Acquiring the right talent to bring to your organization and using hiring measurements that make sense to the business
I’ve seen some interesting web articles lately regarding improving the skill of talent acquisition. What was especially intriguing was that the articles focused on speed, innovation and quality, rather than on an outdated over-emphasis on volume and cost reduction. The themes from the best of them were creativity, being pro-active, and flexible rather than the “Six Tricks to Hiring the Best Candidates” or “The Three Interview Questions You Must Ask.” Puh-leez.
Some takeaways that stuck with me
1. Rather than developing generic job postings that either fulfill legal requirements or which use outdated length-of-experience measurements, consider the job that needs to get done and hire to that goal.
For example, if the job is to manage a new product line for launch within the next year, make that your job requirement, instead of posting for a specific number of years of product management experience. Consider this:
Outdated model: Candidates must have five years’ of product management experience.
Goal focused model: Candidates must have managed a successful product launch.
“Years of experience plus or minus” requirements may potentially rule talented candidates out of consideration!
2. You already know that for talent acquisition, the Internet is your friend, but be judicious with it. The old paradigm of posting jobs anywhere and everywhere and then waiting for responses takes time, money, and does not target candidates with specific skills. Work with the hiring manager to identify and develop relationships with professional organizations, online industry/job special interest groups, and other targeted sources that allow you the ability to proactively search for specific skills. To use a sports analogy (sorry), make sure you keep the bench warm whether or not you have active openings.
3. Ensure you have a robust online database that allows for flexible searches, stores incoming resumes, sources, as well as candidate communication. Develop a system that allows cross-functional access to the database along with a professional methodology that promotes speed, quality, and reputation-saving communication both inside and outside the company. There’s nothing that will sour your company’s reputation quicker than allowing candidate inquiries to fall into a black hole. Use of technology will enable you to keep up with initial interest acknowledgements, telephone interviews, onsite scheduling and follow up.
Establishing customer satisfaction
1. Identify your customers
Build on the foundation of using “Customer Satisfaction” to develop HR metrics for Talent Acquisition. Remember that HR’s customers for talent acquisition are not only the hiring managers, but actually the company as a whole given that HR is instrumental in identifying the right talent that will ensure the company’s goals and objectives are met.
And don’t forget HR’s external customers – candidates and potential outside sources. HR is the face of the company during the entire talent acquisition process, which establishes your company’s reputation with the external candidate pool and with sources at the universities, professional organizations, trade associations and other targeted organizations you want to use to mine top talent.
2. Are your customers satisfied?
Too many times the HR is measured only by its efficiency – how fast or cheaply an open position was filled. While this information is important, remember that efficiency does not necessarily equate to effectiveness or satisfaction. How will HR help ensure that each new hire is the right hire?
One helpful metric is your offer acceptance rate. How do you know if your offers are meeting your prospective employees’ needs? Before you laugh, don’t forget that an offer is comprised of many components – not only salary. An offer of employment really consists of salary, bonus, benefits, working environment, commute, prospective boss, colleagues, telecommute opportunities, technology, and so on. Keeping track of the offers you extend and why they are either accepted or declined provides valuable information on where your company may need to reinforce or refocus its priorities and resources.
Once the position has been accepted and the new hire comes onboard, a regular process of obtaining customer satisfaction survey data will yield valuable information that will help reinforce excellence and identify areas for improvement. This survey should be conducted from both the hiring manager and the new hire immediately following acceptance, and again after 90 days of closing a requisition.
Providing this critical information to key stakeholders in your organization along with an analytical assessment that reinforces excellence and recommendations for improvement offers HR a significant opportunity to bring valuable insights to your business.
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