It’s an idea that seems positively ancient by now, but there was a time not so long ago when companies knew exactly what they were looking for in potential employees. In terms of training, knowledge, and expertise, it was a straightforward question of pedigree and ‘can they do a, b, and c. It was much of the same with personal qualities and work habits as well. The whole process was little more than checking qualifications off a list..
Needless to say, it’s different now. What your company needs is constantly changing, sometimes from quarter to quarter. If you’re going to keep up, it’s imperative that you update your list of must-have qualities regularly. This post will help you do just that. In it, you’ll discover what skills are currently most in demand and how to spot them in potential employees.
In the following sections, we use the now standard practice of dividing the most coveted employee attributes into two broad categories. These categories are 1)the set of ‘hard skills’ that typically involve advanced training and technical expertise in areas that are directly applicable to a specific job, and 2)the so-called ‘soft skills’ that are more personal in nature and allow employees who possess them to work more productively with others across a wide spectrum of circumstances and environments.
Here are the most sought-after skills among candidates today:
The Most In Demand Hard Skills
- Advanced information technology Information is no longer the ‘new currency.’ Rather, it seems to be permanently enshrined at the top of our commerce pantheon, making skills in Big Data, NoSQL, and HTML5 some of the most sought after in the corporate world.
- User Interface Design. Mining and organizing all this Big Data is futile if it can’t be presented to consumers in a way that’s simple and attractive enough to generate a profit. That means employees with advanced UID skills will become increasingly valuable.
- Digital Marketing Analytics. The commercial universe is metric-driven now and that’s not going away. Unfortunately for some businesses — some of whom could deliver sparkling products to millions — this universe is also bloated with competition and buried links. Candidates with high end digital analytic skills can deliver your marketing message to the right consumers, so scoop them up as quickly as you can.
Sighting hard skills in potential employees is a fairly straightforward process. Candidates either possess these skills or they don’t. You can start assessing a candidate’s hard skills by looking for applicable certifications, training, and experience. It’s also important to involve the right management team members in the interview and selection process. In house managers who possess advanced knowledge of the relevant skills are in the best position to review a candidate’s portfolio, speak with their references, and pose the right questions during the interview process.
The Soft Skills You Should Be Looking For
There was a time when you could refer vaguely to a set of attributes called ‘soft skills’ and people would know you were talking about someone who ‘communicated well’ or ‘worked well with others.’ Unfortunately, those days are gone. Soft skills have become so crucial to a company’s success that you have to be much more specific about which ‘soft skills’ you mean.
There are literally hundreds of soft skills a candidate might possess, but a few stand out as the most fundamental. Among these few are collaborative skills, the ability and willingness to delegate efficiently, and emotional intelligence. As you’ve probably noticed, these three skills are intimately related — each one of them is interdependent on the others and the attributes most likely to foster creativity, innovation, and meaningful teamwork.
Because they are more subjective than hard skills, sighting these qualities in potential employees can be tricky. The best methodology includes asking for detailed accounts of projects they’ve managed, probing questions about their crisis management techniques, and spending enough time with the candidate to assess their level of skills in these areas properly.
Does your new candidate want the position, or do they really want the position? Here are a few ways you can tell the difference between someone who’s passionate about advancing their career with your company and someone who’s just looking for a paycheck.
They’ve Done Their Research
When a candidate shows up to an interview and takes the time to discuss the more interesting points of your company’s history, its corporate culture, the recent accolades the company or its employees have won, or any other major new developments in the company or the business sector it deals with, it’s obvious that the candidate is passionate enough about the position to do his or her homework.
This demonstrates not just an attention to detail but also the ability to learn, follow through, and adapt a plan during an application process. These are all excellent skills for a candidate to have, no matter the position for which they’re interviewing.
They Don’t Rely On Spell-Check
First impressions are everything, and in many cases that starts with the cover letter and resume. It’s not hard to proofread a document by hand instead of just trusting that spell-check is going to catch any errors, but it does take time. A candidate willing to take this time – even for such a simple yet important task – shows an interviewer that he or she is dedicated to getting things right the first time; that’s the kind of attribute you want in a candidate.
