It should be continually astonishing to anyone paying attention the way that many HR departments and hiring managers operate when trying to fill key positions. It takes way too long, often happens rapidly or not at all, and displays a large degree of incompetence all around.
This is a serious vulnerability that a lot of firms don’t even know they have. Talent starvation can be death for a large company, let alone a new startup, but many companies don’t even bother thinking about hiring new talent until they’re already feeling hunger pangs. And when the urgency to find new talent hits them, any cogent recruitment strategy is usually nowhere to be found. That’s why so many recruitment efforts fail.
Recruitment Strategies that Fail
Your company’s recruiting policies have a direct and indirect impact on its ability to perform. But those effects are often delayed, so you’re actually being impacted by strategies that failed you six months ago. That’s why it’s vital to recognize your errors now so you can begin to turn it around. Here are a few failing strategies you should remedy right away:
- Single Platform Searches: If your entire hiring strategy for some or all of your positions is to simply to throw a job description on Indeed.com or some industry-specific job board, you’re casting a small net, to be sure. You need to get the position out there in multiple venues, multiple sites and social platforms to make sure you’re capturing a wide audience. The number of resumes you get should be a good indication, but the variety of candidates will increase with your variety of posting venues, too.
- Plain Job Postings: This is usually a result of pure laziness on the part of the hiring manager or recruiter, but a boring, short job description is a surefire way to signal that your company isn’t serious about seeking good talent. Spend some time on it, make it look sleek and get your brand all over it to let people know it’s worth sending in a resume.
- On-demand Recruitment: This might work for your entry-level positions, but you’re kidding yourself if you think you can fill key positions with highly talented individuals in just a few weeks. Finding the right developer, designer or rock star manager to fit a hole in your organization takes time. And if you wait until you’re hurting for a replacement to recruit them, you’ll be under pressure to accept subpar candidates that could turn into disasters for your company.
Strategies that Work
Talent recruiting and cultivation takes time. A long-term strategy to incentivize referrals, advertise for valuable positions and craft a favorable online view of your company is mandatory if you want to maintain the health of your company. Here are strategies that work:
- Personal Networking: After everything, the method through which most people are finding their jobs is still through personal connections and networking, by a landslide. Exploring the connections of your existing, high-value employees online, in social media and by directly soliciting referrals from your top performers is where you’ll find the concentration of talent. Some of my best managers and creatives came to one of my companies through an existing employee.
- Multi-channel Searches: Post your well-crafted, colorful and comprehensive job and company descriptions on all the major job search sites and specialty boards. Make sure your company’s LinkedIn profile (You do have one, right?) projects an attractive image, and make sure the careers section of your website is more than just a listing of job openings; you have to sell yourselves. Then go offline. Enlist agencies and recruitment services, get a presence at job fairs and industry events, and get into your local colleges and universities. This is where the talent is found, and you need to be there.
- Landing Pages: Is your website set up to preach the value of working at your firm, or is it just talking to your customers? People need to know what’s actually going on at your firm, what type of clients you serve, you processes—anything that isn’t giving away your competitive advantage, but provides a window into your company culture and inspires confidence in prospective recruits.
Your Recruiter is the Problem… or the Solution
I can’t emphasize how much of a liability a poor HR manager is to a company, especially in a startup environment. They can also be the key to landing the big fish that are worth their weight in gold in the productivity, creativity and vision that your company needs to thrive.
Don’t wait until you start noticing a high turnover rate among high-value people or notice that your productivity numbers are slipping to take a look at your recruitment strategy; these are trailing indicators. Know what your recruitment strategy is, pay attention to the people it brings in and fire your hiring manager if they aren’t getting it done.
Mike Mann is a serial entrepreneur and philanthropist. His many successful companies focus on generating profits to direct them toward charitable endeavors. You can read more about Mike’s proven process for creating profitable businesses and using profits to change the world for the better in his book, MakeMillions.Com.