Reeling in Top Talent

reeling in top talentIn this highly competitive job market, how does a company identify and hire top talent.  There are many underemployed candidates out there. Many extremely well-qualified job candidates are floating around out there.  The question is how do you identify the brightest and the best and entice them into your company.  As a hiring manager, it is imperative to clarify clear expectations. Everyone who is a part of the hiring or interview process should know what the person taking the job needs to do. It is imperative to focus on what a prospective employee must accomplish – not necessarily just the skills.  Competency and interest are key components.  An employee must be interested in the position and certainly must be competent if they are to fall into the category of “top talent”. Hiring those who are not really interested in the business dynamics of your company is counterproductive. A good way to discourage top prospects for accepting a lucrative job offer is having members of the hiring team not know what the real job needs is.  Top talent will opt out if they meet members of the interviewing team who are unclear of what the job really entails. Be prepared to answer the question:  Why would a highly qualified job candidate want this job? Hiring teams need to have at least five solid responses to this question and the questions should be worded in a way that relates to good candidates for the job.

Make sure your active and passive candidate sourcing plans are based on how top people in these groups look for work, not on how average people look.  For instance, many top candidates use Google, so you want your ads to be easily found using Google. If you are using phone messages, leave a profound message.

Be on time and prepared for interviews. This is just common courtesy. This is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a top talent job candidate.  If they are deciding between two or three companies, this could end up being the “deal breaker”. Make sure all members of the hiring and interviewing team are punctual and ready to start on time.

Use facts to reach consensus, not emotions or feelings. All interviewers need to share their information on using enumerated factors.  If there are disagreements on any, another interview is suggested. During the debriefing on a prospective candidate, start off with the positive first.  If you start off with the negatives it will interfere with open and meaningful dialogue.

Sell an opportunity and not compensation. Top people are more interested in the growth opportunity as long as the compensation is competitive. If you are unable to present your opportunity as a great career move and use money as the primary lure, you have already lost the game.

Do not make any offer formal until the candidate has accepted first. If you make your offer too soon you will most likely not hear about the candidate’s concerns. This is a surefire way to lose a candidate to another offer. By gaining agreement on each of the factors involved in closing, you will be able to better match the candidate’s real job needs and profoundly increase your close rate.

The hiring manager must be involved and open-minded. One of the top three reasons top people select one job over another relates to the quality of the hiring manager. Part of this is the relationship developed between the manager and candidate during the process. Great managers who are heavily involved in the recruiting process have a far greater percentage of candidates accepting offers than those that are not involved.

Conduct all necessary due diligence. All offers must be conditional based on completion of in-depth reference checks, a comprehensive background verification, drug testing, and behavioral and cognitive testing is essential to good hiring practices and verifying that you truly have identified TOP TALENT!!

Source: “Hiring Top Talent Requires a Process.” Hire and Retain Top Talent. Web. 21 Feb. 2013.

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