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Part two of our ‘talent war’ series looks at how to maximise the success of your recruitment strategy

A crucial first step in any human capital strategy is the recruitment of top talent. Simple in theory, but far more difficult in practice. A recent global survey reported that recruiting budgets are growing smaller, while the competition for talented candidates is continually increasing.

The way forward? Any effective recruitment strategy requires time, money and planning. This article focuses on key elements that should be built into your talent management process: helping you to hire the right people now and reap the benefits down the line.

Tell your story

Are you an employer of choice? Are candidates aware of what makes your organisation stand out? All these questions speak to your employer brand - those elements that are seen by the outside world and by your employees, and that serve to differentiate you from your competitors. Research by CareerBuilder shows that a strong employer brand can

increase the volume of applicants by as much as 350%.

Candidates become consumers

With the rise of technology, competition and the global workforce, candidates are no longer faceless people vying for a role. Instead, they are your future internal customers. Customers with talent that you need to attract and retain. In order to do so, your organisation has to craft and sell its brand message across multiple platforms. And the best way to communicate this message is via your website and social media platforms.

"A workplace has to convey its own culture and make it appealing; and even the hiring process itself has to sell the potential consumer on its ease of use and benefits.” - Forbes

The rise of social recruiting

There are a large number of benefits to using social media in your recruitment strategy:

  • It helps attract passive candidates - people who aren’t actively looking for a job but who are intrigued by your brand message.
  • It increases traffic to your website, careers portal or job listings.
  • You can gain access to a hugely diverse pool of talent
  • It is one of the primary methods to communicate your employer brand
  • It increases ease of application for potential candidates
  • You can make use of advanced targeting to reach niche audiences

Make it easy...and personal

Picture this: you’re using a new, popular business app. Only, it has long load times, sometimes it crashes and the process to sign up is long and laborious. What would you do in a situation like this? You’re probably thinking that you’ll stop using the app...and perhaps even walk away with a negative perception of the company who built it. By the same measure, the applications process to a company is often an individual’s first encounter with the brand - make it a good one.

The same thinking that applies to our customers should apply to candidates. Ease of use should be front of mind. And this means refreshing your company careers’ portal and streamlining the applications process. You could consider a number of technologically advanced features, such as social sharing buttons, online support, video functionality and more.

What the data says about employee referrals

Employee referrals have been shown to be one of the most effective sources of top talent. Research by the McQuaig Institute shows that this method brings in the highest quality candidates who demonstrate less turnover and stronger performance than their peers.

Take your cues from Google

There is no magic recipe to increasing the number of employee referrals in your organisation. Google put years of research into finding the best source of talented candidates (the answer: employee referrals), and then finding ways to maximise the performance of referral programmes. Surprisingly, financial incentives didn’t show the results they expected. Neither did their attempt to streamline the referral process.

What did work? Taking a marketing approach. Google developed and crafted their employer brand so that staff were excited about where they worked and wanted to share that experience with others. They then adopted a specific ‘nudging’ strategy where they reminded staff about job openings and encouraged them to search through their network of contacts.

The value of assessments

Psychometric assessments are an invaluable part of the recruitment process. Their upfront cost is usually well worth it when you consider the time and money saved by hiring the right candidate, the first time.

Assessments can answer a host of questions about a candidate’s traits, likely behaviour, communication style, cognitive ability, and more. Profiling the role in question allows the recruiter to assess candidate talent in relation to the competencies that are crucial for performance. All in all, this results in objective data that can be used at the shortlisting, interviewing or final decision stages.

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