Every day I hear business owners lament the fact that they can’t find good employees. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we had hundreds of qualified applicants to choose from? That sure sounds awesome, but when it comes to recruiting, you can have too much of a good thing and that creates a daunting and time-consuming process.
In a world where time is money, most of us lack the time or resources to wade through a sea of resumes, not to mention the challenge of maintaining a consistent and legal process in today’s social world. But with a little extra work up front, you can use specific tools and processes to attract a manageable number of quality applicants and filter out those annoying resume spammers, making your screening efforts smoother, more efficient, and ultimately more effective.
And the investment of time and effort is worth it. A 2012 CareerBuilder Survey shows that 25% of surveyed employers said a bad hire in the last year cost them upwards of $50,000. In CareerBuilder’s 2015 survey, 60% of CEOs reported the inability to find qualified candidates prevented their company from reaching its full potential, 35% said that their recruitment process was inefficient (takes too long to fill jobs), and 48% of CEOs said their companies lost money due to inefficient recruiting.
You get it. You know it’s expensive to hire the wrong person and you want to do it right. But now the real work starts: how do you find a manageable group of highly-qualified candidates in all that clutter? It’s easier than you think, because answering three questions will keep your recruiting focused and efficient.
- Who are Your Ideal Candidates?
You need to have clarity about what you need your candidates to do and what results they must achieve to be successful. It’s deeper than a list of tasks; it is a results or outcomes list. Next, identify what knowledge, skills, and behaviors a successful candidate must possess to achieve these results. This is the hardest part. If you don’t know exactly what your needs are and what a successful employee looks like, how will you know when you find him or her?
You also want to be very specific. This takes time and work. Getting clear on what you need means finding a quiet moment to focus on the tasks you will turn over to your new hire, what the results of the tasks will be, and what skills are needed to be successful. You don’t want to make the mistake of rushing to hire the first available person in hopes of lightening the load. Often, this approach costs more time and money than carving out the time to think strategically and waiting to find the right person. It’s better to be understaffed than to have a bad employee who will affect the performance and morale of the rest of your team. This can cost you time, money, and lead to future problems with productivity, turnover, training costs, and retention of good performers.
For example, if you need someone to manage your calendar, you can drill down into specifics like the ability to prioritize your appointments in a certain way (highest sales potential or most important customers), or maximizing your time by grouping similar types of meetings on a specific day.
- How Can I Create a High-Quality Recruiting Process?
There’s a lot that goes into creating a high-quality recruiting process. The most important thing is to be consistent, and a great place to start is with your definition of your ideal candidate and getting everyone in your business on the same page. This means a consistent understanding of the definitions of the skills, knowledge, and behaviors of both successful and unsuccessful candidates. If you don’t understand the difference between success and failure, it will be hard for you to identify whether your potential candidates are right for your business.
Everyone wants people who can be flexible. But what does that mean? Here’s an example:
Words mean different things to different people. Clearly defining both high and low performance will keep everyone on the same page and avoid costly mistakes.
- What Role Does my Company Culture Play in my Recruiting Process?
Like people, your business has a unique personality or culture. Your business has core values, beliefs, and a unique mission. You’re different from your competition and when you understand your unique value proposition, you can use it to attract quality people who share your values, beliefs, and mission.
I often see companies ignore their culture. When you don’t take the time to identify your core values and beliefs, you end up on a hiring roller coaster. You are excited to hire that amazingly talented person with the perfect resume but are let down when he or she causes all sorts of problems. Great technical skills are not enough; you have to hire for attitude in addition to skill.
Great candidates want to know why their work matters, how they can contribute to making a difference, and what it will be like to work for your company. They need to know that your business shares their personal values. Communicate why what they do matters (the purpose or mission of their work). Show a clear line of sight from their work to achieving your mission.
Now, get started with finding your high-quality candidates.
Your answers to these questions will help you build a recruiting process that attracts your ideal employees.
Got a question? Feel free to post in the comments below or schedule an insight meeting with me. And, please feel free to share your experience