Hiring the best employees and retaining them is job number one on many company priority lists these days. And the competitive labor market will only tighten thanks to one prevalent workplace trend–Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate greater than new entrants are coming into the workforce.
That’s why becoming adept at proactively recruiting talent is one of the most important skills leaders with hiring responsibilities can develop today.
Research from a giant survey conducted by LinkedIn will help you kick-start that effort. The study included over 14,000 professionals and recent job switchers and mined insights about their job-seeking attitudes and habits.
What follows are the best insights/advice from the study on how to improve your recruiting efforts at each key stage of the employee recruitment process.
Be intentional about how you get the conversation started with job candidates.
Organizations best at recruiting talent never have an off-season. They are constantly engaged in outreach efforts. To make the best of your proactive efforts on this front, know that prospects want to hear directly from the hiring manager during that outreach (56 percent said they’re more likely to respond if they do hear direct from “the boss”).
Furthermore, in that first outreach message candidates want a lot of information (primarily job details, salary range, and company overview). However, this doesn’t mean you have to give all that information. In fact, the LinkedIn study points out you should hold back something intriguing–like salary details, while still being very informative. Doing so piques interest.
The study also encourages using more personal touches too, such as addressing the candidates with “You” sentences (like “You have the marketing expertise to head our team” versus “I have a marketing job that pays X”) and subtly sharing something specific you’ve learned about them.
Your website should inspire potential candidates to apply.
Not surprisingly, candidates gather a lot of information before inquiring or applying and their primary source of information is your company’s website.
So be sure to invest in your website to make it look modern and visually attractive. Give tips on how candidates can navigate the interviewing process. Share authentic employee stories and testimonials and be brutally honest with the stories you tell to create a genuine and memorable experience for candidates.
Employee websites tend to all look alike–don’t miss the opportunity to stand out.
Deliver a great interview experience.
On average, it takes two to three months for candidates to move from application to hire. During that time, they have three interviews on average–84 percent of candidates say they’re satisfied with that number.
Do better. Do due diligence but keep the process moving along. A crisp process will delight.
During the interview, provide details on the role (candidates desperately want that at this stage) and be prepared to succinctly and powerfully articulate your company’s mission and vision.
After the interview, give candidates the opportunity to see the office space and more viscerally imagine what it would be like to work there. The majority (51 percent) want the chance to do this. Additionally, it scores big points with candidates when they’re given access to leadership and when the interviewer follows up promptly–and does so while also offering feedback on how the candidate did in the interview.
The bottom line in this critical stage is that you have to nail it if you want to win the best talent to your side. A whopping 65 percent say a bad interview experience makes them lose interest in the company.
Sealing the deal is about more than just money.
At this stage, it is, of course, important to talk money. But even more important is to reaffirm how the job fits with the candidate’s skills and interests and to reinforce exactly what the growth opportunities are that lay ahead. While candidates are certainly attracted by money, a surprising 56 percent say the number one reason they stay is for the opportunity to continue learning and growing.
To reel the candidate in, the study also noted the importance of dialing up the flexibility offered in the job, and again, reinforcing the companies mission and values in a compelling way.
Every stage of the talent recruitment process is critical if you want to compete effectively in The Great Talent Game. Now, you have a playbook.
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This article by Scott Mautz also appeared on Inc.com. To read more Inc. articles by Scott Mautz, click here.