Here’s a common recruiting scenario: a client company suddenly finds itself understaffed after winning a large contract, and they have to scramble to hire dozens of new employees to handle the new business. But without a recruiting plan already in place, they’re quickly overwhelmed. They might be able to find enough warm bodies to fill the chairs, but the likelihood of finding the right talent is low, and the odds of a hiring mistake are high. As a result, they struggle to capitalize on the growth opportunity afforded by the big contract, and in the rush to put the right people in place, they commit costly errors.
Like flood insurance or a financial plan, a strong recruiting strategy is something you want to have ahead of time, not when you suddenly find you need it. Advance planning is one key of successful recruiting, selection, and retention.
For example, one of Insperity’s client companies, a 500-employee firm, wanted to expand its sales division, but it was suffering from massive turnover and sky-high recruiting costs. We helped them develop an effective employment branding campaign to lure the type of applicants the company needed, and we worked with the organization’s leaders to implement behavioral-based interviewing and selection training to better evaluate prospective hires. As a result of these tactical tweaks, they drastically cut turnover and costs, and they were able to fill open positions with the right people.
Behavioral-based interviewing is a critical element in our corporate and client company recruiting efforts. This interview strategy involves asking candidates how they might handle certain hypothetical or real-life scenarios. It’s a more illuminating technique than the standard interview questions, and it furnishes the recruiter with more nuanced insight into the mind and behavior of the candidate. Your hiring managers should be trained to look for key attributes, behaviors, skills, and knowledge that can help determine whether the applicant is qualified for the position and fits the culture.
Finally, if you want to remain competitive, you’re going to have to continue attracting top talent. You can and should budget for the most strategic positions. A keen recruiting strategy can then woo other key talents with non-monetary perks. The company culture itself is a big draw. Excellent employees want to work in a positive environment where their emotional and intellectual needs are fulfilled. Some senior professionals might be more excited by authority, influence, and prestige than money. In addition, tout your company’s benefits, especially if the package is generous or offers unusual perks that your competitors might lack (such as flexible hours or community involvement programs). In this way, you can neutralize budgetary limitations that would otherwise stymie your hiring strategy.
For more leading recruiting strategies and other business growth tactics you need to succeed, read my book, Take Care of Your People: The Enlightened CEO’s Guide to Business Success.