If you ask a business leader or entrepreneur the key to the success of their business, the chances are they will say: “Our people are our most valuable asset.”
Although it’s a well used phrase among business leaders, the mistake is that it isn’t always reflected in their business practices. Companies will have well thought out sales and marketing plans, financial forecasts and product roadmaps. But will often forget to identify, engage with and hire the right staff.
If the key to success is having great teams in place, not having a strategic plan to deal with this business critical issue is a major challenge for every outstanding business.
To really succeed, every company needs a successful talent acquisition strategy to drive business growth. A strategy that is contingent on finding the right person for the right job at the right time.
Here are five things companies don’t do that make hiring great people harder than it needs to be.
1. Identify key skills and always be recruiting
Don’t wait until you have a vacancy, hiring great people is the key to having a great business and leaving hiring decisions until the last minute doesn’t make sense.
Identify in advance the key skills and competencies that are needed for your business to be successful.
Technology makes identifying people with the right skills and experience easy, whether that is via online job databases, LinkedIn or other social media. Use these tools to build a database of prospective employees – a talent pool.
While identifying talent is easier, the challenge for your business is how you engage with these people.
2. Build long-term relationships
Once you’ve identified the prospective candidates with the right skills and experience for your company, get to know them.
Your company might not be right for them today, but the prospective employee doesn’t know what your company is planning in six months – don’t wait till you’ve got the right job for them – get to know them now!
Let them know that you think their skills and experiences are aligned with what you are looking for and that you would love to keep in touch.
Then, every few months, send out an email with information on what the business is up to (it may have videos or project updates), what’s happening around your corporate and social responsibility and a bit about your culture.
The idea is to keep your company front of mind with high calibre people who have the right skills to make a difference to your business.
When an opportunity comes along you’ll have given these potential employees a clearer understanding of who you are to help them make an informed decision on whether your company is right place for them to develop their career.
3. Employer brand
Be proactive in promoting your company and show prospective employees why it’s a great place for people to develop their careers – It is so easy to develop and share videos, images and information about your company.
Remember people don’t work for jobs, they work for companies.
Your careers page shouldn’t be a listing of jobs, it should be the place where potential employees go to find out what your company is about, why you do what you do, what your values are and what you believe in.
Use existing staff in videos to tell their story – they are a powerful asset as it proves what you are saying is true – show that your company is a great place to work and great people will want to come and work there.
4. Employee referrals programme
Often overlooked employee referrals are often the best way to recruit staff –talented people normally know talented people.
Empower your team to be promoters of your company.
Would your current team recommend your company to their friends?
If not, why not – find out!
And if so, tap in to those networks.
Normally people hired through referral programmes take less time to settle in and tend, because they are known already, to be a good fit.
Your existing staff will also have a stake and be committed to helping them quickly settle in to their new role.
5. Social recruiting – engage (be social / be creative)
Social networking is about engaging not broadcasting. Some of the most successful blue chip companies who use “social recruiting” have never posted a job advert on their social media platforms.
What they do is engage, respond, talk to people and join in their conversations. Nothing replaces talking to people, take online relationships offline.
Take a long-term view, talk to people, be passionate, creative and have fun – you may well attract similar people!
Richard Morgan is a recruitment entrepreneur, founder and MD of Remit Resources & Workday Talent Solutions.
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