By Leah Macdonald, Corporate Recruiter @ Winter, Wyman
How to recruit the right talent – it is an age-old question for small firms, who need to find the right fit fast. The challenges that face companies hiring right now are vast in scope – I know, I work at a 150+ person firm and specialize in recruiting recruiters and sales professionals – very difficult talent to attract, retain and help thrive in depressed economies like we just experienced.
Here are some basic steps to ensure a solid process that will leave candidates and hiring managers with a positive experience:
- Create a value proposition for your firm: You should pick the top two or three competitive advantages your firm can offer a new employee and incorporate that message into every email or phone call that you place. Some traditional areas are: company’s tenure, compensation or market position. Think of those specific facts and emphasize them when you are talking to candidates. You want to make sure you understand them, and what they are looking for when you engage them.
- Be accessible: It is a simple fact but as an HR representative or recruiter it is our job to make sure the candidate experience is strong. Highlight your contact information on your careers webpage; be the face of your company. Time is always an issue, but taking a few minutes to answer questions and follow up with candidates can only help your reputation in the long run as a firm that cares about the experience.
- Set guidelines for the hiring process: Before a candidate is even on the phone or in the office for an interview, you should know how many interview rounds you will have and what the candidate will experience. Meet with your hiring team and discuss how the interview is going to progress. Before a job is posted you should have a clear hiring profile that will fit your company. If you haven’t implemented behavioral or situational interviewing, you should! Having a candidate talk about previous experiences can only help understand how they might react to a similar situation at your firm. Pick four or five areas that are essential for success and create questions specifically to draw out anecdotes and experiences. Most importantly – train your hiring team to probe and understand why these questions are being asked and how to engage further into a comprehensive answer.
- Network: The landscape for recruiting is changing fast. So many people are on social networking sites that it is a gold mine for talent. Follow companies on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook that are similar to yours to find out what they are doing and what kind of talent they are hiring. If you have a good candidate but don’t have a job for them at this time, connect with them on LinkedIn, tell them why they are not a match and ask for referrals. Also, put a solid internal referral program in place and post the policy clearly for all to see around the office and on your intranet. These are small steps, but who wouldn’t want a little extra cash for bringing in new talent?
These are four basic steps to help small firms succeed at hiring. Remember, one of the biggest advantages for a smaller company is the fact that we’re more nimble and can keep track of what is going on inside and outside our walls easier than the larger firms who may specialize in our space. The younger generation is all about access and connecting, use the size of your firm to your advantage!
Winter, Wyman, an industry leader for more than 35 years, is one of the largest and most recognized staffing firms in the Northeast. We currently service the New England and Metropolitan New York job markets with national technology contracting capabilities.
Leah has been a recruiter for seven years with experience in Corporate and Agency. For the past year and a half I have worked as the sole recruiter for Winter, Wyman focused on hiring Account Managers, Staffing Managers and Consultants.