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How To Smash Your Competition By Hiring The Best - On Time, Every Time

Whether organisations are listed or private, not for profits or government-owned corporations, everyone wants a competitive advantage and one of the best ways of achieving this is by attracting and retaining excellent talent.

How To Smash Your Competition By Hiring The Best - On Time, Every Time

Some companies do this extraordinarily well; however most are missing out on attracting great people because of poor, antiquated and inefficient recruitment practices. Here are some things you can do to vastly improve your ability to win the 'war for talent'.

Focus on your brand as an 'Employer of Choice'

Prospective employees have greater choice than perhaps ever before in where they choose to work. They also have the ability to do far greater research into prospective employers before deciding whether to apply for certain positions.

What does your website say about your organisation as an employer? Most website content is aimed at attracting customers, yet few put any attention on attracting employees. Your website is a great opportunity to highlight what differentiates you as an employer. Perhaps you could have testimonials from some of your team as to why they love working for you, and highlight exciting new projects and initiatives?

Likewise, the LinkedIn profiles of your executive leaders should highlight why they would be fantastic to work for. Most LinkedIn profiles are poorly written and contain virtually no detail or consistency about your organisation or the great achievements of your leadership team. Spending some time in professionalising and enhancing your LinkedIn profiles is critical to attracting top talent.

Radically improve the performance of your in-house recruitment team

With the introduction of LinkedIn recruiter licenses a few years ago, many employers have moved to employing their own recruitment staff rather than paying third-party consultants. Yet, CEOs and business owners on a daily basis, are underwhelmed by the quality and quantity of candidates their recruitment teams are generating. Here are a few things that will immediately improve your ability to attract candidates.
  1. Make sure the person responsible for recruiting the role is briefed properly. Most in-house recruiters have only a cursory knowledge of the roles they are responsible for. Make sure they understand and can communicate clearly the quantifiable, key deliverables of the role. What does success look like?  What does this new employee need to achieve? 

  2. Make sure your recruiter puts their name and phone number on the advertisement. This is so rarely done nowadays and in my opinion is blatantly lazy and unprofessional.  Great candidates want to ask questions before they decide to make an application, especially if the advertisement is light on important details, which is almost always the case. If these candidates have no one to call, they will most likely not make an application, and you will miss out on the opportunity of employing them.

  3. Treat candidates with respect and acknowledge and respond to them quickly and professionally. Candidates are human beings with emotions and intellect. They are not commodities. With the market so hot right now, good candidates are finding new roles quickly. Ensure that applicants are followed up immediately and interviewed quickly otherwise you will miss out. Even applicants deemed inappropriate for the role deserve to be treated with courtesy. Not giving them prompt and constructive feedback is an easy way to damage your employer of choice brand.

The best talent needs to be headhunted

Great employees are rarely looking for a new job because they are being treated well and enjoying their current jobs. As such, they are unlikely to see, let alone respond to your job advertisement or LinkedIn inmails from your recruitment team. So if you want the best, you need to headhunt them.

One of the downsides of internal recruitment teams is that they can’t headhunt with any confidentiality, because they need to disclose the name of their employer (it’s on their LinkedIn profile, after all). Additionally, they don’t have the time, or frankly the desire, to cold call prospective employees. So for mission critical or confidential vacancies, using a third-party executive search firm (i.e. a headhunter) is still very important.

Whilst there are still many executive search firms charging exorbitant fees for their services, there are recruitment companies offering hybrid solutions, working collaboratively with your in-house team to save you time and a significant amount of money. These offerings are definitely worth exploring.

Attracting great talent is not hard, however it requires effort and professionalism to do so. Focus on your 'employer of choice' brand, ensure your in-house recruitment teams are following best practices, and utilise headhunters where appropriate. The return on investment will definitely be worth it and will give you a significant competitive advantage.


Author Credits

Richard Triggs, author of 'Uncover the Hidden Job Market - How to Find and Win your next Senior Executive role', is one of Australia’s leading executive recruiters and career coaches. He also hosts the Arete Podcast and is a highly sought-after keynote speaker. For more information, visit areteexecutive.com.au.

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