With the trend of record-low unemployment continuing into 2019, employers are struggling to recruit people in what was an already tight market. Finding talent is still the #1 issue facing talent acquisition teams.
The candidate pool is projected to stay shallow for the foreseeable future, so companies need to embrace new, smarter recruiting tactics to succeed. Employers must focus on attracting passive candidates, or they’ll never have the options they need. This is true no matter the size of the company or its standing in the market.
Here’s how you can step up your game.
1. Partner with a skilled agency.
Internal recruiting teams have already done some adjusting in the last decade. Gone are the days when they would post positions and wait for candidates to come in. They still can’t match the focus and expertise of a specialized recruiting firm. Agencies are able to spend more time and energy cultivating passive candidates. They can also dismiss the wrong people before you even see them. This means you don’t waste your time sifting through bad matches.
You need to make sure the agency is tuned into your exact needs, goals, and can effectively sell passive candidates on your opportunity. As an independent voice, they can often persuade a hesitant candidate more effectively than an internal recruiter.
2. Communicate what makes you stand out.
A lot of companies describe themselves as “employee oriented” or having a good “team environment.” These sorts of generic statements do nothing to make them stand out, even if they’re true.
Every company has something unique to offer. You need to define and then broadcast it to every potential candidate. Your current team can help you figure it out. Why did they choose you over others? What keeps them wanting to work there?
Once you know this, feature it on your social media, have your recruiting team promote it, and make sure your agency partners know to communicate it. This will give you an edge over companies with generic messaging.
3. Continuous networking.
Most recruiting teams don’t spend time finding specific candidates unless they have a current opening requiring them. It’s an approach successful companies can no longer afford.
There are certain skill sets a company will always need sooner or later. Have your hiring managers create a list of these skills. Communicate these skills to your recruiting team, and partners, so they’re always keeping in touch with the people who have them. This gives you a ready-to-go list of candidates the second you open a position.
These tips are the starting point to making sure your recruiting efforts pay off, no matter what the unemployment rate.
Finding the Talent You Need
Millennium Search is your ideal partner to help start-up and sustain these efforts. We can make sure you always have a line to the talent you need. Contact us today to craft and execute an effective recruiting plan.
The increasing global talent crunch continues to change the dynamics of the recruiting world. With the unemployment rate at low levels, employers don’t have a large pool of out-of-work professionals to chose from. You have to pull in passive candidates to get the people you need.
According to research by LinkedIn, passive candidates make up 70% of your potential recruiting field. Talent acquisition teams have great tools available for locating and contacting these candidates. Convincing them to consider your opportunity is the real challenge. Trust is the key to making that happen.
Considering a new position is a real commitment. It involves:
- Taking time for phone conversations with recruiting agencies and internal recruiting teams.
- Doing interviews during regular business hours. They must give up significant time from their current job, especially if they’re located elsewhere.
- Risk leaving what they know for something they can’t be 100% sure about before making the leap.
It cannot happen without trust. As Stephen Covey said, it’s the most essential ingredient in communications. They need to feel confident you are offering something they can’t afford to ignore. You, and your executive search partners, need to establish it from the moment you first engage them.
There are four key steps to doing this:
1. Ask questions and listen
You cannot gain trust without showing you have a genuine interest in them. That means finding out about their current situation, career goals, and tying it all back to what you can offer.
2. Be up-front to manage expectations
Every company has shortcomings. You may not be the number one company in your field. Your competitors may have better bonus plans or benefits. It could be you’ve been through a tough couple of years.
Don’t try to gloss over your weaknesses, as they’ll always surface later. If you haven’t discussed them, it will come off as deceitful. Instead, present your strengths and weaknesses from the start, with an emphasis on how the pluses more than makeup for the minuses.
3. Lay out the process and stick to it
Once you’ve decided to go ahead with a candidate, explain the interview process and make sure the team follows through. This will show respect for their time, while also creating expectations you can hold them to. Consult with your hiring team beforehand to make sure it works for them.
4. Keep communicating
The recruiting process has a lot of moving parts, so it’s a given it won’t always go to plan. This can happen without losing the candidate’s trust if you’re keeping them in the loop. Don’t leave it up to their imagination.
With all the pressures and options in the current job market, passive candidates will not give you their time if they don’t trust you. You need to work with your talent acquisition team, along with your recruiting agency partners, to make sure every candidate knows you’re considering their best interest.
An external agency is your number one ally in attracting passive candidates for several reasons.
- They can do the deep-dive sourcing required to target the right candidates.
