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New Year’s Resolutions: Stepping Up Your Recruitment Game in 2016

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By Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer
With Tom Brennan, Master Writer


Recruiting in 2016 will play out in a market even more competitive than it has been in 2015. Most likely, what you have been doing over the past few years isn’t going to cut it in the coming year. Bottom line: you have to do everything in your power to get the attention of top talent, keep them engaged, and close the deal. Here are a few recommendations on how to do just that.

Sell, sell, sell: Borrow some best practices from your sales & marketing teams and approach prospective candidates as sales & marketing approaches prospective customers. Develop a clear understanding of the value proposition that will compel top talent to leave a job they have and come take your open position. Don’t just use a job description to market a position. Take the time to create a marketing piece to showcase your position as an opportunity of choice for the ideal candidate.

For example, highlight the intriguing projects they will be working on, or feature how they will learn new skills, technologies or best practices in the role. Describe the impact they can make on your company and the talented team they will join.

Share real life examples of promotions that have occurred within the organization or within that department. This could paint the picture of the promotion they are striving for — maybe their current employer passed them over for just such a promotion, and now they’ll see greener grass at your company. 

Stay in touch. Don’t let candidates fall into a black hole. It seems this happens to them everywhere: they apply and never hear back. Enhance your employment brand by earning a reputation as a company that communicates during every step of the process — including candidates who aren’t hired. Your ATS should thank every candidate for applying automatically. When you close a job, let candidates know. If they’ve interviewed with your company over the phone or face-to-face then you should let them know with a personal phone call.

It works both ways. Evaluate candidates critically, but remember that these “A” players are doing the same thing: evaluating you as a boss and your company as their next career home. They should be pitching themselves as the best candidate, but you also need to pitch the open position and the company. To judge goodness of fit, invest as much effort in getting to know what the candidates want as you do in determining if they match your needs.

Lose the hoops. Unless you’re recruiting for Cirque de Soleil, don’t make candidates jump through them. Think about it: candidates who are willing to take 3 assessments and go through 15 interviews probably aren’t the most desirable ones. They have time because others aren’t courting them . . . probably for good reason. Streamline your onboarding process so you can act faster than competing employers.

Start out right. Respect candidates’ time and be considerate as they go through the interview process. The way you treat them as a candidate will shape their opinion of how you will treat them as an employee. Make sure you’re sending the right message.

Play fair. Offer the appropriate compensation for the role. If you find that the market is demanding more than your company offers, consider offering extra perks. This might include training, a car allowance, sign on bonus, quarterly performance bonuses, telecommuting options, etc. Internal equity is important, but if you are looking for particular expertise, you may have to pay for it.

The employment market will continue to evolve and become more and more competitive. The companies that level up their recruitment game will be the winners.


Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn.

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One Response to “New Year’s Resolutions: Stepping Up Your Recruitment Game in 2016”

  1. January 04, 2016 at 12:29 pm, Sarah Daniels said:

    Recruiters essentially need to be marketers today. An employer brand is just as important as the overall business brand. Top candidates want to know what the company stands for and it’s an important consideration as they decide which job to take.


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