Many leaders believe in the adage that hiring and developing people is the most important thing for a business; more important than the strategies for the business.
Needless to mention that an organisation that can attract and retain the right talent can generate higher efficiency than its peers.
Many external and internal parameters need to be in sync to hire the right talent. It is more of an art than a science. There are multiple failure points in the process. We have to exercise adequate care to address the potential weak spots and deploy the best practices to get the right talent on board.
How do you attract talent?
Pundits advise company owners and leaders to build an attractive employer brand. It is easier said than done. It takes years to build a strong brand; moreover, it calls for serious efforts in establishing the right practices and following them consistently.
Most often organisations and their leaders know what the right practices are. However, they fail to implement them in practice. As a result, their brand promise remains patchy and the right candidates do not feel attracted adequately. Sometimes, the differentiating factors are not highlighted enough and hence, the brand does not stand out. Even if a company does not have any innovative practice, its leadership profile, history and achievements make it different from its peers. Talent strategists have to find a way of distilling these aspects and craft the employer brand out of them.
How do we implement the best practices?
Most organisations know that their leadership team has to agree on their organisation’s purpose, structure, and the values that hold the organisation together. Over time, these need to be analysed and everyone in the leadership team has to be aligned on it. This practice forms the bedrock of the organisation culture and impacts the organisation’s ability to hire the right talent.
Secondly, having the right partner to find talent is extremely critical. There is umpteen number of aspects that contribute in small ways to the success of being a talent magnet. All these small and meaningful steps need to work in sync with one another. Sometimes they need to be tweaked a bit for optimum results. Hence, hiring the right talent is an art.
The small bits start right from the stage of defining the requirements, describing the open jobs well in realistic terms, defining the ideal candidate profile, and agreeing on the permissible deviations from the ideal profile. Getting the assessors skilled enough to evaluate the fitment and developing a common understanding among them on what to assess are critical. Candidate engagement across all the steps of the recruiting process has to be such that the candidate feels recognised for his or her talent and expertise, significant and special for having expressed interest in a role with the organisation. We expect the candidates to walk away with a positive experience, even if not hired advocates the company’s employer brand to the others; better still if he or she turns into a loyal customer.
Is everything in recruiting an art?
There are many aspects in common between art and science. However, art is unique in the way that it has to be mastered over time by the virtue of experience, coaching, observation, and reflection. Some aspects of recruiting are pretty much like this and hence, an experienced recruiting partner is a must for a business, large or small.
There are some aspects of recruiting which operate like a stream of science. To recruit the right talent, we need to analyse our performance and identify opportunities for improvement. These improvements related to the process can be repeated across teams and regions; thus, it is science.
Accordingly, we monitor the effectiveness of each talent supply channel we use to hire. We have to track the performance levels of each team in terms of the cycle time and conversion ratio. We have to ensure that the strike rate improves, cycle time reduces and candidate experience is enhanced over time. Only then, we can get the best out of us!
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