Advice from the Experts: Successful Recruiting Tactics for Any Industry

September 20, 2023  | 

This blog post contains the transcription of a free virtual Lunch & Learn we hosted in September 2023 titled, “Successful Recruiting Tactics for Any Industry.” You can view all of our upcoming webinars here.

Top Hiring and Recruiting Tips

Who Are the Top Experts to Know?

Dan Fantasia has been in the field of sales recruiting since 1997 and founded Treeline in 2001. His exclusive focus on helping companies build world-class, elite sales teams has helped to change the lives of over 3,300 sales professionals. Dan has built a deep knowledge of what it takes to build and grow a top-producing business. As a proven sales leader and innovator, Fantasia has created a positively charged culture that promotes the good in every person, resulting in a team that has developed best-in-practice methodologies and technology that continues to revolutionize the industry.

Reem Papageorgiou is the Chief People Officer at MomUp. Having emigrated from Lebanon at a young age, she learned to navigate the challenges of a new world quickly and her love of the intersection of culture and humanity was born. With her expertise in training and development, Reem spearheads the team that optimizes the process for connecting job seekers to well matched organizations. Her ability to assess and coach individuals is the secret sauce to her success. Reem’s belief in harnessing the strengths and assets of moms led her to co-found MomUp.

Simon Jones is the founder and CEO of Huriot, a startup that makes hiring faster and fairer by getting rid of resumes. Simon has leveraged his extensive public and private sector technology and cybersecurity background to build and grow Huriot. Originally from the UK, Simon has called Massachusetts home for 6 years now.

When Companies Are Struggling to Attract Top Talent, What’s the First Thing They Should Adjust?

The first place to look is within your organization. You never know who your employees might know that could be a great fit for the role and the company. Start there, and then try to think of creative ways besides that traditional LinkedIn post that can help connect you.

Additionally, make sure you have a good understanding of what top talent is and what are the requirements that you consider necessary to hire top talent. The second thing would be to understand if you have the right compensation model that’s competitive enough to hire top talent, and if those are in check — you have the right data, you know exactly what you’re looking for, and you know you’re competitive from a financial standpoint — then the question is, do you have the resources to find the people? Are you bringing top talent to the table?

If you find that you’re not bringing the right people to the table, then the question is, what is your recruitment strategy? Is it an advertisement based strategy based and focused on inbound candidates or is it an outbound strategy? Do you have recruiters in place that are helping you find the talent that you need to be successful? If you’re not driving the traffic and you don’t have the talent needed to be successful, then your strategy should be around some type of outbound process to find the talent you need to be successful.

You might find that it’s with your direct competitors. So the question is, can you get a direct competitor? Can you bring them into the process? And if they enter the interview process, why is it that they’re falling out so you can’t hire them? Is it compensation? Is it something wrong with the positioning of the company?

What is your messaging? Is the process too long? There are just so many things you need to dissect first, one by one, to identify where the weak spots are. And then you can truly focus on finding the right talent for your organization.

Too many organizations use experience as a metric in its own accord, but the number of years doesn’t necessarily mean anything for someone’s experience. We’ve all seen people who have several years of experience in a role but don’t quite have the right skills, and on the opposite end, we’ve seen people who have a small amount of experience but are exceptional in their role.

With that being said, try to understand actually what is an effective measure of performance within your organization. What are the skills? What are the abilities you expect someone to be able to bring? What kind of person are you looking for for that role? It’s really important.

What Should Companies Do If They’re Attracting Candidates, But They’re Not the Right Candidates?

Based on market conditions, different things will happen in your search. Presently, if you’re advertising for a position and you’re not specific around the requirements you’re looking for, you should expect to get a tremendous amount of talent right now.

You’re going to get a ton of applications and a bunch of job seekers that are looking for new opportunities. The challenge is it creates so much noise that it takes a substantial amount of time in human capital to get through that noise to find the talent that you need. You want to reach candidates that meet that exact requirement, and so many times in this market, you just get a huge influx of candidates that think they’re the right fit but may not be.

