Are your recruiting methods attracting the best or just weeding out the worst?
Attracting the best talent require a different point of view if you want to be successful. Why? Because the demand for top people will almost always be greater than the supply. If someone is in the top 10-25%, they know their value, many people want them on their team, and they are fully engaged in the work they are doing.
The most important point of view you need to know is that of your potential candidate. This requires research and understanding in three key areas:
- Who is your ideal candidate?
- Does the job opportunity have what they want?
- How can you be of service to them?
1) Who is your ideal candidate?
- Before every search we interview the hiring managers, survey others in the role, and start talking with potential people. As in any marketing plan you need to understand your candidate avatar in depth. If you don’t know what you are fishing for or what they are biting, you will never get your trophy.
- What is your ideal candidate profile (strengths, skills, background, education, accomplishments, roles, memberships, etc.)
- What motivates them? What do they value?
- What are they looking for in their career?
- What do they aspire to?
- Where do they struggle or what frustrates them?
- What choices do they have?
- Where can you find them?
- How can you communicate your opportunity to catch their interest?
- How can you efficiently move them into a career conversation that might result in a match?
2) Does the job opportunity have what they want?
Does your job opportunity have what top performers tend to look for in a career move? Outline below are the questions I consistently get from top candidates. Use this list to take an honest look at your opportunity from the perspective of a top performer. Then make sure you communicate the top selling points on your website, LinkedIn page, videos, and in employee testimonials.
- What is your purpose, your vision, and your values. How are you living up to these key drivers. A candidate will want to ensure they align with you.
- What Opportunities for growth and advancement do you provide? What evidence do you have of people who have advanced from within. Do you provide leadership training, coaching or subsidize education? Do you have a mentor program or do your more senior leaders have a mentor mindset?
- Is your company and industry a good bet for their career? Are you growing, entering new markets, advancing in innovation?
- Are your compensation and benefits competitive? What will be needed to attract someone out of their current role? Top performers know their value and will be looking for a competitive salary, performance bonuses, as well as a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off.
- Can you boast a positive work culture? What evidence do you have that your company culture values teamwork, collaboration, and open communication? How do you show up in Glassdoor, on social media, on your website? Do you have a flexible work policy and the tools to make hybrid working effective?
- Will they have autonomy and independence? Will they be empowered to take ownership of their work, make decisions, and have a significant level of independence. Or is there evidence of an over controlling founder or board.
- Does your company have a focus on ethics and compliance? A candidate is betting their career and their reputation on you; can you give evidence that you are a good bet? Some roles will place a very high value on your ethics and compliance and how you demonstrate your commitment to following industry regulations and standards.
- Do you have a diverse and inclusive work environment? Some candidates may be looking for a company that values diversity and inclusiveness and demonstrates it in its hiring practices, policies, and culture.
- Do you invest in and use cutting-edge technology? Top performers want to be able to perform at their peak and will look for a company that invests in the latest technology and tools to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their work.
- Do you have a supportive management team? No one wants an aloof or difficult boss. People will be looking for a company that has a supportive management team that provides guidance and support, and encourages personal and professional growth.
3) How can you be of service to them?
Top players are not scanning job boards but they are open to learning, expanding their network, and maybe even exploring career opportunities. You need to find them and reach out to them and enter into a career conversation with a genuine desire to be of service to this person.
Think about what information or contacts you have that might be of value to them in their current or future roles. If, in the course of the conversation, you discover unmeet needs that fit with your opportunity, then great.
Whether you discover a potential fit or not, this process is about building relationships. Each connection is an opportunity for one more person to know about your opening, create an advocate, and maybe even get a referral to another potential candidate.
Is it worth it?
Understanding a top candidate’s point of view and the elements of your opportunity that will be of value to them is critical to attract the best and engage in career conversations, but is the extra effort worth it? Consider the following:
- A study by the Harvard Business Review found that high-performing leaders were more likely to drive profitable growth, create a positive work environment, and retain top talent.
- A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies that invested in developing their leaders outperformed those that did not, with a median total shareholder return that was nearly three times higher over a five-year period.
In general, research supports the idea that top performers in leadership roles significantly contribute to a company’s financial performance because they impact things like productivity, reduced turnover, increased customer satisfaction and retention, and lower recruiting costs because people come to you!
While the relationship between strong leaders and financial performance is complex and multi-faceted, these studies suggest that recruiting top players in leadership positions can have a positive impact on a company’s ROI. Of course, leadership talent is just one of many factors that can impact your financial performance, but a strong leadership team is always a critical part of a comprehensive strategy for maximizing ROI. My recommendation, utilize the above POV to find and attract the best and avoid the elimination game of weeding out the worst from a pile of applicants.