Well, here we are at the fourth and final installment in this article series. By now you have evaluated your entire recruiting process, put some changes in place (technology and tracking) to help analyze your success, and begun to plan for next year. In this last part, beginning with Step Six, we will look at some really creative ways to separate your recruiting from that of your competitors. Not all of these suggestions will be the right fit for every company. But remember, you want to create a good image of your company and a warm and cozy feeling for the top quality candidates. Step Six So, you have created your budget for next year and invested some money in new technologies to make your life easier, thereby saving money in the long run for the company. Now you need to make sure that the right message is being sent to candidates. This is where I encourage every recruiting department to get to know the marketing department. That’s right, the marketing department. You know, those people with the fun giveaways, golf clubs always at the ready, and the biggest budget in the company (of course, I can say this since I have worked in the marketing department at most of my past employers). The marketing department is charged with creating a brand image for your products and services and providing the data and materials for your sales team to be successful. Why shouldn’t they be doing the same for you? Making sure that the brand image of the company is used online, in print, and through referrals for your staffing efforts is incredibly important. Ultimately, recruiters are basically salespeople charged with generating new employees, who then generate the revenue. Encourage the marketing department to look at ideas for branding the company for hiring. A real creative team will even be able to leverage marketing dollars to brand the company for sales as well as recruiting. If you don’t currently work with your marketing department, don’t be nervous about approaching them with a request to help you recruit better candidates for the entire company. If they don’t jump at the idea right away, especially since you will be asking them to spend money for your department that does not have a direct return they can justify, help them understand that if you work together they might actually have more to spend. How so? Most companies today are already purchasing some level of career site membership. Did you know that a lot of those companies’ marketing departments or product management groups are purchasing banner advertising on those sites as well? If you asked your recruitment advertising agency or the career site to help you combine all of those purchases within one membership, you could drive the price down significantly. Worst-case scenario is that your membership costs decrease, giving you more money to allocate to other sourcing options. With a solid recruiting process in place and marketing efforts to support that process, it is time to look internally and think outside the box. Step Seven In the final step of the process, have fun and be nimble. Once your recruiting process is in place you want to make sure that you and your organization are flexible enough to change the process if you see something that doesn’t work the way you want it to work. Let’s look at a number of ideas that can have a big impact on how you are perceived and whether the candidate takes your offer or the offer of your competition. And remember, we are having fun and thinking outside the box.
- Get different people involved in the interview process. Have an administrative person interview a director candidate; I guarantee you will get a different perspective on how that person will interact with others. Make sure that the feedback is taken seriously. A senior-level person that does not get along with people at all levels in a company could be a long-term problem.
- Have different people, outside of HR, write the job postings, rather than using the stale corporate ones you’ve been using for years. You can always edit them for legal compliance. This will give a fresh approach to your postings. It will also separate you from the vast number of jobs posted on the Internet today.
- Try new interview locations. If you normally interview people at the office or over lunch, take them miniature golfing for an interview. See how they react to a unique atmosphere, especially if you are hiring for sales.
- Set up web cams in the offices of your recruiters. This way the recruiters can offer to have live interviews over the Internet. While everyone else is calling the candidate, you can get a leg up and show that your company is technically advanced (or at least appear that way). This works great for IT staffing.
- Set up a web cam in the department where there is an opening and place a link on your corporate career site. If you are afraid of what someone might see, then what happens when they accept a position and don’t like what they see on their first day? Better to be upfront. Again, it differentiates your company.
- Hold a career fair at a bowling alley with free bowling for candidates that bring a resume. You can have the staffing managers at each lane bowling with the candidates. Again, you will get a good feel for how someone reacts under pressure and present a fun image of the company.
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Granted that not all of these suggestions work for every type of company or recruiting process. But you would be amazed at how taking the recruitment process out of the norm will reap great benefits. So many companies, especially the large Fortune 500 companies, lose sight of why they are actually hiring a person. Most people will say it is to fill an open position. But I would challenge them to be a little more specific and think carefully before responding. In my estimation, a company recruits because it wants to grow. Not just revenue or shareholder value, but morally, ethically, and individually. My CEO, LeRoy Robbins, has a great question every time we look to make an offer: Will that person raise the water level? If yes, then make them an offer. If the answer is maybe or no, then don’t bother. While we might be a smaller company, there is no reason that same philosophy can’t be used in the largest of corporations. If you constantly hire better and better people ó and they are out there ó you will automatically grow the business. Ultimately, building and implementing the perfect recruiting process is going to come down to your company, its culture, and the individuals involved. Just remember that this process is creating the future leaders of the company. If it does not take center stage, neither will your company.