Too many candidates rely on the built-in spell-check in their word processor of choice, but its limitations mean it can’t – and won’t – catch lots of different types of errors. If these errors surface in a cover letter, a CV, an application, or any other type of correspondence, it’s an ironclad guarantee that the candidate’s chances of landing the position are close to zero. On the other hand, any candidate that knows enough about the English language to not confuse “your” with “you’re” or “lose” with “loose” is, by default, placed head-and-shoulders above the rest.
An error-free first impression signals a high attention to detail in their work ethic and signals how seriously they are taking the opportunity with your company.
They Show Up On Time – Or Early
Showing up on time is, again, one of those things that should be a no-brainer. A candidate who shows up early to an interview is one that takes the opportunity seriously. It’s also a candidate who planned ahead enough to know how to get to the interview location beforehand. Despite this, many candidates don’t show up on time for their own interview.
Beyond the demonstration of foresight, a candidate that shows up early to an interview shows that the candidate values the time an interviewer is setting aside for the opportunity to get his or her foot in the door. It showcases the ability of the candidate to think beyond their own needs and desires and how their actions affect those around them.
They Come Prepared With Ideas on How They Can Add Value to Your Business
Everyone is in sales these days and landing a job is no different. If your candidate comes to the interview prepared to speak specifically to how they will contribute to your company, you know this is someone who wants the position. It not only demonstrates enthusiasm for the position, but it shows that they have a firm gasp of your company’s needs and the role you’re looking to fill.
Knowing what someone did for another company is good for establishing experience and credibility. But when a candidate can help a hiring manager envision them in the role within your company, you know they are ready to accept your job offer.
It’s really not hard to tell whether any given candidate is truly passionate about the position they’re seeking. Anyone can put in just a minimal effort to accomplish things like being early to an interview, proofreading their résumé, or spending half an hour looking up a company on Google; the difference is that not everyone does.
Finding a candidate that’s serious enough to take these simple but important steps is a surefire sign that they’re more than just mildly interested in the position. All these actions demonstrate the qualities of a good employee – being conscious of others around them, knowing the importance of professional presentation, and being willing to put in extra effort without being prompted – and it’s these telltale signs that help identify who’s going to be your company’s new blood – and keep you from hiring the next dud.
It’s not all Casual Fridays and Taco Tuesdays; some companies have gone above and beyond when it comes to providing perks to their employees. Here are some of the coolest, best, and most useful that we’d like to see show up in more companies.
Let’s face it: the type of maternity and paternity leave mandated by law in the US comes in two flavors – awful and non-existent. That’s why it’s so cool to see companies going above and beyond when it comes to letting you take care of your family.
Audio streaming company Spotify loves its parent employees, and it shows. The company provides six months of paid parental leave, and then an additional month of flexible work options for parents returning to their positions. The company even covers the costs of fertility assistance and egg freezing!
Meanwhile, video streaming juggernaut Netflix didn’t want to be left out. While there’s no ancillary support for parents returning to work, Netflix provides a whole 12 months of paid parental leave. How’s that for cool?
Facebook might not have much in the way of paid parental leave, but the company does provide $4,000 of what it calls “baby cash” to new parents. Four grand pays for a lot of diapers and baby formula, and even a little bit left over for a babysitter once and a while. And real estate website giant Zillow foots the bill for any nursing mothers that need to overnight breast milk. Every little bit helps for new parents.
Rest and Relaxation
Studies show that employees who feel rested and relaxed at work are happier and more productive – and smart companies have taken that to heart. This often takes the form of additional PTO. Outdoor clothing company REI provides two days a year where it encourages its employees to get out in the sunshine.
Some R&R perks are more comprehensive, like the $2,000 stipend that Airbnb gives its employees to stay at any of the company’s rentals around the world. The paid four-week sabbatical that healthcare software company Epic Systems offers veteran employees, solely to explore creative talents and hobbies, also comes to mind as an impressive use of time.
Of course, you don’t have to kick your employees out of the office for them to be relaxed at work. Plenty of companies have expansive break rooms with ping-pong tables and well-stocked drink coolers, but it takes a bit more to stand out nowadays. An example of this is microblogging heavyweight Twitter, which has built a reputation on in-office perks like three catered meals a day and for providing regular improv classes and even acupuncture sessions for harried employees.