To start to fix this, tighten up the job description. Then, be honest to the candidates who applied and didn’t get the job, and reply to them. You still have a strong brand that you want to protect and represent, so anyone that applies should get some kind of response. Lastly, focus on outbound activities targeting specific skills that you’re looking for so you can bring the right candidates to your organization.

Along with that, go back to the basics. Who really likes to write that job description and really think through it? It’s torture for so many people, but the job descriptions are often a mismatch. They’re not connecting with the hiring manager who might have changed over the years or really looking at what the company goals are and how that’s going to change that role.

You can go through interviewing and using so much of that energy just to have that mismatch from that basic step. Going through those job descriptions carefully and spending the time up front really pays off later. If you’re finding that there is that disconnect, you’ve got to step backwards and see where you’re missing it.

If Job Descriptions Need to Be Tweaked, What Changes Do You Recommend Employers Make?

Focus on the core competencies of what you want from people, while the skills you want them to have are concrete requirements. Be very explicit and clear about what’s an absolute hard requirement, while also sharing some soft skills that may be applicable. Additionally, think about ideal candidates’ personality traits and what you’re looking for in an employee.

If you’re revisiting or rewriting a job description, pull in whoever is on that team or who that hiring manager is to ensure that the roles align with what they’re looking for and what they need.

If you’re getting too much traffic, tighten up the job description. If you’re getting no traffic, then likely it’s because the job description is just stale and stiff. Think about why people joined your company and use that differentiator within your job descriptions. People care about the work-life balance, the culture, and the environment. If you can add that terminology and content to your job description, you’ll get more people to pay attention.

Be sure to check for language that may be biased or exclusive, too. Get other people from your company or team involved to help you double check the language and ensure that you’re not excluding anyone from applying. Additionally, think about who your ideal candidate is. Someone applying to your company isn’t just going to look at the job description — they’re going to check out the website, go to LinkedIn, and see who works there and what the employees are like. Ensure your company is diverse, and you will attract more talent.

Additionally, check for gendered language and any stereotypes around roles that might be included. Challenge yourself to think about what each role truly needs to look like, and revamp your job descriptions from there.

If Employers Are Unable to Offer A Higher Salary to Compete with Other Companies, What Are Other Perks or Benefits They Could Offer?

Offer at least a hybrid work environment, if not fully remote. COVID changed a lot of things, and now most people aren’t willing to work in an office five days per week. If you offer remote work options, you’ll have a better shot of reducing compensation and hiring equally qualified talent. That’s also a good thing for you because now you’ve just opened up your candidate pool to a huge geography, giving you access to so much more talent.

However, you’ll still want to hold events where people can network and meet people face to face. It’s not just one day per week in the office, it’s actually having a program or a plan for ways to bring that remote workforce together and allow them to socialize, get to know each other, and understand that shared experience.

Salary is huge. People are willing to take a smaller salary if there is that flexibility for other ways of providing benefits, whether it’s a signing bonus stock option, equity, etc. There are millions of programs and organizations dying to offer companies benefits, and every employee wants something different, so that’s hard. What you can create is an a la carte system that might be helpful.

Where Are Places or Avenues Companies Can Look for Candidates?

Work with a recruiter! They’re going to save you time and money, ask the right questions, and see where the gaps are, helping you to put your best foot forward.

Additionally, you can check out Indeed or LinkedIn.

Another thing would be to look at your competition. Find out where your competitors found their team members and how they’re recruiting their staff, and duplicate that same effort.

As We Get Ready for Q4 and the Start of 2024, What Are Some Final Recruiting Tips?

Again, hire a recruiter! Additionally, look at what your goals and strategies are, and come together as a team. What’s the budget that you have? What are you looking to do? Are you looking to create new roles or improve roles you have?

Although the start of a new year may seem really far aways, it’s not. We lose a lot of time due to the holidays, so if you have a goal to build your team by the start of 2024, it’s crucial to begin working towards that now.

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