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Healing Employment – The Laws of ATTRACTION

Attracting Top Talent

Installment two in an eight-part series, “Employment is Broken” by Kim Shepherd, CEO, and Jeff Bloch, CMO, Decision Toolbox

In part one of this series, we reviewed, from a 30,000 foot level, the many ways in which the world of employment is broken.  In our next seven installments, we’ll break “employment” (recruiting, hiring and retaining employees) down into seven critical stages – the 7 Stages of Engagement – closely examining how each is broken, and offering creative tips for success.  The first of the seven stages we’ll discuss is ATTRACTION.  How is the process of attracting top talent broken, and how can we heal this aspect of the employment world?

How Attraction is Broken

Though hiring well is such a crucial component to business success, many companies approach the process without giving it much thought.  The typical recruiting scenario looks something like this:

A staffing need arises, and the hiring manager runs to HR with his hair on fire.  With HR’s hair now also on fire, a dusty, old job description is unearthed and immediately posted on a couple of popular job boards.  Within a few days, applicants are responding, but they are less than stellar.  Time is of the essence, and we must “get a butt in a seat”, so HR pushes forward with the arduous process of screening through the mass of under qualified and overqualified in hopes of finding a few applicants with potential to move on to the phone screen stage.  And so it goes…

With so little thought given on the front-end of this process – to what it takes to ATTRACT the right applicants for a particular position – it’s no wonder the applicant bucket is often a time-draining disappointment.  Unfortunately, for both the company and the candidate, the “hair on fire” approach to recruiting often results in a poor, mismatched hire.

Design What you Want, or Deal with What you Get

To truly maximize your time, effort and effectiveness in recruiting, invert the pyramid. 

Stop and put in some time up front to get very clear on several key questions:

1)      What does the ideal candidate for this position look like?

2)      What are the most attractive aspects of this position?

3)      What are the most attractive aspects of your organization?

If you want an A-player, you need to think about what makes you an employer of choice, and what makes the position an opportunity of choice for an A-player.  You must then leverage your job description to brand yourself and the position as such.  A-players respond to a sexy job description, one that includes not only the job’s duties and requirements, but also details the exciting opportunities the position and the company offers to the right person.  Do you have a strong corporate culture?  Is career pathing, or development/growth opportunities available at your organization?  Are key contributors duly rewarded?  Are exciting initiatives afoot?   Talented people will change jobs for a better culture, professional development, career pathing, and the opportunity for new, exciting challenges.

From Sifter to Suitor

When you are clear up front on the kind of talent you are looking for, and you are effectively communicating what you have to offer, you are a suitor.  Suitors court the top talent they desire, rather than hopefully sifting through applicants that may or may not fit the bill.  Being a suitor is the key to ATTRACTION in recruiting.

Stay tuned for installment three in our series, where we’ll explore the next stage of engagement – SELECTION.

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