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“I noticed that the dynamic range between what an average person could accomplish and what the best person could accomplish was 50 or 100 to 1. Given that, you’re well advised to go after the cream of the cream. A small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players.”

Steve Jobs

We all want A+ talent, but if you’ve ever had to hire the right person for a job, you know how difficult it can be. Recruiting, hiring, and retaining top talent is probably the most challenging aspect of building a successful organization. And while a low unemployment rate (currently at 3.9%) is something to celebrate, it increases the already fierce competition to find and keep the best workers.

Additionally, most employees (51% according to a Gallup poll) are looking to leave their jobs. With employee turnover so high, it’s important to know how to recruit and hire top talent in a short amount of time. Luckily, since most employees are looking for opportunities elsewhere, there’s a larger pool of talent to choose from than you might think. Unfortunately, it also means that a fair share of your team is looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Although difficult, recruiting and hiring talented people is the smartest business decision you can make. You can have the best product, strategies and services, but at the end of the day, everything depends on the people. Don’t underestimate the power of recruiting (and retaining) the best of the best.

Hiring and retaining top talent go hand-in-hand. These tips for recruiting and hiring top talent will also help you retain the great employees you already have.

1. Look Over That Job Description Again

You need a job description… duh. But before you start posting it on LinkedIn, Indeed, job boards, and other recruiting sites, take another look. Your job description shouldn’t look like everyone else’s.

It needs to stand out and spark the excitement to apply. Treat job descriptions as little pieces of marketing—it’s one of the best forms of free publicity. The more specific and tailored the job description, the better.

Here are some tips for writing a great job description to recruit top talent:

  • Start with the basics:
    • introduction to the organization
    • job title
    • job duties
    • required/preferred experience
    • required/preferred skills
    • who the position reports to and oversees
    • work hours, availability, and travel required by the position
    • employee benefits
  • You may also want to:
    • describe workplace and company culture
    • list salary range, pay grade, and employee benefits
    • pitch why someone should apply
    • emphasize pathways of learning and development
  • Consider making the job description remarkable by using infographics, video, and audio messages, but the main goal should be honesty and precision.
  • Make sure your messaging fits the company culture.
  • Avoid buzzwords, acronyms, and jargon.
  • Research other job descriptions for a similar role. Review existing job descriptions for ideas of what to do and what not to do.

Usually, the best person to write the job description is the incumbent employee. Make sure you ask the person with first-hand knowledge of the job for assistance writing the job description. If the job is new, the immediate manager should assist. Get a copywriter to edit the document and make it more enticing. A human resources team member should also be involved.

A well-written job description highlights what a new hire will do, what priorities are involved, and how they will grow and make an impact. Make them excited about working for your organization. Not only will a good job description help you attract the right people, it also serves as a useful tool for evaluating on-the-job performance and resolving disputes later.

2. Offer Desirable Employee Perks and Benefits 

The term employee value proposition (EVP) refers to everything an employee receives for what they give. Employees give their time, effort, ideas, experience, and more. What do they get in return?

By improving your EVP and choosing the right benefits package for your business, you will greatly improve your ability to attract and retain talent. Unfortunately, many organizations fear the high cost, time, and knowledge involved in selecting an employee benefits package.

That’s where a highly experienced Professional Employer Organization (PEO) comes in. PEOs like Resourcing Edge can help you save money on benefits packages by using their purchasing power in negotiations. Use a PEO to get better deals on benefits and insurance coverage.

Resourcing Edge has extensive experience designing benefits programs that include:

  • Medical insurance plans
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Life insurance
  • Long term/short term disability
  • Voluntary worksite programs
  • Wellness programs
  • 401(k)
  • Health savings accounts
  • Flexible spending accounts

Employees are looking for fair compensation for their hard work and talent. And although wages are probably the first consideration, don’t forget about the power of health insurance, retirement plans, and other perks and benefits.

In addition to employee benefits packages, you can improve your EVP with other tangible and intangible rewards, such as:

  • Friendly and effective leaders and managers
  • Opportunities for advancement and career progression
  • Learning programs, development, and training
  • Contributions to society and community
  • Non-financial forms of recognition
  • Empowering employees to transform themselves (lunch and learn sessions, office hours, mentorship program, internal marketing, etc.)

If you focus on creating great leaders, great rewards, and a great company and culture, you should have no problem attracting and retaining top talent.

3. Use Social Media

Posting your job opening on Indeed, Monster, or Glassdoor will find you staff, but top talent may not be scouring job sites. Job sites are usually for the unemployed, disengaged, or those anticipating getting fired.

Go where the talent is! In order to attract top talent to your team, you may have to “steal” them. With granular targeting options, you can get your job opening in front of the right people on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites. Social media is a great place to start a conversation with top talent.

