5 Things to Remember when Recruiting

by Rebecca Barnes-Hogg

We are now a couple of weeks into the new year and most of those shiny New Year’s resolutions have been trampled in the dust. You may even have an occasional pang of guilt about discarding your resolution so quickly. You might take comfort in knowing that statistics prove resolutions never work. However, if one of those resolutions was to change the way you recruit employees, do yourself a big favor. Pick it up, dust it off, and let’s get to work on it.

When you go to the doctor because you feel sick, do you tell the doctor that you’re perfectly fine and that whatever is plaguing you will go away? Of course not! You want a diagnosis; you want to know what’s wrong and find out what is required to get better.

Apply that thinking to your recruiting process. You know there is something wrong because you are hiring employees you know you will replace within a few weeks or months. My question to you is, when are you going to diagnose the problem and do something to get better?

Here is a prescription of five simple ways to start your journey to recruiting health:

1. Be Realistic.

Your perfect candidate might be as easy to find as a purple unicorn. I worked with a client recently who needed two very different skillsets in the same person. They admitted it would be difficult and ignored advice on alternative ways to get what they needed. After months of searching, which cost them both precious time and a lot of money, they admitted their perfect candidate was a dream. They reorganized responsibilities of their current staff and hired a great candidate with the skillset their team lacked.

2. Technology Is a Tool.

Would you expect a hammer to pound nails into a board on its own? The hammer is only as good as the person who uses it. You need to know how to pound the nails into the board in the right position. For example, you might want your nails to be straight, or at an angle, or in certain locations. The hammer is incapable of doing that without you guiding it.

The same is true of technology. Using automated systems to rank your candidates is a tool and an imperfect one at that. I recently found a great candidate who was ranked as a 2.5 by a technology platform. If I had relied only on the tool without using my expert knowledge, I would have overlooked a great candidate.

3. Look Beyond the Resume.

People are more than a piece of paper. The sad fact is candidates are getting horrible advice about what to put on their resumes. Because of that, you have to make some inferences based on what you do see on the resume. Look for clues that your candidate might have the skills you need. Talk with them and ask questions to determine whether they are a fit for your needs. You might be surprised to find your perfect candidate hidden behind an imperfect resume.

4. Communicate Openly and Honestly.

Every company and job has some warts. Share who you are with your candidates. Give them a realistic picture of what the job entails and what it’s like working at your company. Resist the temptation to omit or gloss over the less attractive parts of the job. Share results, both successes and failures. Honestly communicate with them so they know how the work they do contributes to the success of your company. Nothing is perfect and when you are honest about the challenges as well as the opportunities, you will find a great candidate eager to help you overcome those challenges.

5. Be Human.

Remember that you are sourcing people. People want human interaction. This is a big part of communication. The biggest complaint I hear from candidates is that after they interview with a company, they never hear from them again. A candidate I recently worked with thanked me for keeping her informed of the status of her application. She stated that it “…speaks a lot to you and your commitment, and I really appreciate it.”

A personal response to every phone call or email from everyone who sends you a resume isn’t always possible. However, at a minimum, communicate with the candidates you contacted or interviewed. Show them that you are a real person that they can get to know, like, and trust. After all, trust is the basis of all good working relationships.

Are you ready to take control of your recruiting health? Give me a call at 1-843-779-9656, send an email, or text MOMENTUM to 480-418-1411 to become one of my advance readers for my upcoming book on recruiting for small business.