The most efficient way to recruit strong hires? Have your employees do it for you. But for them to want to spread the word, you’ll need to do these things first.
For recruiters, finding the best talent is a never-ending quest. Luckily, with the economy showing signs of improvement, qualified people are now more willing to leave their jobs for new opportunities.
This opening in the market creates fierce competition, which makes it difficult for companies to attract the talent they want. The pain of a wrong hire can be greater than the pain of hiring no one at all.
Taking the steps to find the absolutely perfect person for the job and the company has never been more important. Too many companies think of hiring as an external process. But the first thing they should do is to look internally at their own employees and culture. (Click here to Tweet this thought.)
Today, the best candidates are those who are well-connected, often to the best employees at your company. The traditional job-search process — where candidates find job postings through newspapers and online job boards — isn’t enough anymore. The most successful companies know the best form of recruitment advertising is word of mouth, with top employees referring the best candidates.
So, what does all this mean for your company’s recruiting tactics? It’s actually simpler than you might think: Recruiting must start internally.
It’s a departure from the past, but old recruiting methods simply won’t attract the candidates your company wants. By following these steps, recruiters and HR professionals can make company culture part of their strategy to attract top-notch candidates.
1. Get in every one of your employees’ faces
Fifteen minutes can make a big difference. That’s how much one-on-one time, at minimum, managers should give each employee on a regular basis. It’s the best way to understand an employee’s expectations of the job and get feedback on what they like and don’t like about their work.
Sure, employee surveys are a good option to understand basic employee attitudes, but nothing substitutes a personal meeting. Remember, we all have — or can make — time for the things we deem important. This should be one of them.
2. Make sure employees know where this relationship is going
Up until about 30 years ago, it was common for people to stay with the same company for their whole career, partly due to a sense of loyalty they felt toward their employer. But today, employees’ loyalty is based on their perception of their employers’ loyalty toward them.
So how can companies prove their loyalty to employees and prospective hires? Through proper performance management and investments in career growth. It’s not just about offering job tasks that align with their skills, but the promise of a future at a company that will inspire them.
Every employee should have a clear understanding of their roles and responsibilities. It’s essential that these are transparently communicated along with performance standards. Employees should always know exactly where and what they need to do to improve and grow.
This will give them a sense of value, trust, achievement and, ultimately, loyalty.
3. Don’t put all your GenY eggs in one basket
There’s a lot of talk about the difference in generations in the workplace, and some of those generalizations may be true. But that doesn’t mean all GenX employees are interested in flexible work-from-home arrangements or every Millennial is concerned with the social consciousness of their employer.
Everyone needs or wants different things. So find out what your employees want, not just what they “have” to have. Ask them to define their personal definition of success, then help them map out how to get there.
For any business, regardless of size or industry, success hinges on its talent. If you create an environment where you have chronic turnover or poor culture, you’re not only losing valuable employees; you could also ruin your chances of being a referral source for other desirable candidates.
Creating an internal culture that nurtures and encourages employees creates a word-of-mouth advertising effect that will be more valuable in attracting great employees than a traditional job ad ever could.
Rich Thompson is Chief Human Resources Officer at Adecco Group North America, part of the world’s largest recruitment and workforce solutions provider. He is responsible for all areas of HR for the North American organization, including talent acquisition, talent management, training and development and compensation and benefits.