Finally, companies can hit two birds with one stone by providing PTO to employees who want to volunteer their time to charities. Salesforce offers six days a year to any of its civic-minded workers, even offering an additional $1,000 for the employee to donate to a charity of his or her choice. Businesses can tout not just how socially conscious they are but their employees are, too, leaving everybody with the warm fuzzies.
It takes more than a modicum of effort nowadays to be thought of as a company that provides the coolest perks to its employees. We’re hoping that perks we’ve found in some of the most cutting-edge companies of today – extended support for families, better quality of life for workers on the job and off, and a move towards more socially conscious, community-minded activities – will become much more common as time goes by.
As part of a management team, it’s your job to prepare your staff for any eventuality. This post is designed to assist you with one of the most difficult of these eventualities– the reality of a merger or acquisition happening to your company. Although it can be a challenging task, there are proven ways to navigate the difficult transition involved in a merger and acquisition scenario.
Mergers and acquisitions have been part of corporate culture for decades, but that doesn’t make them any easier for people to handle when they actually happen. Your staff will almost certainly react very strongly once the news of the merger or acquisition breaks. Here are a few of the best ways to prepare your people for a merger and acquisition.
First, here are 5 general guidelines for helping your staff during the merger and acquisition process:
- Expect emotional reactions and be prepared to listen patiently to everyone’s concerns.
- Except a lot of resistance, especially to anything that seems vastly different than what your people are used to.
- Stay as positive and reassuring as you can realistically be.
- Focus on the short and long term future by describing the roadmap management has drawn for your staff’s individual and group success.
- Be transparent and fair when it comes to establishing criteria and deciding on any cuts or promotions.
Open Communication– The Message and How To Deliver It
Good communication becomes vital the moment that the merger or acquisition becomes a certainty. Rumors about lost jobs, demotions, and a host of other sweeping changes will start to fly immediately, so get out in front of any false information by communicating as openly as honestly as you can.
Remember that you’re delivering an important and sometimes frightening message when a merger or acquisition starts happening. That means you’ll have to manage this message well, both its content and the way it’s delivered. Work with your other managers to present a unified front regarding the details of the transition.
Decide as a group what, when, and how you’re going to tell your staff about the merger or acquisition. It’s especially important that everyone receives the information at the same time and in the same forum. Morale will be bad enough without managers pulling friends aside and whispering this or that advance info into their ear.
Hold a Staff Meeting as Soon as Possible
The best way to communicate information about the transition openly is to hold a meeting as soon as possible. Make it a Townhall style meeting, one where everyone can ask questions comfortably. Answer these questions as openly and honestly as you can during the session, making it clear that their concerns matter to you.
You can also use this time to discuss the criteria you will be using to make important personnel decisions during the merger or acquisition. This includes any possible firings, promotions, or changes in role. Your staff will know that some key changes are probably in the works, but they deserve to know in advance how their future with the company is going to be assessed.
Handling the Fallout
Lastly, let’s have a look at how to handle some of the fallout that can ensue after a merger or acquisition.
Unfortunately, lost jobs are sometimes inevitable during the merger or acquisition process, especially in departments where overlaps and redundancies clearly exist. If you’re forced to let staff members go, it’s best if the cuts occur during as brief a period as possible. Inform each employee personally if they’re being let go, and take this time to offer any outplacement or counseling services your company has prepared for them.
Let your people know when this dismal period is over. That way, the rest of your staff can breathe a sigh of relief and start focusing on the future. Arrange meetings with your various departments, where remaining ask whatever questions they might have and management can begin to clarify roles and its blueprint for the future.
Mergers and acquisitions are always a formidable challenge, but yours will go much more smoothly if you get started on these preparations right away.
No matter what the circumstances are, personnel changes are bound to happen. Employees leave for a variety of reasons, sometimes for better positions and sometimes because of poor performance or behavior issues. Either way, employee departures can have a profound effect on the rest of your team and it’s part of a manager’s job to keep everyone motivated when it happens.
Losing a staff member can be difficult enough all by itself, especially if they were a high performer, a long-term employee, or one your team’s de facto leaders. The last thing you want is for things to get worse because of decreased motivation. Fortunately, there are some tried and true methods to keep your people happy and productive in this sort of situation.
