Face it—It's hard to find great talent. But, it is out there though. You just have to know where to look, what to look for, and how to capture their attention. Like everything else, you just need to have a plan and execute it. There are five key elements to recruiting your next superstar:
- Know What You Want. The first step is to evaluate your current team. What personalities currently exist? What positions do you currently have filled? Could any of these people have potential to be a candidate for the role you are looking for? In many instances, the best person for the job you want to fill might be someone else already in your office. The second part of this discussion is do you know exactly what you are looking for? Define and document the job description for this position. You will also want to define personality characteristics and job skills that you are looking for prior to starting the process. What values or work ethic are necessary to be successful in the position you are hiring for. Write them down. These items will be the foundation for staying non-emotional later on in the hiring process.
- Know Where to Look. If you know what you are looking for then you have taken a large step towards knowing where to look. Some of my favorite places are churches and banks for receptionist positions. Most of any of these positions require short interactions with consumers, deal with money, and have passed general background checks. For retail, I like high-end restaurant wait staff, jewelry stores, and fashion consultants or personal shoppers at clothing stores. These people already “get” fashion and the consumer-driven sales process. As you will notice, nowhere did I say newspaper or job boards. I personally like to recruit people who already have a job. Personal networking or even networking through social media venues like Linked In can also be great ways to turn up “potential candidates.”
- Know What to Say. Many times the most difficult part of the recruitment process is approaching a potential staff recruit. This too takes a little preparation. For those that you want to approach in person, write your cell phone number and a brief description of the position that are recruiting for on the back of one of your business cards. Put it in your wallet, purse, or even pocket. Its presence will be a constant reminder that you will keep attentive to potential people that you can recruit. Second, think about what your script will be and write it out. It has to contain all the necessary information and be deliverable in 60 seconds or less. Remember that this recruitment process is actually more about selling your business and this position to them so they will think about the position and take the next steps to be part of your team. Your script should encourage follow-up and leave the next step in the process up to them. It might sounds something like this, “Excuse me, my name is Dr. XXX. I just wanted to let you know that I am impressed with your communication skills, personality, and ability to interact with your consumers. I run an eye care practice and we are looking to recruit people just like you to join our awesome team. No pressure but if you would like to learn a little more about this position please contact me. Here is my business card with my cell number and a brief discussion of the position. I hope to hear from you.” For those positions where you are networking and recruiting someone from afar, it is important to think about what will attract them. What are they looking for in a new position or a new company? By emphasizing what your company values, you stand a much better chance of aligning your goals with theirs.
- Know the Process, Avoid the Common Mistakes. When the person does contact you, you need to be able to communicate the rest of the process quickly. The candidate may be truly interested or just intrigued enough to learn more information. Either way, they are interested enough to contact you. You need to have an application, full job description, as well as a summary of the practice and the team members, the benefits of working there and the next steps in the process ready to be delivered in multiple formats (print, e-mail, etc.) Please avoid one of the biggest mistakes though. Don’t make the application process too easy. This is the stage where you find out which candidates are really interested, do their homework and are persistent and those that are just looking for a quick process. Make the application long and thorough. Math tests, personality tests, ethical essay questions, and scenario-based questions can all help weed out who is NOT a good fit. The “not really interested” will not continue the process and weed themselves out. The next mistake to avoid is believing that the interview process is the best recruitment tool. Most people that make it to the interview are at their best. I suggest multiple interviews with multiple people and even a working interview to make sure that the candidate’s skills represent what was on paper and that there are no major personality issues. Everyone can make themselves look good on paper or once in person. Doing it consistently and with multiple personality types, interviewing is much more challenging.
- Follow-Up. One of the biggest mistakes that people make is the lack of follow-up. This is an art form for sure. You want to promptly communicate with potential applicants after they have stepped out and communicated with you. Typically your goal is to follow-up within 24 hours with the information I provided above. Give them time to read your materials and contemplate their interest. Give them 3-5 business days. Interested candidates will generally reply within that time period. At that point, follow-up once to express your interest in them continuing the recruitment process and let them know that if they have any questions to be sure to contact you through the phone number or email that you left at the first visit.
What do you have to lose? Nothing. You have everything to gain including a great new staff member that will fill the position that you are hoping for.
We hope that you have found this blog useful. Pass it on to your team or your colleagues.