If you are an employer, you are probably confident that with the right formula, hiring good employees should be no problem at all. Create exciting jobs, pay a competitive wage, and design a safe, inviting place to work. Sounds easy, but we all soon find out there is no “magic” formula.
Hiring good employees is a process, and like any process, it can break. If any single stage of a process is off, then everything that follows can be out of sync with the original goal. To hire the right people, get the process right from the start.
Hiring Good Employees – Process Step One: Expect to spend some time on it.
You need to do a lot more than merely selecting someone from a list of individuals who “check the boxes” when hiring the right person to work for your company. If you are treating your human resources team like your purchasing department, and they are not pushing back, then this is the first break down in your hiring process.
- Make sure that you spend enough time with the recruiter – internal or external – to ensure that they understand not only the technical requirements for the position but also the goals of the role and how the person will contribute to the organization achieving its objectives. The recruiter must be able to explain the need that the person will fill, to assess the suitability of candidates.
- Write an honest job description that communicates precisely who you are, what your company does, what they expect from the role, and what the position will accomplish for the company.
- To attract the right candidate, be realistic about the requirements and match the criteria realistically to the salary range. Be ready to collect and respond market data about compensation as you begin the search, to develop a more realistic expectation of where the compensation needs to be to attract the candidate you want; or to modify your expectations if the budget isn’t there.
- Don’t expect to “post it and forget it.” While there are many exceptions, hiring is rarely “if you build it, they will come.” For experienced roles, the chances are good that the person you want is already working and not looking for job openings, or is looking but maybe not at your website. In these cases, you will find the right person through networking or direct, targeted outreach.
Hiring Good Employees – Process Step Two: Make a good (first and continuing) impression.
Once you get the attention of candidates, it is critical to put your best foot forward to ensure they have your desired impression of the company and opportunity.
- Ensure that your company’s website is functioning correctly across all platforms. Candidates may be researching your company from any device; is your site readable from a phone screen? This is your first chance to make a good impression.
- Be sure your hiring managers are the best ambassadors for your company. Do they understand your company culture? Are they involved in the brand? Do they know the mission, vision, values, and goals? If you are working with a third party recruiter, ask them to present your company to you. Make sure you know how they are representing you and your company in the marketplace.
Keep Your Candidates Engaged.
If you and your HR team spend a week interviewing people on the phone, then get busy for two weeks or a month and do not call candidates back, you will lose good people. Candidates assume that not hearing from you is the same as “no” at best. In the worst case, they consider your company disorganized and indecisive.
- Say “Yes,” to candidate interviews. You are extra busy because you have this vacancy. Not spending time with the candidates may lead to hiring mistakes and send the message that you are disinterested. Finding the time for interviews results in a better candidate pool.
- Be decisive. High-quality candidates will leave if the hiring process moves too slow.
Process Step Three: Exercise Flexibility as You Narrow the Selection.
Often when clients complain about not having enough candidates, what they are saying is they do not have enough quality candidates. If you are successful in narrowing the field to a few quality candidates, everyone is happy.
Don’t overlook great candidates in search of the “perfect candidate.”
That is a bit like the dating fallacy of trying to find the perfect mate. Just remember, you are not looking for the perfect candidate; you are looking for the perfect candidate for your culture, the job in question and the team requiring another member!
Rather than being fixated on specific experience, it is sometimes better to keep your eyes open for plenty of potential, or as CEO Chris Schoettelkotte of Manhattan Resources likes to say, “plenty of runway.” Many companies evaluate potential candidates on their ability to be promoted several times in the organization.
Flexibility results in many more qualified candidates willing to talk and, consequently interested in your offer. Break your expectations down into “must-haves and “like-to-haves.”
Hiring Good Employees – Process Step Four: Make a Reasonable Offer.
Expecting excellent credentials for a rock-bottom salary is a mistake. This thinking leads to process breakdown and significantly diminishes your odds of success. It also extends the time to fill the position and leaves you with an unmet need, resulting in more cost to the bottom line.
It is essential to offer a competitive salary and compensation package to win the candidate and to keep them.
Be realistic about the options when a candidate is still employed. Offer enough of an increase to avoid a counter offer by their current employer, yet still be within your budget.
If you are using an executive recruiting firm, be sure to leverage their experience with compensation negotiations. Avoid surprises and disappointment by using an experienced recruiter. This will ensure that you understand the candidate’s complete compensation package and strategize for success.
About Manhattan Resources
Manhattan Resources is a retained executive search and advisory services firm with broad experience supporting clients in oil & gas, retail energy, power & utilities, petrochemicals, manufacturing & distribution.
Manhattan Resources, named one of Forbes Top 200 Executive Recruiting Firms this past year, invites you to experience an executive search and business solutions partner like no other. Whether you are filling mission-critical leadership roles, building short-term teams of professionals, or tackling your organization’s most significant challenges, Manhattan Resources has the agility, innovation and business acumen to assume the bold approach that is often necessary to take your business to the next level. Find out how the experts can help. Contact Us >>