How to recruit top talent.
By Selipha Kihagi
When it comes to an organization’s recruitment process, the greatest desire of an employer is to have the best candidate. Employers will want nothing more than to recruit the right employee who will blend easily, and start creating impact as soon as they are settled in. But recruiting the best employee is not usually an easy task.
The recruitment process involves crafting an advertisement, going through a load of job applications, conducting interviews and selecting the best candidate; all of which take up valuable time and money. If you go wrong at any stage of recruiting, then you risk making a bad hire, which leads to losses in time and revenue. But if done right and you end up recruiting the right candidate, then your business gets to enjoy the benefits of a good investment.
So, how do you recruit the best candidate?
To ensure you end up with the best hire, the trick is to have a laid out plan for every opening. Here is a 5-step guide towards recruiting the best candidate in any vacancy at your organization.
1. Craft a winning job description
When faced with the need to hire a new employee, you may be quick to come up with a job description fast, don’t. A hasty description is the first step towards recruiting the wrong person. Take time to think through the position in question; what skills do you want the job holder to have? What educational qualifications fit the position? How about their personality – is an extroverted person the better fit or would you rather an introvert? What about the experience – is the industry background relevant?
Answering these questions will help you come up with the ideal description that will help wade off unqualified candidates, leaving you with a specific talent pool.
2. Come up with a job advertisement and post on the right platform
After creating your winning description, the next step is creating the actual advert and choosing the platform to post on. Now, if you are working with a recruitment firm, you need not worry much about this step as the recruiters will do it for you. But if you are recruiting in-house, as an employer you must be very particular on what you include in the ad and where you post it; the two will determine the type of applicants you get.
While posting on various platforms may attract more applicants in less time, it will probably give you the wrong talent pool. The platform you choose should depend on the type of position you are trying to fill. On the other hand, a good advert should include a summary of your company and position in question, key skills and competencies required, qualifications in terms of both education and experience and information on how to apply. This gives you a guide to eliminate those not qualified.
3. Create a ‘cheat sheet’ for your ideal employee
Once you have your ad up and running, the next step is to come up with a profile for the ideal employee, or what we call a recruitment ‘cheat sheet’. From your current employees, chances are you already know who performs best, who the average one is and who has their clock ticking.
Since your aim is to recruit the best candidate, focusing on the skills, character and motivation of your best performing employees will help you narrow down the best applicants. Think about it; if your best performing employees are happy, then recruiting new personnel with similar skills can guarantee you similar performance.
Based on what keeps your best employees motivated, create a cheat sheet of the ideal employee for the position. Use the cheat sheet to sort out through the applications. This will help you select candidates who will easily blend into your company culture.
4. Use a proven assessment tool in the recruiting process
The CV and Cover letter are not usually enough to tell who the best candidate for the position is and that is why we have job interviews and psychometric tests. In an interview, you are able to interact with candidates and pick out the better communicator, the self-driven, the confident and even the fake. But even a well-crafted set of interview questions and an intimidating interview panel may not differentiate between the best candidate and one who excels at job interviews because they prepared well.
In order to recruit the best candidate, include psychometric tests in your interview process. The tests tell you about the character of a potential employee, their decision making process, teamwork abilities, assertiveness and even motivating factors. Matching the results to your earlier created cheat sheet will help you figure out the right candidate for the job.
5. Carry out a background check
At this point you probably have your best candidate or are torn between two, and may be from your cheat sheet, you even have a plan B. Doing a background check on the candidates before making a job offer comes a long way in eliminating or confirming any doubts you might have. It helps uncover any anomalies that were not picked up during the recruitment process, making your recruiting decision more clear.
Recruiting top talent is not a walk in the park, and neither is retaining these employees. But if you invest time and resources to recruit the best candidate from the very start, then you won’t have to worry about going through the recruitment process over and over.