Ellen Warden, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
WorkPlace Synergy, LLC
One of your top analysts just left, and you face a sudden increase in new projects. Do you scramble to make a last-minute hire from a tiny pool of applicants in hopes you can fill this frantic need?
Don’t sacrifice your standards. Expect the unexpected. Always Be Hiring for candidates is the strategic equivalent of Always Be Closing in sales. It’s about attracting and engaging the best people at all times—not just when a position becomes available.
Naturally, you want to bring in extra help as quickly as possible. But hiring too fast can mean selecting the available candidate over the right one. Rushing to fill a vacant position is the number one reason hiring mistakes occur. A bad hire always costs more than taking the time to do it right.
Don’t wait until a critical role has opened that you can’t fill fast enough. Change your mindset from reactive to proactive recruiting. Just as you are always on the hunt for new prospects and opportunities to win an engagement, you should always be on the lookout for talent that will fit into your firm at any time.
Always Be Hiring. Here’s how:
- Be clear about the type of candidate you want to attract and hire. Find ways to not only identify and connect with them but to keep them engaged over an extended period.
- Inform your network— simply letting your network know that you’d like to hear about talented people who may be open to moving is a guaranteed way to increase your candidate flow.
- Ask for employment referrals. Your clients and professional contacts already trust you enough to refer their contacts to you for business. They will be willing to do the same for potential job candidates.
- Build into your weekly agenda those activities that establish and build relationships with candidates whose skills align with your future needs. Have coffee and conversations with a wide range of potential employees. Be honest and transparent, of course. Your message is, “We don’t have a vacancy now, but adding the best people to our business is our number one priority, so we would be grateful to chat with you.”
- Implement an employee referral program. “A players” tend to mix with other “A players.” Let your employees know that you will reward successful referrals.
- Start an internship program anduse it is as a training and testing ground for potential recruits. A well-designed internship program gives you a chance to observe interns in real work situations and allows you to hire those who stand out.
- Maintain on-going relationships with industry recruiters. Professional recruiters are in the marketplace day in and day out and have access to hidden talent. Encourage them to think of you first with their top candidates.
- Keep in touch with the passive job seekers you have pre-qualified. That candidate you wanted could be ready to leap when you have your next opening.
- Build a compelling employer brand. Building a reputation as a company that actively develops employees and helps them meet their full potential is vital to attracting top quality applicants and referrals from your business network. Sharing your successes helps your firm become the place where ambitious, driven professionals want to work.
- Constantly re-recruit your key employees to minimize turnover and retain your best talent. Re-energize your current employees and solidify their loyalty so that they remain committed to your firm. Conduct “Stay Interviews” to identify what they like about their job and what might cause them to leave; put together personalized retention plans.
Do you need help designing development plans for employees? Ellen Warden works with BV/LS practices around the country to help them align their HR solutions with long-term objectives. You can reach Ellen at WorkPlace Synergy.