Quit hiring like it's 1999!

Written on Aug 27, 2015. Appears courtesy of The Ohio Society of CPAs
By Dave Hickman, founder and president, Avancos Global

In 1999 there was both great anticipation of moving into a new millennium and great fear of how a computer glitch could potentially shut down all our computers and take us back to the Stone Age. It is both scary and exciting to think about the changes coming in the years ahead.

Change continues to be our biggest challenge.

In helping companies improve hiring outcomes, we work with people at multiple levels who have a range of opinions on how hiring should be done. Those views are formed and ingrained as fact based on their past history and experiences, which brings up an interesting observation: we notice the majority of people understand how recruiting has changed and evolved, but they still hire with the same tools, processes and strategies as they did 10-15 years ago, resulting in bad hires. As many studies have calculated, when a bad hire costs an organization two-and-a-half to three times their salary over one year with very little results, not a lot of companies can afford such inefficiencies.

I can imagine you know people inside your company that still think talent is easy to find and that resumes come from newspaper ads, job boards and headhunters. They think the candidates should be grateful for the interview and therefore, the onus is on the candidate and not on the organization to build a long-term relationship.
But before you judge, check yourself. You might not be checking the mail every week, but are you still running a post and pray strategy, or thinking LinkedIn is the end-all-be-all, or relying on headhunters to work their “special top secret network” to get you candidates? If you answered yes to at least two of these, then you are at risk of falling behind your competitors, who are becoming more proactive to win over the same talent you need now and WILL need in the future.

I get it. It’s easy to get comfortable, and to be fair, resources provided to Talent Acquisition teams have been lean since 2008, leaving hiring managers and Talent Acquisition departments to do the best they can with limited resources. Outcomes suffer and business growth suffers. Overworked, under-resourced and under-utilized have been the symptoms of the Great Recession.

So what can you do bring change and improvement to your organization?

Here’s some advice:
1. Build a modern strategy. This starts with Talent Demand Planning, which ultimately maps out your current organization (roles) and projects what the future organization will look like. There are of course trigger points that impact your future needs, such as attrition, growth or lack thereof and M&A. But in any case, planning around the future is more proactive in aligning resources to the business. Once established, it boils down to the best strategy, processes, people and tools needed to identify, qualify and attract talent.

2. Think marketing and communications to connect. Hiring has always been about communication, and in today’s competitive talent marketplace, it’s imperative to be a positive voice to your future employees. By starting with data that captures your entire talent pool, you can build a target market for ongoing communications and connections. Use the data captured in Talent Intelligence to connect with news about your organization that would appeal to the target audience. This turns reactive hiring into proactive recruiting (Talent Pipelining) and provides a competitive advantage for attracting talent.

3. Process. Process. Process. Process in identifying, qualifying and attracting talent is most critical. From talent planning to onboarding, a process needs to be clearly defined on who does what, by when, with defined success points as milestones. Make clear how the process works and how long it will take in each of these stages, along with contingency plans to your original strategy (i.e.: headhunters, employee referrals, or other tools) just in case market conditions dictate a more aggressive approach.

Changing behavior is one of the most difficult challenges for leaders in talent acquisition. It takes a well thought out plan and the courage to tackle issues that have been in place for a long period of time. In the end, bringing quality improvements to your program will win better talent and add true business value.

Dave Hickman is a founder and president of Avancos Global. With more than 16 years of providing leading edge workforce solutions for global companies, his passion to learn has become an obsession to create talent management solutions that matter.

Get to know Dave in this video and stayed tuned to OSCPA news for future posts on talent management topics.

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