today’s employees, widespread skills shortages, and myriad new HR technologies have mandated dramatic changes in recruiting over the past few years. This means you must be continuously rethinking and innovating your recruiting strategies and practices. After all, these are the foundation for meeting every one of your business goals.

In order to compete for talent today, no matter the job market conditions, you need to adapt to a more data-driven, sales and marketing-like approach to recruiting, and integrate effective new recruiting tools and technologies. If you’re still stuck in “post and pray” mode, hoping your ads will be seen and people will apply, you are limiting your opportunity to reach the people you need now and as you grow. And you’re probably spending a lot of money doing it! A well-conceived recruiting strategy and well-thought-out process make your company more effective, competitive, and profitable. Don’t let the beliefs and practices of the past get in the way of your business’s future.

The way forward is first to understand what attracts people to work for you or drives them to leave. Then, maximize your recruiting and retention practices around purpose and relationship.

Today’s best recruiting strategies and processes

Rethinking recruitment brings both opportunity and confusion. How do you know which practices you should change and which you should keep to ensure you attract the best people with the right culture fit? Start by thinking of recruiting as a sales process. It’s not one thing, it’s everything you do that brings better long-term results when you have systems and processes in place. Today, that means:

  • Rather than waiting until you have an opening, build a pipeline of candidates ahead of need and use the many tools available to create strategies that add speed, quality, and diversity to your recruiting efforts.
  • Don’t simply post ads in the usual places, use a mix of employment branding, marketing, and selling geared toward telling passive candidates why they should want to work for you. And don’t just say it; you have to be it!
  • Instead of thinking of recruiting as a one-time thing, use a CRM tool and text messaging to drip-market to candidate pipelines, and allocate resources to contact candidates 8-12 times to get them engaged.
  • Quit hiring based on skills and experience alone and use assessments to help ensure you have the right people in the right roles. Predictive assessments based on data enable you to predict a person’s behavior and likelihood for success in your organization.
  • Broaden your hiring to include internal candidates who are already a cultural fit and can be trained to take on new responsibilities.
  • Don’t fear technology, embrace it. Among other things, new tech tools improve candidate and employee experiences, measure levels of employee engagement, and help you understand and leverage human contribution to your overall organization. If you want to know something, there’s probably a tech tool that can tell you.
  • Instead of thinking about HR as administrative, make your head of HR a valued member of your senior leadership team. Having a strategic HR leader ensures you have a competitive edge in both winning and retaining the best people. You can’t grow your business without one. 
  • Don’t stop with successful recruitment. Make retention part of your recruiting strategy and put equal effort into both finding and keeping your people. Replacing employees is much costlier than keeping them.
  • Don’t rest on your hiring laurels. Measure everything that matters, including new hire success and failure rates; missed strategic opportunities; direct and indirect costs of turnover; diversity hiring rates, satisfaction with the hiring process, and Net Promoter Scores (eNPS) for brand, retention, and employee experience (EX).

Job markets cycle, technologies proliferate, practices improve … Throughout the constant change, your recruiting process should be well engineered to serve your whys and ensure your hows build strong relationships.

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