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The War on Talent is nothing new. I’m serious. The technology may have changed, but the basic principles you need to attain top talent haven’t changed at all in the last 15 years. Don’t believe me? Check this out:
“Today, we are faced with a greater challenge than ever before. It’s not the changing vehicle technology, insurer relationships, or even equipment and products we use, but it is the immediate need for quality people to enter our industry so that we have the human resources to repair vehicles.”
– Auto Inc, “How to Attract, Motivate, Retain Good Employees”
This quote was taken from a national automotive industry meeting in 1988. Almost 15 years later, attracting the best people is still a critical concern for leaders at all organizations. Sound familiar? Whether you use outside recruiters or do it on your own, a growing number of CEOs say they’re tired of the way their HR handles talent. In fact, 90% of CEOs would invest more in HR if they saw a significant ROI. (Source: Price Waterhouse Cooper)
I lived and breathed this world when I sold national advertising to recruiters, back when I worked at my family’s magazine company. I saw first-hand how recruitment is a cutthroat, competitive space.
Today, I help recruiters, staffers and HR professionals connect with high quality talent in a new way. Here are their three secrets for new ways to win today’s (continued!) War on Talent:
1) Get there early, but attract with innovation. Unfortunately, some recruiters give the others a bad name. But you can’t treat candidates like cantaloupes and hope for juicy results—at least not when people are involved. Impersonal strategies and tactics don’t work any more to attract, acquire, or keep the top human capital out there. You’ve got to do it the right way. Use social media, show high-quality video clips of office life, and hold pre-interviews in an online meeting room. These things show you’re innovative and unique. And these are things that get the candidate’s attention. because they handle people as commodities or products. It’s like going to the farmer’s market. As long as you get there early, you get the best produce, right? Well, some recruiters have adopted the same mentality.
2) Get up close and personal. At the end of the day, you want to get face-to-face with the top talent. When I interview potential candidates for my sales team, I meet with each individual on iMeet. I am able to screen so many more candidates in a shorter amount of time. Unlike a phone interview, video lets me get to know candidates immediately—and well. I get a feel for their body language and professionalism. I can immediately tell: Do they come across as confident? Are they a good listener? Are they engaging and honest, or forced and fake?
The best part is, when I have a certain number of positions that needs filling, I save a heck of a lot of time by eliminating candidates that don’t work right away. And you want to be able to do this, because when you first get on the horn with someone, they may sound like the perfect sales rep for the job. But then they come into your office for an interview and in reality, they’re not as great as you built them up to be.
The things you don’t catch on the phone are the most obvious things that get your attention once you meet them face-to-face. Video just makes things more transparent, more efficient, and sets you up for less disappointment.
3) Sell your company with effective communication. But the real value (and work!) begins AFTER you offer a job, and your candidate accepts. In this phase, all recruiters and HR professionals become salespeople, because how you prep them will influence their entire experience at your company. Video is clutch in this phase as well.
To me, one of the biggest challenges organizations face is the communication aspect. Do you have an open door policy? Are you as open and communicative with employees as you are with your prospects? Before they even physically step foot on campus, show them what a typical day in the office is like. Tell them why your company is forward-thinking and awesome. (And believe me, nothing says “awesome” quite like a video conference. Just ask Lisa Simpson, Mel Brooks, or Pee-wee Herman.)
If a candidate is able to experience this during their first encounter, it dramatically sets the tone in getting them to understand your MO. So on their first day, they can be at ease because they’ve seen you online. They feel much more welcome. And you want to lessen those first day of school jitters; not just from a recruiting standpoint but a retention standpoint as well.
Innovative companies that attract, retain, and on-board effectively are…
- Dialed into the right technology to attract top talent—because it showcases a company culture that is unique and social
- Understand effective communication with peers and adopt open-door policies
- Engage personally with candidates and reps by going face-to-face
Image source: Flickr