Here are 4 effective ways to keep your team motivated when an employee leaves.
Keep Everyone in the Loop as Much as Possible
People like to be included, especially in a situation they think might have an eventual effect on their job situation. That’s why one of the best things you can do when a team member leaves is to keep the rest of your staff in the loop. This sort of news tends to travel around the office pretty quickly anyway, so apprise them of the situation as quickly as possible to avoid confusion and keep unnecessary rumors from flying around.
We’re going to focus on reassuring the rest of your staff in a moment, but the first step toward this goal is being as transparent with your staff as possible. No one can feel secure if they sense that you’re being secretive or withholding, so be as open as you can without violating office policies or confidentiality principles.
Stay Upbeat and Positive
A big part of keeping your team motivated is employee morale, so make sure to stay upbeat and positive whenever a member of your staff leaves. Whether the departing person was a top performer or the weakest link in your chain, your team needs you to stay energized and optimistic at a time like this. Once you’ve told them everything that you can about the situation, re-emphasize your team’s goals and outline all of the ways you can still reach them.
Be Compassionate and Reassuring
Losing a team member for whatever reason can be scary for a lot of people, so make sure you’re compassionate about what they might be feeling when someone leaves. Some of your staff might have become close to the person that left, so acknowledge the feelings of loss they might be experiencing and remind them that they and their friend will continue to thrive.
The loss of a team member can also make people feel insecure about the future of their jobs. That’s why it’s crucial that you reassure them this particular move has nothing to do with them. If any staff members seem especially distressed, meet with them in person and listen to their concerns. Remind them privately that every staff member is evaluated on their own merits, not in relation to something else that might have happened.
Get Back to Work as Quickly as Possible
Losing a team member can be a damaging break in continuity even in the best scenarios, so don’t let your staff dwell on the loss any longer than necessary. Return to business as usual as soon as you can to keep up both morale and productivity. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should be insensitive or uncaring. In fact, you should get back to work as quickly as possible for the opposite reason– because it’s the best way to move on and return to a sense of normalcy.
Handling the loss of an employee is never easy, but keeping people motivated when someone leaves is the true test of a good manager. If you manage the loss with sensitivity and wisdom, your team won’t need to miss a step.
Congratulations, you scored an interview! For many job seekers, this is no easy feat. And waiting for the results of that interview can prove just as nerve wracking as the interview itself.
You might think that following up with the recruiter after the interview is a good way to demonstrate your interest in the job and show your readiness to accept. But when should you follow up, and how? How often should you check in? What should you say?
In fact, some recruiters would prefer you didn’t follow up at all, opting for a more “we’ll call you” approach. This is understandable, as recruiters who truly see an interest in you will somehow cue you in and not make you wonder.
But if you feel the itch to follow-up on your formal Q&A, here are five safe ways to do so without completely wrecking your chances:
#1 – Ask the recruiter how they prefer you follow up about the job.
Some recruiters will tell you they will call you if interested. Others might tell you to wait a couple weeks. Whatever their answer, make sure you respect their personal boundaries. Following up outside of their recommendations demonstrates your inability to listen, which won’t bode well for your future employment chances.
#2 – Send a Thank You email the day of your interview at the end of the work day.
Chances are, you were not the only person the recruiter interviewed that day. Sending a Thank You email on the same day serves two purposes:
- It makes another impression associated with your name
- It shows you are still interested in the job
Make sure you include something of significance from your interview in the email to help them remember you. It could be something unique you talked about, like an accomplishment or goal, or anything that will help them recall their interview with you.
#3 – Email, don’t call.
If a recruiter isn’t interested in you, it puts them in an awkward position to tell you directly why they haven’t reached out after the interview. Instead, you can save yourself and interviewer some embarrassment by keeping your follow-up in email format only.
#4 – Keep the follow-up casual, yet professional.
You want to seem warm, friendly, and approachable, but getting overly excited or too personal with the interviewer isn’t the way to do it. Remember, you haven’t been hired yet, so you still have to maintain a level of professionalism. However, you might avoid highly formal language in your follow-up, depending on the position.
In addition, you don’t want to come across as desperate or overly eager. These signals could send the wrong message to the recruiter and hurt your chances.
