You’ll Never Secure Top Talent With Hiring Techniques Like These
A business is only ever as good as its worst recruits. You could have the best idea in the world, but a poorly fitting, unhappy team will never get the message out there in the ways you’d probably like. Even the customers that you do somehow appeal to are likely to have a bad or potentially problematic experience if inefficient hires run deep into the core of your business. And, with 50% of consumers taking their custom elsewhere after just one bad experience, that mistake could be costly.
To avoid this, you want responsive, switched-on staff who are as passionate about your ideas as you are. Experience is valuable too, with a team who already understands your industry best positioned to deliver your products within it.
Unfortunately, with every business scrabbling to secure top talent, real quality hires can feel like slim pickings. Attracting the best requires not only the best inner workings for your company but also hiring processes that are up to the task. If you’ve struggled to achieve the team of your dreams until now, it’s therefore important to start rebuilding your processes from the hiring stages up. But, what hiring mistakes are holding your business back from appealing to your industry’s best right now?
Why is it important to attract top talent?
Before we dive into the ‘how tos’ of hiring issues, it’s worth asking why top talent expertise matters. After all, on the surface, experienced, quality employees are both harder to attract and more expensive. Plus, top talent can also be more set in their ways, meaning that they aren’t always the most flexible team to train towards your way of doing things.
Determining whether you want top talent in your team is, of course, a personal thing. If you have the budget for training and are keen to provide opportunities to a fully flexible bunch of employee fledglings, then there are certainly benefits to doing so. Ultimately, though, turning away from top talent can result in lengthy training, potential mistakes, and the possibility of higher employee turnarounds that can cost far more than the outwardly higher salaries of experienced candidates.
By at least ensuring top talent hires for key roles, you provide a far more stable footing for a team that’s likely to increase your returns on investment (ROI) pretty quickly. Top hires are especially useful for –
- Top job performance
- Lower turnover rates
- Increased efficiency
- Reduced training requirements
- And more
Even your dreams of hiring a new-to-the-industry team should ideally be led by top talent in your field. Here, we’ll consider what’s keeping quality candidates from your roles right now, and how you can change that for the better.
# 1 – Off-mark job descriptions
Like the first impression that an employee makes in their interview, your job description is the first thing top talent sees, and it can very much make or break your potential interest. If a candidate doesn’t like what they see, or your drop description isn’t clear/concise/comprehensive, then they’re unlikely to even consider applying. If your job description sounds good but is ultimately unrealistic, then you’ll likely lose even interested experienced candidates at some point during the hiring stage. After all, experienced employees will know what questions to ask, and will quickly unravel inflated claims or incorrect explanations of the role.
Ultimately, you should write job descriptions that sell the position without overselling it, and clearly outline –
- Job duties
- Realistic benefits packages
- Key areas of responsibility
- Skills required for the role
- Potential for promotions/growth (if it exists)
Whatever you do, don’t try to inflate your claims just to get top talent onside. As well as being misleading, this is never going to result in top-quality hires that stick around. And, ultimately, you’re going to want those people on your team for a long time to come.
# 2 – Long-winded hiring
Top talent waits for no business, so long-winded hiring techniques will always work against you when it comes to in-demand hires. You snooze and you lose, because you can bet that you’re not the only company that top talent is considering. Countless interviews, in-person requirements, and lengthy reference processes are all likely to result in that person accepting a job offer elsewhere, even if you offer the same or better benefits.
Instead, hiring top talent requires fast action and processes that ultimately prove your worth as an efficient, worthy company to work for. By swooping in fast and avoiding counter offers from elsewhere, you may even find that you can secure top talent with a benefits package that needn’t go head to head with other top companies.
Luckily, we’ve never been more poised for fast hiring than we are right now. Using AI in your recruitment processes can especially help to remove otherwise lengthy email and in-person basic processes. The smart storage of resumes, and taking the time to create chatbot communications for all potential candidates, will more than half your initial recruitment processes. Streamlined interview processes with a turnover of no more than a month can then help to keep top talent interested, on board, and less likely to stray elsewhere in the meantime.
# 3 – Skipping pre-interviews
While speed matters for securing top recruits, it’s vital not to skip crucial hiring processes like pre-interviews. After all, without taking too much of your time, short pre-interviews that are usually done over the phone or via the chatbots already mentioned, are what will ultimately help you decide whether a candidate is top quality or not. By eliminating unsuitable or inexperienced candidates straight away, this simple step can significantly streamline your processes, as well as help you decide which candidates are most worth impressing throughout the rest of your hiring process.
Just remember that, with haste in mind, your pre-interviews don’t need to be elaborate, or even conducted by a high-up member of your team. This should simply be a five-minute chat to determine key quality indicators, such as –
- Current or previous experience
- Preferred work style
- Availability (immediate or not/hours)
It’s also worth taking this chance to determine whether or not a candidate is interviewing for other roles. While this shouldn’t rightfully sway your decision either way, it can help you to determine levels of interest for that applicant, and thus the speed you’ll need to secure them for your business.
# 4 – Relying on interviews alone
Interviews are an obviously important part of the hiring process, but emerging evidence continually leads us to question whether they’re the best way to find top employment prospects. After all, we now know that employers generally make up their minds about a candidate in as little as five minutes, with the first ten seconds or so playing a crucial role in that choice. This has very little to do with the actual answers that a candidate gives and is more typically related to things like body language, overall appearance, and the confidence with which a candidate speaks.
On top of that evidence, it’s important to remember that employees are not necessarily at their most representative during an interview when they’re trying to impress. The most recent studies reveal that 4 in 5 people lie during their interviews, or at least answer questions according to what they think is the right answer, rather than being honest.
In each instance, it’s unlikely that you’ll form an accurate depiction of who is truly top talent for the role you’re filling. To do that, you should instead supplement interviews with additional recruitment processes like competency-based interviews, skills focus, and job simulations. In each instance, you’ll get a true idea of how suited someone is for the role. You’ll also prove to top talent that you take recruitment seriously, and genuinely value/look out for the skills that they could ultimately bring to your business.
# 5 – Putting too much weight in references
References are important because, like the competency-based focuses mentioned above, they help to more accurately prove a candidate’s on-the-job skills and performance. However, like standalone interviews, references aren’t always a top indicator of whether or not a candidate is the right fit for you.
After all, someone’s great or poor performance in a previous job may have little to do with their actual skill sets or capabilities in terms of your specific requirements. Plus, eliminating a top candidate based on something like a poor reference from many years ago is going to make you look like a pretty unappealing employer overall.
Instead, top hires require inclusive, rounded employment processes that consider an applicant in their entirety, instead of basing your decision on this one small element. Do this, and you can both secure the best teams and prove to them that you’re a fair, reasonable company that’s worth sticking around for in the long term.
Nothing worth having was ever easy, and top talent in your field is no exception to that rule. However, eliminating these mistakes from your employment process can, at least, bring you closer to the team of your dreams.
Melissa Stewart is the founder of SheOwnsIt.com. She is a Purveyor of Possibility, Entrepreneur Advocate and Coffee Addict. She believes that behind every successful woman is her story. What’s your story?