- A well-regarded agency is viewed as an “honest broker” by the candidate, establishing trust from the first engagement.
- Passive candidates tend to be more responsive with trusted third-party recruiters than the hiring company.
The trusted recruiting resource
Millennium Search is your ideal partner to make this happen. We have a long track record as a trusted recruiting resource for clients and candidates. Learn more about us and let us know what we can do to help you.
Talent Sourcing is a vital strategy for any company looking to compete in our talent-short economy. It’s the optimum way to find, engage, and network with the top talent in your field. The goal is to create a steady flow of prospects both for your current and future positions.
The key to talent sourcing is making sure your talent acquisition team has a strategy in place beyond filling current openings. You need to create a process to continuously network in a way that lines up with company goals. It’s always in motion, making sure you’re connected to the best talent in your market.
A significant draw to talent sourcing is to help target top talent. That’s not where the benefits end.
Practice Talent Sourcing
When you practice talent sourcing with a clear vision of company goals, the people you bring in make better long-term employees. This means nurturing a relationship with your candidates from day one based on how their motivations and aspirations line up with the company’s objectives and culture. This cultural matching is vital to creating stable, effective teams in your company.
Engage with Right Talent Pools
When you’re always engaged with the right talent pools, you start every search multiple steps ahead. You build inroads to candidate communities that are always ready to use. Building this from scratch for every opening wastes both time and energy.
Gaining Market Insight
It’s one of the best ways to get information on your market. When your recruiting team is talking to current and potential candidates, they’re getting news about what’s happening at your competitors. It’s a direct line to inside information.
Improving Talent Acquisition
It will improve your talent acquisition operation. You’re always evaluating what candidate sources work best, how attractive your descriptions are, and how effective your interviewing process is. A solid talent sourcing practice allows your talent acquisition team to avoid common pitfalls in hiring practices, such as taking too much time, having ill-prepared interviewers, and forgetting to sell the company.
Setting the Tone
It puts your entire organization on the same page. A well-implemented talent sourcing effort means all your teams, even globally, are using best practices. It also means their messaging is consistent with both candidates and the recruitment agencies you work with.
Job seekers have become more sophisticated, with a variety of tools at their disposal. Talent sourcing is the best solution to stay ahead of this curve, as it will keep you evolving with the talent market. It will also give you constant visibility to that talent, creating an attractive, tailored image of you as an employer.
Maximize Your Talent Sourcing Efforts
A partnership with the right recruitment agency is one of the best ways to make sure you’re maximizing your talent sourcing efforts. Millennium Search can help you build and execute an effective strategy. Check out our solutions here and let us know what we can do for you.
With the level of competition for talent in today’s tech world, early stage companies must work hard to attract the talent critical to their success. Companies put hundreds of hours into hiring, spending thousands of dollars to attract and retain the right people, with good reason; the right hires make a direct impact on a company’s success and growth. But all of this time, effort and money may be spent in vain if companies are not honest with the candidates they hire about work, expectations and the company’s state of affairs. Understandably, companies want to paint an attractive picture for talented candidates because, well, they want to attract them. But as important as attracting candidates is, being transparent with them is key.
It Creates The Right Expectations
Working for startup companies is difficult enough as it is. Working for one without clear expectations, cloudy roadmaps and unknown or unanticipated structural issues can be a recipe for failure. It’s understandable that a company would want to make the right impression in an effort to attract top candidates, but expectations are powerful and setting the wrong ones early on can result in a difficult onboarding, a poor work experience and a shorter tenure for employees. Be clear and accurate when describing to potential employees the state of company affairs and expectations for performance.
It Attracts People Who Can Handle It
An accurate picture of the work, expectations for employees and a clear view of the company’s state of affairs may indeed scare off some of your potential hires. To that, I say, good. Employees who can’t handle the realities of your company and flee from accountability are the last thing any early stage venture needs. Anyone worth hiring should know going in that startups are no picnic. The flip side to this is painting a rosy, less than accurate picture of things, and anyone worth hiring should know better.
It Opens The Door For Improvement
Setting clear expectations and being open and upfront when hiring can actually help to address issues and problems you are facing. Issues cannot be addressed unless they are known and acknowledged. Being upfront with candidates can result in finding great hires who may know how to navigate issues, and can even help address and overcome obstacles.
It can be uncomfortable for founders and managers to set clear expectations for candidates for fear of losing out on good people. But in the long run, a transparent approach to hiring will yield happier, more prepared and more productive hires.
