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5 Tactics for Recruiting Top Talent

5-tactics-for-recruiting-top-talent_staff-managementIt’s a job-seeker’s market; we’re all just recruiting talent in it. Or at least we’re trying to, but it isn’t easy. In order to help you quickly find top talent, Staff Management | SMX has identified five simple recruiting tactics to solve some not so simple problems.

1. Make sure the job description accurately reflects the position and the company

According to the 2016 CareerBuilder Candidate Behavior study, 76% of candidates want to know, “what would my day-to-day job be?” and 50% wonder, “are they looking for someone like me?” In order to find a candidate who has the desired skills and cultural fit, it’s critical that your job description details both. CareerBuilder suggests including the following elements for comprehensive and powerful job descriptions:

  • Your company name, logo and overview
  • Job title and description
  • Requirements and qualifications
  • Compensation
  • Job industry
  • Education and experience
  • “Apply now” button
Read more on skill set vs cultural fit >

2. Focus on soft skills

Empathy, communication, self-awareness, curiosity, a positive attitude – most employers can agree that these soft skills are essential to productive and successful employees. In fact, 77% of HR professionals believe that soft skills are just as important as hard skills. Despite their importance, soft skills are often given short shrift in job descriptions compared to technical expertise.

A candidate who possesses the desired hard skills to be successful in certain tasks related to the job may be lacking the soft skills that will help them fit in with their team and be successful in the company. What employers need to realize is that while hard skills can be trained for, soft skills are often innate characteristics. It’s important that you can identify these soft skills in conversations with candidates and place just as much, if not more, emphasis on them.

3. Treat every candidate like the only candidate

People want to be pursued, and they want to be valued. In a competitive job market, candidates respond positively to praise and personal touches. Doing this can unearth valuable insights into candidates’ personalities, like how they take a compliment, or how they act under pressure. It can also reveal how engaged they might be with the job and the organization.

So treat candidates like you’d treat clients. Doing so can gauge a given candidate’s genuine interest in the job—and save your company money by avoiding a bad hire.

4. Use behavioral questioning

Behavior-based questions are critical when recruiting for top talent. To catch the telltale signs of bad hires—generalizations, clichés, dishonesty—asking the right questions is key.

Ask candidates to describe something similar to a project in the job description. How did they implement it? What were the steps? Ask questions that invite further dialogue, description or elaboration.

Ask candidates about collaboration. What specific team projects have they worked on? What did they do to contribute? People will gradually divulge more about themselves when repeatedly asked detailed and focused questions.

5. Consider the candidates that others ignore

In her TED talk, United Parcel Service (UPS) HR guru Regina Hartley argues that “scrappers”, candidates who went to unfamiliar schools, whose resumes are littered with odd jobs and whose profiles tell a complicated story, shouldn’t be ignored. Regina encourages employers to give equal consideration to qualified scrappers as they do to what she describes as “silver spoons”, candidates that have degrees from prestigious institutions, glowing recommendations and 4.0 GPAs.

Based on her experience and research, Hartley has concluded that scrappers can be adept at navigating adversity and often possess great resiliency and grit based on their personal experience of overcoming obstacles. In fact, Hartley points out that leading tech companies often hire scrappers over their silver spoon counterparts. That’s because they want employees who are willing to stay and grow, who will challenge the status quo and who will think about big problems in unconventional ways.

So, as you consider candidates for your next job opening, don’t risk overlooking qualified candidates in pursuit of those with perfect resumes. You may find that a candidate with an unconventional or varied resume is a great match for your dynamic business environment.

Looking for more innovative recruiting strategies? Download our white paper, “Key Strategies for Success in the Light Industrial Recruitment Market.