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How to Attract Top Talent

April 18, 2011

Saloni Palombizio
Executive Recruiter
Creative Financial Staffing - An Affiliate of BlumShapiro

The war for talent is back on! As we progress through 2011, we are seeing companies compete for top talent. This article sheds some light on how to attract top talent to your organization.

We are at a turning point in the market where good talent is quickly being recruited. To remain ahead of the curve, it is crucial to manage the interview process effectively, including keeping a reasonable timeline between the first interview and an offer. Top candidates are receiving multiple interviews and multiple job offers. In order to compete for top talent, review your current internal recruiting processes:

  • Are your job descriptions clearly defined?
  • Are your employees engaged in networking groups and social media such as LinkedIn?
  • Is your interview process effective and timely?
  • Are you selling your company and opportunity?

Attracting top talent typically starts off by being able to clearly and concisely define the role your company is looking to fill. To ensure this, it is vital to have enough input from the hiring managers on the position and the key responsibilities of the role. As a recruiter, I typically ask my clients to define the top 3 functional tasks of the position, the must haves, educational requirements and experience.

It is also important to understand what you are looking to get out of a new role. For instance, an accountant would be able to handle the major tasks in any organization. But go one step further. Is your company looking to implement a new system? Would it be more valuable to target an accountant with experience in systems implementation versus one who does not have that experience? On the other hand, know where your flexibilities are. Is it really important for the candidate to hit the mark on all the points on your wish list or are there areas of compromise?

Once you have identified the role, how do you go about maximizing your efforts to reach the top source of candidates? You can place an ad on a job board, leverage your employees by giving them incentives to refer candidates and reach out to people you know for referrals ─ but are you really reaching top talent? Most of these candidates are not in the marketplace actively looking. They may be passive seekers or not seekers at all. Recruiting the top talent comes from the ability to effectively network with professionals. LinkedIn has become a very powerful business networking site. There are hundreds of thousands of online groups on LinkedIn where you can advertise your opportunity as well as gather names of potential recruits.

Professional networking organizations are also a vehicle for recruiting talent. For example, if you are in the financial/accounting industry, encourage your current employees to join organizations such as the CSCPA, IMA, FEI, FENG, IIA. You can also utilize a professional recruiting firm to identify candidates.  In choosing the best search firm for your hiring need, find out what their area of expertise is. This is has proven to be an effective way to tap into a market of top talented professionals who are not necessarily looking to make a change.

The interview itself is a highly overlooked part of the recruiting process. The interview process needs to begin with doing some homework ahead of time. What about this candidate did you like in the first place to invite them in for an interview? On what areas of this person's background would you need more clarification? Assess current skills as well as the future potential of the candidate. As the interview is winding down, if you determine that the interviewee is someone you feel to be a potential match, remember to sell your company! The interviewee is interviewing your company just as you are interviewing them. What about your company and the role itself would attract this person to accept an offer at the end of the day? How does your company compare in compensation/benefits to your competitors? What are some additional benefits that your company provides? For more information on interviewing, see CFS' Client Interviewing Guidefor Tips and Techniques for proper assessment of new hires.

 

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