#5 – Keep the follow-up brief.
You don’t need to rehash your entire interview, nor do you need to resell your reasoning on why you’d make the perfect candidate. This was all covered in the interview, and trying to reiterate your already-known skills could make you seem desperate. Instead, keep your follow-up simple and to the point.
All you need is a greeting, the notice that you are following up on your interview, a thanks for their consideration, and your name.
Checking in after an interview can make you sound ambitious, but following up after an interview in the wrong ways can also make you seem pushy and overzealous, neither of which will help your chances in landing the job.
It’s best to hear straight from the recruiter how they prefer you to follow up, if at all. But if you can follow up, then, by all means, you should.
Shedding the traditional 9-5, 40-hour work week is becoming more common as businesses struggle to find better ways to keep and attract talent. In fact, over 80% of businesses offer some form of flexible work arrangements, be it working remotely, flexible start and end times, or reduced work hours. Other studies suggest that a flexible work schedule ranks as the most important perk a company can offer.
Introducing flex hours into your organization can provide a multitude of benefits for both employees and the company. Flex hours promote a healthier work/life balance, can boost worker productivity, and can help manage stress and burnout. But those benefits won’t manifest themselves unless you implement flex hours the right way.
4 Tips for Introducing Flex Hours Into Your Company Culture Successfully
#1 – Determine which positions are conducive to flex hours.
Flex hours might not make sense for every job in your company, especially those in customer-facing roles. It’s up to you to decide which positions will make sense for a flex schedule.
Consider the various roles in your company, and decide if a particular start or end time is crucial for each one. For instance, if you offer tech support via phone or chat between certain hours, you need to ensure you are adequately staffed throughout that time frame to serve your callers.
#2 – Announce your plan to introduce flex hours, and collect employee feedback.
Offering flex hours, or any other perk, to employees means understanding how they stand to benefit from it. You can’t follow other companies’ examples simply because it works for them. Your people and business needs are unique, so your flex time program should serve to bolster those needs.
Talk to employees in different job titles and seniority ranks within the company to get a well-rounded idea of how flex hours will benefit different people. Ask for their input on how the program might best fit their individual needs.
#3 – Help managers to understand the benefits of flex time.
Even a hint of change in the work environment can prove enough to send managers into panic mode. And for good reason – managers need to know how to explain these changes to their team, how it affects operations, and ways they can plan for upcoming changes.
You can help conquer this fear of the unknown by presenting managers with the benefits behind flex hours. Give them the chance to ask questions on how it will impact the daily workflow. Introducing change directly (and before it happens) can help settle nerves and open minds, both of which can lead to a better chance of program success.
#4 – Make flex time a formal company policy.
While some companies leave it up to the employee to determine their start and end times in a flex hour setting, you could greatly benefit by structuring a formal company policy around the program. Put your flex time policy details into writing, and ensure each employee understands any boundaries you’ve set forth.
One idea is to give your employees a general time range to start and end each work day, with the understanding that those who come in later should also stay later. Another suggestion is to let employees work up to a certain number of hours per week however it’s most convenient for them.
Whatever you decide, keep in mind that flex time should be just that – flexible.
One Final Thought on a Flex Hours Program
Adopting a flex hours program doesn’t necessarily mean your company will benefit like others have. It’s important you make periodic check-ins with managers and employees to get feedback on how they feel the program is working. They might be able to offer insight into problems you didn’t initially consider, which could help in restructuring the program to make it a better option for everyone involved.
It’s not easy finding the people to recruit to your team, and even when you do find a perfect match, that doesn’t mean they will accept your job offer.
These 8 signs could signal your ideal candidate is going to accept your job offer before you even make it:
They follow up.
If a candidate takes initiative to follow up after the interview, they want to make sure their name stays name top of mind. This is possibly the biggest sign that when you’re ready to extend an offer, they’ll accept wholeheartedly.
They ask questions.
Some candidates decide during the interview that this probably isn’t the job for them, but they won’t alway say so. But the ones who are genuinely interested tend to ask deeper questions to get a true feel for what they will be doing if hired. These questions might be around daily activities, company culture, who they would be working with, etc. If they are satisfied with the answers you give them, you’ve pulled their interest in even more.
