The employee recruiting process is one of the more critical aspects of running a successful business. As a business owner or manager you need good employees to address critical business needs. And yet most everyone treats hiring as a necessary evil only to be done when it is absolutely necessary.
Adopting a different philosophy about recruiting and hiring employees can provide the edge necessary to get the best employees, faster and for less money.
Start by understanding what employee recruiting is all about. Think of recruitment as an on-going process designed to develop a cadre of qualified candidates. There are two key take-aways from this approach. First, the search for new employees needs to be an on-going process. If you recruit only when a position is open, you will always be in a reactive mode. The best analogy I can provide is to think of recruiting just like selling. You are always on the lookout for new sales opportunities. The same holds for efforts to hire great people.
Second, you want a choice of qualified candidates. To have qualified candidates it is necessary to understand the business needs and what skills and behaviors will be successful in your environment. Knowing what to look for and relentlessly trying to find those people are the keys to successfully recruiting and hiring top employees.
Now that you understand the correct philosophy, your next step is to develop a recruiting strategy. A comprehensive, step-by-step strategy dictates exactly how to develop the cadre of qualified candidates. How much money to spend, where to look, who should do the recruiting and the recruiting success metrics are just a few of the issues covered in a good strategy. See the articles on recruiting strategy and recruiting metrics for a complete discussion of how to build an effective strategy. One absolute guarantee is that there is no one best source for finding candidates. Recruiting sources are only limited by the imagination. Successfully attracting the right people involves using multiple sources. There isn’t one single source that works all the time.
Part of the recruiting strategy is to decide how best to deploy resources. Classified ads, online postings, headhunters, etc. are all legitimate recruiting sources but your specific situation will determine which is best. See the article on employee recruiting sourcing for a complete discussion of recruiting sources.
That said, you absolutely should consider having an employee referral program. Many studies have shown that candidates referred by your existing employees turn into consistently higher performing employees. Every recruiting strategy should have an employee referral component. See the article on employee referral for a complete discussion of employe referral programs.
Finding and attracting top employees is not free. There are costs in money, time and resources. It is too easy to throw a bunch of much money and time at recruiting without a return. The first step is to make certain to both plan for and track expenditures. Employee recruiting metrics include monitoring what you spend and the results each activity delivers. See a full treatment of recruiting economics and metrics in the recruiting metrics article.
Finally, there are a number of recruiting services available to help with recruiting. These include headhunters, search firms, consultants and various online recruiting services. And, there are many employee recruiting software solutions available to help you get the job done. It can be confusing.
The conclusion is that you cannot leave your employee recruiting to chance. Plan your activities, measure the results and have an on-going strategy to keep the candidate pool full.