Winning Top Talent – 4 Keys to Success from the Experts

Published:06/25/2017 | Posted by

In today’s competitive job market, simply offering someone a job hardly guarantees that the person will take it.  A company needs to inspire prospective candidates from the initial interaction all the way through the offer. This is necessary for all employers because candidates with high demand skillsets are typically deciding between competitive offers. It is not uncommon for even great companies to have an attractive opportunity turned down multiple times, which ultimately costs the company both time and money.

Given these realities, we have created the following keys to success from the experts at StevenDouglas:

Have a Solid Game Plan

It is important to develop a solid strategy when kicking off a search process for an important hire.  If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.  First and foremost, you need to make sure that there is internal alignment on the position: reporting structure, title, responsibilities, experience required, which internal employees will be part of the interview and hiring process, and the potential growth path of the role.

We highly recommend that you invest the time to develop a well-thought-out job description and have it reviewed by all stakeholders to assure that they are in agreement.   This document will help alleviate miscommunication with candidates on expectations and also serves as an excellent source of accountability once they are on your team.

Diligence and Market Alignment

Employers often miss out on top talent by simply not understanding current market factors.   Once the hiring team has achieved alignment on the role, it is important to make sure that your company is in line with the market and that you have budgeted the appropriate compensation package.  You can save yourself a great deal of time by knowing what it is going to take to attract top talent and focus your process on candidates you can afford.   Great candidates want great offers.  The surest way to have an offer turned down is to low-ball the candidate with a below market offer.

Run an Inspiring Interview Process

Everyone can agree that the interview process is designed to determine whether a candidate is qualified to do the job and whether they have the DNA to be successful with the company.  What employers sometimes lose sight of is the chance to leverage the process to inspire the prospect about the company, culture, and opportunity.  Candidates enter into an interview knowing that they only have one chance to make a good first impression. Likewise, companies also only have one chance to make a good first impression.  Treating candidates unprofessionally by leaving them waiting in the lobby for 45 minutes, not showing up for a phone interview, or rescheduling several times will all leave a poor impression.  A company can also leave the potential new hire uninspired if they have the wrong people on their interview team.  Interviewers should not only have questions for the candidate, but they should also leave time to sell the company and opportunity.  Your interview team should be enthusiastic and able to communicate what a great organization this is to work for.  The interview process is a two-way street and you want a candidate to get in the car after the interview and feel excited.  Even if you do not pursue them, treat them with respect and make sure someone closes the loop with them by thanking them for their investment of time.  If you do all these things, you will have made a fan in the local market that will have great things to say about the company.

Act with Urgency

There’s a saying in our firm and in business that “time kills all deals”.  If a candidate is interviewing with your organization, they are likely interviewing with others and the best candidates are getting multiple offers simultaneously.  It’s important to capitalize on the momentum created during the interview process and a decisive job offer is the best indicator of how committed you are to have this person join the team.  If you wait too long, you run the risk of losing the candidate to another company.  If you know what you are looking for and you find that person, act with urgency, make a great offer, and close the deal!

Hopefully you are already utilizing these strategies in your search for talent, and if not, we hope these keys to success are useful for you moving forward.

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