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Talent Acquisition Specialists: Top 10 Ways to Hire Smarter

With a fluctuating job market and tightened labor force, savvy Talent Acquisition Specialists must work smarter to hire the best talent.  Want to know the secrets to their success? Follow these ten tips:

1. Partner with the hiring manager.

Recruiters need to have solid, trusting relationships with hiring managers in order to understand their needs and the unique requirements of their departments. Strategize together to identify critical role responsibilities, short- and long-term goals and how this hire will help achieve them.  Working together will give you a better sense of the role and the ideal candidate while strengthening your relationship for future hiring.

2. Educate the hiring manager.

As recruiters, it’s our job to stay current with job market and labor trends.  Hiring managers and company leaders may be less aware of hiring challenges, so use the opportunity to educate your teams. Discuss their perceptions of the current talent pool and help them understand the obstacles and opportunities they may encounter during the process. The better informed, the better you can craft a hiring strategy that will work.

3. Sell the organization.

Internal recruiters benefit from having a deep knowledge of the company. Use this knowledge to communicate the soft benefits: culture, career advancement opportunities and the types of personalities that thrive within your organization. The more you can elaborate, the better you can sell the job to prospective employees. Advise hiring managers to sell the company too. During the interview, they should talk-up the strengths and accomplishments of their teams and the organization.

4. Dispel the myth of the “perfect” candidate.

Encourage the hiring manager to be flexible with her idea of the perfect employee. A high achiever with the right personality may not have the necessary qualifications on paper but may turn out to be a driving force within your organization. Discuss what attributes and skill sets are essential vs. preferred. Urge hiring managers to prioritize their “wish list.”  Is the candidate a problem-solver, a critical thinker, a good fit for the company culture, and enthusiastic about the job?  Instead of saying, “This person won’t work because…,” say “They may actually be an ideal fit because…”

5. Expedite the process.

The best candidates have competing offers. If you wait to pull the trigger, you risk losing qualified talent to another organization or even worse, a competitor. How do you minimize this risk? Keep candidates engaged along the way. Doing so ensures a trusting relationship between you and your candidate, and will be another way to put your company in good standing when it comes time for them to decide which offer to take.

6. Be more flexible.

Many of the best candidates are employed and have trouble taking time off to interview. Work hard to make the process easier for them.  Group together several interviews and make sure key company representatives are available during that time.  Flexibility sends a message to candidates that the organization values their time. 

7. First impressions are critical.

Interviewing is a two-way street. Both candidates and company representatives need to dress well, be prepared, and make a positive first impression.  Provide the job description and copies of the candidate’s resume for each interviewer. Be cognizant of who interviews this person and how his personality, overall company knowledge and seniority level could impact the candidate’s perception of the company.

8. Make an offer they can’t refuse.

When it comes time to making an offer, recommend the hiring manager or a senior-level person do the honors.  She should not only discuss salary but the entire compensation package (benefits, vacation, profit sharing, and other perks).  Add a personal touch and excitement towards the possibility of the candidate coming on board. Be complimentary and use the time as another opportunity to sell the candidate on the role and the company. Ultimately, you want the “yes,” and these little efforts can make a big difference in a candidate’s decision.

9. Don’t let them off the hook.

Your job isn’t done after a candidate accepts. A crucial juncture is the time between when an offer is made and when the person starts.  At this stage, candidates often receive counter offers from their current employers. Ward off the lure of counter offers by engaging with the candidate and inviting them to meetings and social events to get them involved in the organization. If needed, direct them to resources about the pitfalls of taking a counter offer. After all the work you and your team have put in to hiring this person, do everything you can to keep them!

10. Make onboarding easy.

The first days and weeks after a new employee starts a job is a common time for buyer’s remorse, “Maybe my old job wasn’t so bad.” Have greeters assigned to welcome new hires, show them around, and make them feel comfortable.  It also helps to have an agenda and training program for the first few weeks so new hires know what to expect and can get ramped up and productive more quickly. 

Stellar Talent Acquisition Specialists use innovative and strategic recruiting strategies.  Building relationships and working closely with hiring managers will help you capture the best talent and ensure a smooth hiring process.

 Photo credit:  Careerealism