4. Hire from Within

If possible, fill the open position with a talented employee from within your organization. With internal promoting, you will improve retention and demonstrate to others that hard work pays off. Nobody wants to feel stuck in the same position their whole life. Empower your team to learn and grow. Promotion is probably the best way to improve retention.

At the same time, don’t try to force a square peg into a round hole. If you can’t find the right fit in-house, start looking for outside talent.

5. Get Honest Feedback from Employees

It’s hard to get someone’s genuine feedback, especially from employees, but with a few tips and tricks, you can use honest employee feedback to help recruit and retain top talent.

  • Make the questionnaire or survey completely anonymous.
  • Organize one-on-one and small group leadership lunches.
  • Establish trust and implement suggested improvements (that make sense).
  • Show genuine interest in employees’ opinions.
  • Pay attention to non-verbal communication and ask questions to understand it.
  • Avoid defensiveness and own your mistakes.

Here are four suggested questions a manager may want to ask in their face-to-face meetings:

  • What do you need more of from me?
  • What do you need less of from me?
  • What do you want from me that you’re not getting?
  • What do you need to reach your goal?

And don’t forget about employee exit interviews/surveys. Exit interviews are a useful way to know if there are any underlying issues at play. For the best feedback, make sure the exit interview is conducted by HR versus a manager, supervisor, or boss.

If you need help developing employee surveys or questionnaires, don’t hesitate to contact Resourcing Edge.

6. The Interview Process

Receiving an application doesn’t mean that the candidate will automatically take the job. They are screening you just as much as you are screening them. If the interview doesn’t go well, don’t be surprised if you never hear from that talented candidate again. They will simply move on to greener pastures. You also have to sell yourself!

Employee interviews are a difficult process, but absolutely necessary. Make sure you tailor your interview for each open position. Here are some sample interview questions and creative screening methods you may want to use.

And remember, you should be looking for emotional intelligence along with their intellectual capability. If they made it to the interview stage, they should all be competent. During the interview you’re going beyond competence and looking for someone who can comfortably fit into your organization. That means paying attention to cognitive and social abilities, intellectual curiosity, and both verbal and nonverbal communication.

Don’t despair if none of the candidates prove to be a good fit. It’s much better to wait and find the best candidate rather than settle because you just want the process over with. And if a candidate proves to be a good fit, but not quite suitable for the specific position, consider hiring them for another position that best utilizes their strengths.

To prevent any legal issues, make sure you avoid these topics during the interview. For help with developing a legal interview questionnaire, contact Resourcing Edge.

What Does Your Gut Say?

“Recruiting is hard. It’s just finding the needles in the haystack. You can’t know enough in a one-hour interview. So, in the end, it’s ultimately based on your gut. How do I feel about this person? What are they like when they’re challenged? I ask everybody that: “Why are you here?” The answers themselves are not what you’re looking for. It’s the meta-data.” 

Steve Jobs

Go with your gut.

Prevent Top Talent Turnover

“If you pick the right people and give them the opportunity to spread their wings and put compensation as a carrier behind it, you almost don’t have to manage them.”

Jack Welch

Losing top talent is expensive. If your organization is experiencing high turnover, it’s a good idea to investigate the problem and heal the wound instead of constantly adding fresh blood. The first place to check is the immediate manager. A recent Gallup poll found that one out of every two employees left their job “to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.”

Training can help, but many times, the best solution to a management problem is to find and hire the right person. If someone needs to be tightly managed, you’ve probably made a hiring mistake. The best people need guidance and leadership, not micromanagement.

By investigating and solving the problem of employee turnover, not only will you be able to retain employees, you’ll also be creating an environment for all employees, new and old, to feel motivated and comfortable. We’ve seen too many businesses fail because of bad hiring decisions.

Choosing the Right People

Recruiting and hiring may be the most important thing you do. You have to write a great job posting, pay for recruitment services, sift through hundreds of resumes, select the best candidates, schedule hour-long interviews, and just hope that the candidate you choose will be able and eager to start work. This can be extremely costly and time-consuming.

Although we could never take care of the entire recruiting and hiring process (and you wouldn’t want us to), we do have some useful tools that can help.

In addition to one-on-one consulting about job descriptions, employee handbooks, benefits packages, employee surveys, orientation programs, and other important HR-related hiring responsibilities, we also offer the following automated applicant services:

  • Sales Teams
  • Administrative Services
  • Management Roles
  • Leadership Roles
  • Customer Care
  • Personal Orientation

Build a better business. Contact Resourcing Edge to help recruit, hire, and retain top talent.

Shellie Rich

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