For better results in 2011

Happy 2011!  The landscape this year is certainly different than a year ago.  Companies are making plans to hire – after taking a couple of years off for obvious reasons.  The Colorado unemployment rate is going down and the attitude is hopeful.  As you set out to begin hiring again there are some activities that you should consider in order to make yourself visible – and attractive – in the new employment market.

1. Calculate your cost of hire. Whether you are a Human Resources professional or a hiring manager take time to calculate your direct cost of hire.  Did you spend thousands of dollars on job board last year to net 1-2 hires?  Did you burn precious time interviewing unqualified candidates?  Did you spend more time responding to third-party recruiter calls than talking to candidates?  Time to take a hard look at where your best people come from and retool your approach accordingly.

2. Begin a dialogue with future talent.  There is a huge movement underway with leading companies to build a talent pipeline.  This means that when you identify someone who is potentially a good fit for your organization you engage them in a regular dialogue.  Invite them to ‘friend’ you on your company’s Facebook page, follow you on Linked In or subscribe to your blog.  Talk to them – send regular communications out about your growth plans, public accolades (press releases) and company happenings.  This is an indirect method of attracting people to you – maybe they aren’t ready to make a move yet, but with a little courtship, that might change in a month.

3. SEO your career page.  From a candidate’s perspective, it’s very frustrating to find openings on a job board for your company, but not find the same information on your career page.  Accuracy is very important – if the position is open, get it up – when it’s filled remove it from your site.  Also, work with your website administrator to make sure your career page is indexed.  Candidates who are interested in your company would prefer to apply to you directly rather than trust job board software.

4. Re-tool your referral Program.  Pull out all the stops with your internal employees – “great people hang out with other great people.”  Reward your unofficial recruiting sources (current employees) with a bonus – yes, real money – to encourage their participation.  Would you rather pay a recruiting fee to an outsider – or a bonus to your own people?

5. Monitor your “Social” Employment Brand. The ‘word on the street’ is infinitely more powerful than it has ever been in the employment market.  Serious professionals are very sensitive to the reputation of the company(s) they pursue.  As a result, if your reputation as an employer is less than stellar, you simply won’t have access to those Rock Stars you are looking for if your employer brand lacks a shiny luster.  Pay attention to what’s being said about you and your company – and take it to heart – your prospective employees are.

The hiring climate is changing and so is the way you will find, attract and hire in the future.  By thinking like a candidate and forming a relationship with your future hires early, you will gain access to a strong list of potential hires – ready to hear from you when you need them.  Happy Hiring!

For more information on hiring great talent – and getting hired – visit us here.