They aren’t considering any other offers.
It’s crucial to discover during the interview where the candidate is in their job search, and if the candidate is interviewing at other companies. Make this question a standard in your interview. If they might have other potential job offers coming in, you don’t want to wait too long to make your own offer.
They fit your cultural profile – and they know it.
One of the biggest reasons for job turndown is because the candidate doesn’t see how they will fit in with the company culture. You should take the time to talk about the type of work environment you foster, as well as get a feel for the type of environment your candidate is comfortable with. If you think there’s a match, let the candidate know how you think they will fit it.
You eliminated stumbling blocks that may cause hesitation.
Work-life balance, PTO, future earnings potential, advancement opportunities – there’s a lot that can cause hesitation when it comes down to accepting a job offer. Candidates want to make the right decision every bit as much as you do, and consider a lot of factors before making up their mind. You should try to elicit as many things that might cause them to balk, then try to see what workarounds exist that can set their minds at ease.
You both nailed the salary question.
Going into any interview, the starting salary is often a top concern for both the candidates and recruiters. Candidates want to know if the job offers more, less, or about the same as what they currently make. Recruiters want to know if they can afford the candidate. If their salary expectations line up with what your company is prepared to offer, this eliminates one of the biggest causes of job rejection.
You did your part in selling the job.
While candidates are selling themselves during an interview, you should be actively selling the position and telling the candidate why they should accept your offer if you make one. Tell them what makes your company remarkable, why employees love to work there, and the opportunities the company can provide to its staff. If you’ve done your part at presenting a strong case for your company, the candidate could be more inclined to joining the team if asked.
They leave the interview pumped up.
Candidates who exit the interview with a smile (and a little more energy) are likely to want the position. They’re excited to call their loved ones and tell them how it went. This confidence means they might be more surprised if they didn’t get the job.
Even the best companies see employees leave on their own wishes, but when those people happen to be some of your top performers, you look at the situation a little differently. When that happens, you start wondering what motivated them to quit, and if there was anything you could have done to make them stay.
Those are valid questions, but they aren’t so easily answered – for you or the employee. If a person is truly among your best talent, that probably means their position with your company is solid. And a sure thing is never easy to leave.
The best employees will typically give you the courtesy of a two-week notice (they didn’t get to the top by being unprofessional, did they?), but if that notice is accompanied by a half-hearted or non-negotiable excuse, it could indicate they aren’t disclosing their entire motive for leaving.
Which leaves much to be speculated.
Granted, employees quit for a variety of reasons: they don’t like the work they do, they don’t get enough recognition, they don’t fit into the company culture, they want a better work/life balance, the list goes on.
But as for why your best talent leaves, you might be surprised to discover the one common denominator that influences many departure-related decisions:
It’s not them, it’s you.
And, at least partially, your company.
Your best performers usually have it a little better than other employees: they’re probably making more money, they have a good working relationship with upper management, they may enjoy a little more flexibility at work, and they’re comfortable with the job they are doing.
But when one of your top-rated employees decides to jump ship, you should recognize that it’s a serious decision, and it’s typically related (at least in part) to one of several common reasons:
Better job offer (higher pay, more PTO, better benefits)
More than likely, your best employees realize they are your best employees, and expect to be compensated as such. And if they aren’t earning what they potentially could somewhere else, that’s your (or the company’s) fault.
Good employees know their worth, and if they feel they aren’t receiving what they deserve, someone else will be eager to snatch them up.
If you can determine that money is the prime motivator, you might be tempted to offer them a raise if they stay. But that single action could send the wrong message, and reinforce their decision to leave.
While it might seem sensical, it often makes the employee question why you weren’t paying them what they’re worth in the first place. If you couldn’t afford it then, how will you afford it now?
Not enough recognition or appreciation
Employees need to know their work means something to someone. Even a simple “Thank you” can do the trick. But the majority of employees feel those thank you’s are too far and few between. Again, that’s your fault.
As a manager, you wear many hats, including the one that boosts morale. Without adequate recognition, your top talent may never strive to become better or may fail to chase advancement opportunities.
No advancement opportunities
For entry-level employees, there’s nowhere to go but up. But what about those who have earned their place at the top? Employees may feel they’ve accomplished all they need to and have in a sense “finished” their job. If that’s the case, you’re entirely to blame.
