Common sense dictates that a company’s number one resource is their people. With this in mind, it should be a top priority to take extra care in the talent attraction process. Newsflash! In practice this isn’t always the case. According to Gallup, almost 90% of employees worldwide are not satisfied with their career choice and less than 10% of employees feel hooked on the place where they were hired.
It’s easy enough to fall into the temptation of listing external factors to justify hiring issues. However, shortages in overall candidate experience, the current state of market affairs, or lacking awareness in the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate pool are not the only issues to blame for failing to attract the right talent. Having poorly planned talent strategies can compound the issue and this applies to more than just wasted time and effort trying to force-fit a person to a position.
Not taking enough time or expending enough resources to find the right talent generates a negative domino effect. Firms such as PwC estimate a loss valued between $5,000 and $6,000 for each employee resignation. The problem does not stop there. Each person that jumps ship also produces roughly a 30% drop in productivity when replaced by someone who does not perform as expected.
Learning these figures can be alarming. Especially considering that many companies do not alter their strategies or discipline themselves for success in attracting and retaining key personnel. Loosing thousands of dollars as well as top talent should be a serious topic. Having to retrain new individuals, redistribute their work among others, or forcing existing employees to cope in an unstable work environment can further exacerbate ongoing employee resignations and costly turnover.
At Pierpoint, we know that Talent Acquisition is a science. While not always an exact science, Talent Acquisition requires a proven methodology to produce results. What sometimes plays a key role in moving towards a more successful Talent Acquisition strategy is to lose the fear of blame and highlight critical areas that may be underperforming today. This can start with a simple question: “What can we start doing today to achieve better and longer-lasting results for tomorrow?”.
Additional questions could include: “Is our HR / Recruitment department properly trained to generate the appropriate questions to insure that candidates interviewing possess the right attributes and skills for the role?” and “Does our company offer an exceptional candidate experience that includes a consistent onboarding process to properly welcome new hires in their first days on the job?”.
Below we’ve summarized a few items to keep in mind when hiring new talent:
Define the “what” and “why”
It could seem obvious exactly what makes up the “what” and the “why” within the talent acquisition process when defining the roles being recruited for. However, flat and uncompelling job descriptions are common leading to misplaced candidate interest and out-of-focus interviews. Not only do job descriptions need to tell a story, they need to tell it with precision. Being colorful, yet concise, should be a guiding principle in providing any requirements to candidates. Once requirements are clearly defined it paves the way to a productive interview process.
Avoid fooling yourself!
In our haste to fill an opening we may make the common mistake of not fully clarifying aspects of the job or tasks a candidate will perform once hired. If the interview process highlights where a candidate fails to showcase their strengths, the candidate is probably not the right choice. Studies show that inappropriate hiring is usually a consequence of failed job interviews in almost 80% of the cases. We should learn to pass while remaining open to the next possible “top candidate”.
Interviews can often become a ‘battle of egos’ where candidates want to sell themselves and employers want to be the best workplace. Instead of a mutual bragging party, when candidates show promise they should be invited to elaborate and explain what they can bring to the role.
Cultural fit needs to be considered and technology can be a powerful ally here. There are many tools as well as interview methodologies available to confirm a candidate’s ability to fit in quickly while adjusting to a new workplace.
Another important point to keep in mind is that an employer should always be honest about what’s on the table and what’s being offered. There’s no greater disappointment than a broken promise.
Shanil Kaderali is a strategic talent acquisition leader with global experience. He's managed and led recruitment functions at companies like Cisco Systems, Symantec, WellPoint, as well as having worked for several Baker's Dozen RPO winners.
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