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The recruiting industry has an open secret: Most companies have no idea how to attract the best candidates to join their organization. To pull back the lid on this sad truth, here are the three simple reasons why most organizations fail to attract top talent.
1. They Don’t Know What They Are Looking For
HR professionals are busy people for whom talent recruiting is just one task in an enormous mound of competing priorities. Recruiting doesn’t typically rise to the top of the pile until there is an urgent need, like an imminent staff opening. When this occurs, the company needs to create a job description and post the position, stat. So, what do most professionals do? They simply Google a generic job description and copy and paste it into their job ad.
But this approach is ineffective and problematic, because:
• It is unlikely you will find an exact match to your company’s needs for the role because a description created by another organization cannot precisely describe the responsibilities of the position at your company.
• Have you ever played the game Telephone? The game is so fun to play because the last person in line hears an utterly different message from what the first person intended. Googling a job description works the same way. It’s likely that any description you find online was copied repeatedly until it is a watered-down version with little practical use in any real-world corporate environment, let alone in your unique organization.
• You’re essentially recruiting for someone qualified to perform a job at another company. The good news is, when that individual eventually fails in your organization, you can always refer them to the other firm!
To create an effective job description, you must begin close to home by focusing on your organization’s needs. Research the specific tasks, functions and responsibilities of the current position. Interview top performers in the role and their supervisors. Then identify their common traits and qualifications and craft the job description based on that ideal. Remember, a job description should actually describe the job that needs to be done.
2. They Make One Dangerous Assumption
Most recruiters who advertise on job boards assume the candidates available represent the entire talent stack. To them, the stack represents a scale, where the best-qualified candidates are 10s and the least-qualified candidates are 1s. However, this assumption that job boards include the entire universe of employee quality is naïve and dangerous. The reality looks much different.
The truth is that 80% of the job board talent pool is at the low end of the scale — primarily 2s to 4s, with a few 5s and 6s sprinkled in. Why? Because the better-quality candidates don’t need to use job boards. Most already hold satisfying positions and aren’t actively looking for new employment.
Toss aside this assumption and look around your own organization at the small handful of people who are “rock star” employees. Note their special qualities and qualifications, design an avatar of your ideal candidate, then go find the rock stars among your competitors.
(By the way, true 10s are basically unicorns — 8s and 9s who are performing above their abilities because they are in the right roles at outstanding companies with strong corporate cultures. Don’t expect those candidates to perform as 10s in your organization, unless you can recreate those ideal employment conditions within your organization.)
3. They Don’t Make Recruiting A Priority
When it comes right down to it, recruiting is just not a priority at most organizations. It is viewed as a reactive versus proactive exercise. Most organizations don’t even begin searching for and identifying talent until they have a vacant position they need to fill immediately.
The best thing you can do is turn this mindset on its head. Advocate for long-term, strategic recruiting and educate your peers in senior leadership on the tremendous value a proactive approach can bring to your organization.
Truth is, you only need 20 minutes a day, focused on targeted, meaningful actions. Begin by taking these steps for each key role in your company:
• Describe the job that needs to be done.
• Identify the qualities of your ideal candidate.
• Research other companies with similar roles.
• Identify the people in those roles at your competitors’.
• Reach out and establish relationships with those people over time.
Broken into manageable daily chunks, you will make real, meaningful progress very quickly.
Focus On The Long Game
What many organizations fail to understand is that recruiting is a long game. To succeed, you must fully understand the requirements of the positions you are trying to fill, look beyond the obvious candidates and make the talent search a priority. Remember, the human element is the biggest competitive advantage for most companies — treat it as such.
Spend just 20 minutes a day, every day on the right tasks and you will begin to see results!
January 10, 2019 at 08:21AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs