It’s 2012, and the promise of a brighter economic outlook means the talent pool available to your company just got larger. A few years ago, the majority of people looking for a job were those who were unemployed. This year, the passive job seekers – those who already have a job – are looking for grass that is greener. What are you doing to make sure you’re ready for passive (and active) candidates?
Creating (and sticking to) a proactive plan for attracting top talent takes time. The good news is that the steps are straightforward:
Know what you need.
Before you post a job opening, you need to know what the manager and staff need from that position. Talk to them and define the skills and knowledge that is necessary to effectively do the job. Is there any flexibility in the responsibilities, and which skills are a “must-have?” You may encounter some resistance from the manager initially – especially if he or she wrote the job description – but it is critical to pare down to the essentials. If you know what you’re looking for, it will be much easier to pull that person out of your candidate pool.
Plan the work – then work the plan.
Organizational skills may not be your strong-suit, but in order to streamline your hiring process, you need to focus on task-oriented steps. Milestones will keep everyone involved in the process on track. Respond to the resumes you receive within 24 hours, and conduct an initial phone interview within 48 hours. If you require multiple interviews, be sure to schedule those interviews as quickly as possible. If you like this candidate, it’s a strong possibility there are other companies who like him or her just as much.
Simplify, simplify, simplify.
You may think your hiring process is effective and as streamlined as possible. However, it is important to remember that you should review your hiring processes regularly to be sure that what you’re doing still works. Are you caught up in so much red tape that your company has missed out on top talent? Look at technology solutions that can cut down on a more time-intensive hiring process: consider an applicant tracking system. Is it critical to fly the top two candidates out to your home office for an interview, or could you save the applicant the time of travel – and yourself some headaches – by conducting the interview using video conference?
Be upfront and honest in your communication.
If you like the candidate let them know. This isn’t a first date, so don’t say “We’ll let you know.” Tell the candidate where he or she stands: give them details on the next step in the process and a deadline as to when you will be in touch. If you know you have a vacation or trip coming up, let them know that as well. Finally, if the process will be delayed, a simple call from the hiring manager lets the candidate know you’re still interested.