Posted by: kentropic | September 2, 2009

10 steps to recruiting success

Recent economic news offers reasons to be cautiously optimistic about a recovery in the not-too-distant future. Even though hiring will almost certainly be a lagging indicator, now is the best time for corporate recruiters to update and re-energize strategy and tactics for finding great people.

Where to you find the big ones, and how do you land `em?

Where to you find the big ones, and how do you land `em?

Alpha Centauri

How do you attract future superstars into your orbit?

Unless you’ve just popped through a wormhole on your way back from Alpha Centauri, you know that social media need to be in your recruiting toolkit. Despite all the hype, social media aren’t a magic bullet — although they can turbocharge your networking efforts. And just as networking is still the best way for candidates to find great gigs, it’s also the best way to raise your employment brand’s visibility (and attract awesome candidates).

The key is to teach everyone in your organization how to enlist their networks in the search. This applies especially to the leadership team: they’re typically the best-connected people in your company, with the best contacts. They can expand your circle of potential referrals exponentially.

HR’s role, then, is to facilitate, answer questions and keep all the trains running on time. In practical terms, that means:

  1. Make sure there’s a competitive employee referral bonus program in place, and that everyone’s aware of it.
  2. Create custom job profiles (updated with each posting) that reflect company culture, accurately describe your needs and speak your target audience’s language.
  3. Draft simple and straightforward networking letters that staff can use as templates for outreach to their contacts.
  4. Support internal adoption of social media tools and track their use.
  5. Be the face and voice of your employment brand, and that means: acknowledging ALL applications, spotting and helping top prospects navigate easily through your process, handling logistics for the hiring managers, representing your organization at recruiting events and panels.
  6. Build and maintain relationships with relevant college or trade school placement offices and alumni networks.
  7. Cultivate specialized 3rd-party recruiters for temp-to-hire or hair-on-fire openings.
  8. Understand the business: its functional needs, financial priorities and strategic goals.
  9. Identify and keep in touch with the candidates you’ll need *next* year, or the year after (Twitter and LI are great for this).
  10. Stay curious about HR practice and the bleeding edge of innovation in your industry, and devote an hour of every workday to keeping current.

Short version: own the process behind the scenes; anticipate needs before they’re acute; advocate for change where necessary; keep score and stay ready to adjust on the fly.

Anything to add? Are there other steps that you rely on to find and attract great candidates?



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