You won’t attract top performers until you fix this #1 thing

Everyone wants to hire the perfect people for the right jobs.

But that’s easier said than done, right?

How many times did you hire someone and think, “This is going to be great!” Only to regret that statement six months or even a year down the road?

More than you’d like to admit.

It’s OK. I get it.

I’m here to tell you that 80% of a successful hire is behaviour and attitude traits.

So let’s start at the beginning of that hiring process… 

Job descriptions won’t get you the hire you want on their own. 

I outline the People Pathway in four steps:

  1. Define
  2. Attract
  3. Manage
  4. Grow

Steps 1 and 2 of the People Pathway are linked to your recruitment process.

To get started on step one, I ask a client how the empty position fits into an organisation and how bringing a high performer into the role could make a difference.

Rather than a simple list of preferred skills, I look to review the traits that stood out in high performers who previously held the role.

This helps me define the role by success factors rather than just experience.

(Don’t forget, I discussed high performers last week.)

I prefer to understand a role this way over just a traditional job description.

If I understand the traits you deem most important for success for the role, then I’m better equipped to recruit and move into the attracting phase.

But before I do that, we also discuss what I call your employer brand:

  • Why should someone work for your company?
  • What can you offer new employees?
  • What is your ’employer brand’?

It’s the #1 thing you need to fix before you attract the best people in the market:

You need to be able to define why people should work for you.

You need to know what you stand for and know where you’re going, and then become the type of organisation that top performers can’t resist wanting to work for.

I work with companies to identify the answers to the questions above so I can help demonstrate how special their company is to potential employees. The right organisation is right for the right employee.

How will I find the right person for your company?

Next, it’s time to figure out the best recruitment methods for this particular job.

Is it a job board? Social media? Via staff/supplier referral or other creative marketing strategies?

Note: HR, and particularly recruitment, is moving more toward marketing creativity and campaigns rather than purely by just traditional boards. 

Is this role a one-off or do you regularly need to hire for this type of position? The answer plays into our recruitment strategies.

Another component of the attract phase is deciding how hard it is to recruit for the role. For example, an administrative or reception position may receive 300 applications. On the flip side, a financial planner or occupational therapist may not get any applicants.

There are strategies for managing both situations (and any in between).

Another determination is what recruitment tools I use to weed out candidates.

As an example, I may ask candidates that will be in a customer-facing role to engage through video technology because I feel it’s important for people to be able to express themselves.

Be up front with candidates 

Rather than hide what comes next, candidly share the recruitment process with job applicants. 

I’ll explain to any candidates what to expect up front and try and provide indicative timeframes: three interviews, two interviews, one interview and then a panel and/or advise of any video components etc.

The more transparent I can be, the better the experience a candidate will have.

Which means: no matter the outcome, the candidate walks away feeling good about the interaction with your company.

BUT … don’t forget to get your house in order first 

When you know what you want for your company: your mission, your values, your growth strategy and why exactly someone should work for your business, then you’ll find it’s easier to recruit.

If you know what you need and want, it becomes obvious who is a good fit and who’s not.

OK, now that you determined exactly what you want in this hire, don’t sit around waiting for candidates.

Get out and share what you’re looking for in a candidate with your team members and stakeholders. Your network may be the key to your best candidate.

A job ad may be up, but someone already on your team may know the right person before the ad can even get off the ground.