Oftentimes, an employee is so good at what they do that the company feels that person is irreplaceable in their position. But it also limits the employee’s ability to show their company what else they’re capable of, perhaps performing even better in another, more desirable job title.
True, you won’t be able to retain every employee who wants to leave. But your best talent should be worth a little extra effort on your part to maintain a solid relationship.
Hiring at your company? Finding the best employees among the thousands of job seekers is possible. You just need to know where to look.
If you’re like most hiring managers, you view the whole recruiting process as both an opportunity and a challenge. It’s tedious work sifting through applicant after applicant. You know what you need, but you’re not always sure if you are attracting the best candidates for your job openings.
Here are a few great places to find your dream candidates this week. Several of these ideas may seem so simple, and that’s exactly why some of them will probably work for you, too.
- Among Your Existing Employees
Hiring from within your organization isn’t just a great place to look for your next candidate, it’s also one of your least costly options as well. Consider putting a job announcement out internally first. Chances are, there is someone within your company who would be perfect for the position you’re looking to fill.
- Connected With Your Current Staff
Similarly, you can have your current employees be your eyes, ears, and mouthpiece to their network of friends and associates. Let them recommend some great candidates to you. It’s not likely that an existing employee would recommend someone who wouldn’t be worth your time and consideration. They put their own reputation on the line when they recommend someone.
- Small Business Forums
Looking for someone with a well-rounded skill set? What about someone who takes initiative and isn’t afraid of some risk? Small business owner forums are a great place to source quality candidates. Visit and listen to groups on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, or attend small business networking events in your local area. There are plenty of entrepreneurial types who are trying their hand at freelance type work, but who may be interested in working for a company again if it was the right fit for you and them.
Speaking of Facebook, you can definitely reach your dream candidate on this social network and even go so far as to target them directly. Thanks to Facebooks targeting advertising capabilities, you can push your job announcement out to people with your ideal qualifications and demographics. And it can cost you as little as one dollar a day, so it’s ideal for every budget!
- Your Competitors
Professional sports teams trade players all the time. It isn’t so different in the corporate world either. It’s easy to connect with your competitor’s employees over LinkedIn. If there is someone in particular that you’d like to know more because of their skills – maybe they just earned their CFA – try just scheduling a simple coffee with them. It’s just a conversation after all. Maybe it can lead to an opportunity for both of you down the road.
- Your Website
Some of your most enthusiastic candidates are trolling your website. Do you have a recruiting page set-up on your website that is actively collecting emails and resumes when you have available positions and when you don’t? If you don’t, you absolutely should. Building your own internal database of possible candidates provides you with a shortlist of people who actively sought your company out and have expressed a desire to work for you.
- Industry Conferences
Industry-specific conferences are wonderful places to meet great potential candidates. If they are at the conference, they are actively keeping themselves apprised of what’s current in their field and learning new skills. Better yet, the people presenting at the conference or who are participating on panel discussions are even more important for you to know. Looking for someone with leadership abilities? Good communication skills? Start collecting names and connecting with these folks. Maybe they will want to come work for you one day soon.
- Past Applicants
How often do you forget about the list of “no’s”? Maybe they weren’t the best suited for the position you interviewed them for two years ago, but what about today? Mine through old applicants and request updated resumes from people who you think have the potential to fit your current needs.
- Email Contacts
Your email list may be your most valuable recruiting asset. Don’t under estimate the effectiveness of making your email contacts aware of an open position within your organization. Your email lists can all serve to procure you some really great candidates. From current clients to centers of influence to blog subscribers… let everyone know you’re hiring. You will probably be pleasantly surprised by the opportunities that come forward just by simply tapping into your own network.
- Outsourced Recruiting Resource
Using an outsourced recruiting firm can get you connected with great candidates quickly. Firms that help companies source and place quality candidates are especially effective at finding passive candidates who may not be looking for a job change right now. Recruiting firms can devote more resources to sourcing and screening for the very best candidates. This can be a tremendous help to any company that maybe doesn’t have the in-house recruiting ability to be a thorough or if a particular position is especially crucial to the organization like an executive level position.