3 Tips To Make You And Your Staff Better Talent Managers

 In Company Culture/People At Work, Leadership

2 Tips To Make You and Your Staff Better RecruitersUncooperative hiring managers, irritated candidates, process inconsistencies, schedule conflicts and more; these are the difficulties most corporate recruiters face on the job every day. Although the economy continues to sputter, many companies are starting to hire again, which makes now a prime opportunity to approach the business of talent acquisition in your organization a bit differently.

Here are our Top 3 Tips for taming the recruiting beast at your company:

TIP 1: Use Project Management Best Practices

Weeks going back and forth with questions and follow-up, Time wasted sourcing candidates that aren’t a good fit. Time extensions on critical hires. Frustrated candidates who are interviewed (sometimes multiple times), only to be ultimately considered “not right” for the job. Sound familiar? You’re suffering from what Lou Adler calls “Moving Job Spec Syndrome.”

Here’s an undeniable fact: No matter how good you are, you cannot do your job with nothing in hand except a 2-year old job description and a previous posting.

What To Do

The process of efficient talent management requires core project management skills; not the least of which is the clear description of the project (candidate) specifications, which is ultimately agreed upon by all stakeholders. How to get there? Establish a formalized process and minimum information requirements as part of your organization’s requisition process.

Linda Brenner, Managing Director at Designs on Talent recommends that the recruiter and hiring manager meet face to face (live, phone, WebEx etc.) immediately upon opening a job requisition to discuss job requirements in full detail.

Brenner suggests establishing a template for guiding these “intake conversations” to be used by your staff as a key tool for driving consistent discussions with hiring managers.

Template questions should include:

  • What are the key responsibilities of this job?
  • What kinds of decisions will this person make?
  • What key accomplishments must be achieved in the first year?
  • What’s the best thing about this job?
  • What’s the most difficult part of this job?
  • What experience and education is a must-have for candidates?
  • What qualifications are nice-to-have?
  • What companies do you feel hire well for this role?
  • Who are direct reports to this role? Dotted-line reports?
  • Who are the Supervisors? Key Stakeholders?
  • Who will interview the candidates?
  • What is the required deadline for this hire?

Your “inner project manager” then takes over. Having established specifications, you can now define reasonable “project” timelines, and resource availability for interviews.

Here’s another payoff. Your ATS may be equipped to handle job-specific questionnaires based on the information you have gathered. Such questionnaires will automatically screen qualified candidates up front – at the job application process – avoiding hours of staff work and ensuring that only the most qualified candidates pass through your initial screen.

TIP 2: Train Your Hiring Managers “By The Numbers”

I recently read about a corporate recruiter who was working with a senior executive who told him that he didn’t have enough time to do interviews because of the demands of his real business responsibilities. This recruiter told the executive that he’d “make sure he got candidates that wanted to be treated like an after-thought by their boss, but could succeed despite that treatment.” The irony is obvious.

Let’s face it. Most of your internal customers are business people who manage by the numbers. The fact of the matter is that accountability is a key management “best practice” worth implementing in all areas of the business. Precise scheduling and deadlines, key performance measures (KPIs) and rewards can go a long way towards encouraging cooperation between talent acquisition personnel and hiring managers.

A measure of creativity may be required here. One HR VP I know applied fundamental marketing principals to her organization’s recruiting efforts. She publicized to her hiring managers that she had a certain number of pre-qualified candidates available for a specific, limited period of time. People react, she reasoned, to the time-limited aspect of offers as much as they do to the product being offered. The result? Her hiring managers found time in their schedules for the interview process.

What To Do

Establish formal performance and reporting standards for both your recruiting staff and all of the decision makers involved in the hiring process. Create a well-publicized “hiring challenge” that includes specific deadlines, goals, consequences and performance related rewards. No one likes to be the identified sticking point in an established process. Be creative. Ground breaking approaches are sometimes your best option when trying to establish new patterns of behavior.

TIP 3: Accept Facts: Hiring Activity is Not Recruiting

Setting mechanics aside for a moment, we must acknowledge the fact that the activity of “hiring” is not the same as the activity of recruiting. It is important to do both well, but recruiting done well really focuses on establishing relationships with top talent before there is a need digging the well before you are thirsty, as it were.

These established relationships will yield big dividends when the time comes to hire key positions and, like the recalcitrant senior executive with no time for hiring mentioned above, the first step is to acknowledge that this is an essential part of your job.

So, what are the best ways to create and grow a talent pool?

What To Do

Tap your current employee pool- Spread word of mouth information about position availability or potential availability. Most companies have an employee referral program and even compensate employees for successful candidate referrals.

Take advantage of your industry contacts Association memberships and trade groups are fertile ground for recruiters. Create master lists of industry leaders and other potential employees from customers, colleagues, coworkers and friends and create a plan for staying in touch with these contacts on a regular basis. (Be prepared to share your job description(s) with them). If you have a company e-newsletter, put your contacts on the mail list to keep them interested and up to date on your organization.

Use social networking sites – LinkedIn and Twitter are great ways to connect with employees and their (hundreds of) professional connections. Ask them to activate their professional networks on behalf of your search. The CPGjobs People Search tool is also a terrific way to connect with qualified candidates with experience in Consumer Packaged Goods, and CPGjobs can tap into the nearly 12,000 professionals in our LinkedIn Group, CPGpeople on your behalf.

Create a career website that supports recruiting, not just hiring – 98% of the career sections of corporate websites allow potential candidates to make contact only through current job listings. Support of recruitment however, requires more innovative ways of reaching out to top talent. A career focused blog or a link that allows candidates to introduce themselves will encourage deeper interaction with those investigating your company.

Stay in touch – We hear it all day long at CPGjobs; candidates submit for a position and never hear from you again. HR departments frequently respond by saying they’re “just too busy.” Frankly, that’s no excuse and can be likened to sending shoppers away because their money isn’t green enough. These candidates are fertile ground for future recruitment efforts!

Why not put available technology to use and send an auto-responding email to applicants letting them know what’s going on with the company on a regular basis? How about including an opt-in box in your ATS for a company newsletter that keeps candidates informed about what’s happening at your organization (not just job openings)?

Recruiting requires a different mindset than hiring. It requires building brand ambassadors for your company through potential candidates enlisting their help as you build your pipeline. Simply staying in touch with candidates, whether they’re right for your current search or not will go a long way towards building your employment brand and your talent pool!

So there they are; the 3 Tips for making you and your staff better talent managers.

If you’d like more information about how CPGjobs can help you find the perfect candidate or build your talent pipeline, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 626-535-0143 or email Michael Carrillo at michael@cpgjobs.com.

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