Let start right off the bat by saying, Yes, you do need good people. What you, your company and most other startups out there do not need is the very best people. Most founders know this idea to be true, but can fall into the trap of trying to hire as if it’s false. You interview one person who sounds good, followed by another who is slightly different but also a good fit. You do that enough times, and you start raising your standards too high. Looking for the best can turn into a slippery slope of raising the bar, setting too high of standards and trying for more than your need. This is not always the case, but if so, it is not difficult to get out of this mindset. Because really, what is ‘The Best?’
The Best is Unrealistic
Of the tens of thousands of tech startups in operation right now, the reality is that only a few end up with what we consider the best tech talent. This does not mean that you shouldn’t aim for A-players, but looking for perfection early on can lead you down a bitter, lonely and employee-less road. Realism is crucial for startups, especially when it comes to getting talent.
The Best is Picky
Ok, they aren’t necessarily picky; they can just afford to be. When you have that kind of experience, expertise and caliber of skill, you also have the attention of every Tom, Dick and Harry (startup, tech company and recruiter, I guess). Naturally, top talent gets to pick from a very large pile, of which your company is an option out of thousands. So even if your company is great, if you’re not the most interesting, you’re going to have to pay for it.
The Best is Expensive
The cream of the crop, the top of the top and the best of the best come with a price tag, one with which they can find a job within 5 minutes. It’s a simple supply-demand equation that most bootstrapped startup have difficulty overcoming. In reality, the most well-funded and interesting startups and tech companies can nab the elite of the industry. They can afford this mindset, but many cannot.
The Best is Unnecessary
You may be thinking, ‘Well, we will just have to allocate a higher budget towards our employees then.’ Touche, perhaps, but the truth is that, for most startup organizations, the best of the best is simply more than they need. There are too many articles and blog posts out there shouting how if you don’t get the absolute best people, your company will either get set back two years or crash and burn at the earliest inconvenience. Such is more inexperienced recruiter sales pitch and less startup reality. Yes, you still need good people, but more importantly, you need the right people and team.
The Best is Not Always The Right
Cultural fit is the most important aspect of your hires. For a phrase like that to be borderline cliche, and let’s be honest in that it already is, you know that its truth rings loud and clear. What you never hear is a founder or manager saying ‘We need the very best person, even if our entire team hates them.’ The point being, just because a candidate is great at what they do, does not mean they are great for what your team does.
The Best is a Distraction
The time you spent looking for the unattainable, unaffordable, unnecessary or unconformable could have been spent looking for the right people at a lower cost using the right, albeit still high, standards. Look for employees with startup or small business experience, ambition, motivation, integrity and the skills and knowledge that you need right now. Find like minded people with similar passions and a belief in your vision. And don’t worry if they aren’t the ultimate rock stars of their profession.
You don’t need the best people. You just need really good people.
Energy at a startup is critical. It is reinforced by product launches, customer milestones, press recognition and so on. But at its core, the energy must come from you and your team. Your employees are working against all odds as startup employees, putting in long hours to hit tough deadlines and operate within an all-around stressful environment. For your employees, the right attitude is paramount. As they say in the sports world, working at a startup is 90% mental and only 10% physical. The startup game is a marathon, one that requires of its leaders and employees the right attitude to survive, much less thrive. When hiring, talent is important, but attitude is everything.
So what does attitude look like? No, you don’t need to see bright teeth and smiles 24 hours a day. But a positive outlook and demeanor is essential. You want a person with demonstrated mental toughness; someone who remains resolute in the face of obstacles. Startups need people who can handle tough times and stressful days and still keep their eyes on the prize.
The impact of the right outlook on an employee’s work results is apparent. Attitude gets things done when things get tough. Attitude keeps people moving when adversity arises, as it does often for a budding company. Attitude keeps employees alive at times when hope seems lost. It’s a dramatic picture, yes, but startup life is not all excitement and games. It’s difficult work under stressful conditions, tight deadlines, unanticipated changes and responsibilities across multiple fronts.
A single employee’s attitude impacts more than just their own work. Each employee contributes to the state of the team as a whole. Morale reflects the culture, and one person with the wrong attitude can make an impact all around. Employees contribute their energy to the whole as well as take from the whole, so putting the right people in place is important. Employees value talent in their team members, but value a positive environment even more.
The attributes of experience and integrity are all a vital part of the startup employee recipe, but will mean very little without the right mindset to accompany them. When an employee has the right attitude, it will be reflected in the morale of the team, the work they do and the things they create. It’s why cultural fit is so important, why passion is a nessecity and why, when working at a startup, attitude is everything.