Business Managment: Top 10 tips for successful employee recruitment

Build your company’s brand and develop a candidate pool early.

By Susan Heathfield

Finding the best possible people who can fit within your culture and contribute in your organization is a challenge and an opportunity. Keeping the best people, once you find them, is easy if you do the right things right.

These specific actions will help you with recruiting and retaining all the talent you need. Here are 10 tips for better recruiting.

1. Improve your candidate pool 
The key is to build your candidate pool before you need it. Companies that select new employees from the candidates who walk in their door or answer an ad in the paper or online are missing the best candidates, who are usually working for someone else and they may not even be looking for a new position. Here are steps to improve your candidate pool.

  • Invest time in developing relationships with university placement offices, recruiters and executive search firms.
  • Encourage staff to actively participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet candidates.
  • Watch the online job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online even if they’re not currently looking.
  • Use professional association web sites and magazines to advertise positions.
  • Look for potential employees on LinkedIn and on other social media. 
  • Bring your best prospects in to meet them before you need them.

2. Look for “likeness”
The authors of The Human Capital Edge, Bruce N. Pfau and Ira T. Kay, are convinced that you should hire a person who has done this “exact job, in this exact industry, in this particular business climate, from a company with a very similar culture.” They believe that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior and suggest that this is the strategy that will enable you to hire winners. They say hiring the candidate you believe can hit the ground running is best for your company. Most companies can’t afford the time to train a possibly successful candidate.

3. Look in-house first 
Always post positions first internally. Providing promotional and lateral opportunities for current employees boosts morale and makes your current staff members feel their talents, capabilities and accomplishments are appreciated. 

Give potential candidates an interview. It’s a chance for you to know them better. They learn more about the goals and needs of the organization. Sometimes, a good fit is found between your needs and theirs.

4. Have a great employer reputation
Pfau and Kay make a strong case for not just being a great employer but letting othes know that you are a great employer. This helps build your reputation and company brand and the best prospects will more likely seek you out because they respect and want to work for your brand. 

Take a look at your employee practices for retention, motivation, accountability, reward, recognition, flexibility in work-life balance, promotion and involvement. These are key to becoming an employer of choice. If your employees tell others the organization is a great place to work, it builds candidates’ trust in your company. People will believe the employees before they believe the corporate literature.

5. Involve employees in the hiring process
There are three opportunities to involve your employees in the hiring process. First, your employees can recommend excellent candidates to your firm. Seond, they can assist in reviewing resumes and qualifications of potential candidates; and third, they can help interview people to assess their potential fit within your company.

People who participate in the selection process are committed to helping the new employee succeed. It can’t get any better than that for you and the new employee.

6. Pay better than your competition
Survey the local job market and take a hard look at the compensation people in your industry, then strive to pay better than average to attract and keep the best candidates. Otherwise, employees will resent their pay scale, feel unappreciated and leave you for their first good job offer. With employee replacement costs ranging from two to three times the person’s annual salary, it makes sense to compensate fairly.

7. Use benefits to your advantage
Keep your benefits above industry standard and add new benefits as you can afford them. It helps to educate employees about the cost and value of their benefits so they appreciate how you are looking out for their needs.

Employees are increasingly looking for cafeteria-style benefits plans in which they can balance their choices with those of a working spouse or partner.

Pfau and Kay recommend stock and ownership opportunities for every level of employees in your organization. Profit-sharing plans and bonuses that are based on measurable achievements and contributions are popular.

8. Hire the smartest person you can find
If you’re looking for someone who will work well with people, you need to hire an individual who has the talent of working well with people. You’re unlikely to train missing talents into the person later. You can try, but then, you are not building on the employee’s strengths which 80,000 managers, via Gallup’s research, highly recommend.

Instead, hire for strengths. Don’t expect to develop weak areas of performance, habits and talents. Build on what is great about your new employee in the first place.

9. Recruit with your web site
A good company web site portrays the company’s vision, mission, values, goals and products. It can help candidates understand and resonate with your company’s values and goals. 

Create an employment section that describes available positions and contains information about your company and why an interested person might want to contact your company. A recruiting web page is your opportunity to shine and has become a highly effective way to
attract candidates.

10. Check references
Check references carefully and conduct background checks. In the litigious society in which we live, it’s important to pursue every avenue to assure the people you hire can do the job, contribute to your growth and development and have no past transgressions that might endanger your current workforce. 

Susan Heathfield is a management and organization development consultant who specializes in human resources issues and in management development to create forward-thinking workplaces. 

This article appeared in the November-December 2017 issue of Pro Contractor Rentals magazine. Copyrighted--all rights reserved.