After running a headhunting firm for more than a decade, I have learned two very important things: 1) recruiting quality talent is often more complex than most assume and 2) the words “too small” should never be in a recruiter’s vocabulary because it’s the little things that separate a headhunter’s ability to recruit the right candidates.
And speaking of “little things,” below I’ve outlined five small but necessary practices when it comes to an effective hiring process.
1. When negotiating salary, focus on the present. Instead of asking an employee about his or her desired salary, inquire about the worker’s current salary and increase that amount by roughly 15 percent. Candidates typically “over ask” when recruiters give them an open forum during salary negotiations, and they tend to stand firm on their requested amount, no matter the number. Recruiters should ask about workers’ current compensation packages and increase that number accordingly.
2. Remember, the candidate isn’t the only person making a sale. Be sure to create a sales pitch, demonstrating why employees should desire to work for your company. Focus on the worker’s desires. What are the benefits of accepting the job offer? For example, are there opportunities for career advancement? Is there a mentoring program? What perks come with the position? An easy way to create a compelling sales pitch is to draw on realistic inspiration, thinking about the reasons you enjoy working at your current company. And don’t forget, honesty is the best policy. Making promises you cannot (or will not) keep can lead to resentful, less productive employees.
3. Time is everything. No candidate wants to endure an unnecessarily long hiring process, yet it should not be too short either. The longer the process, the more applicants you’re going to lose (and not to mention time). Moving along too quickly, you risk losing the ability to make a sound decision. The ideal time frame for a typical position is three to five weeks.
4. Change your perspective when viewing resumes, adopting an entrepreneurial mindset. Resumes not only reveal what the applicant has done, but basis for what the potential employee can do. Forget about length and formatting; focus instead on content to extract the proper inferences.
5. Learn how to stretch a budget. Recruiting great employees is like home buying. You pay more for more amenities (or experience). Your ideal candidate may be out of your budget; so to properly stretch funds, learn what is absolutely necessary from day one (including needed training). A thorough analysis will reveal areas to cut costs.
Just like in most areas of life, the little things can make the greatest impact when recruiting. Along with the above practices, always treat every applicant with respect remembering you represent your organization, in and outside the office. And don’t discount the power of thoughts. Believing you deserve a great employee can positively affect your pursuit of recruiting top talent.