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How to be a More Effective Leader When Hiring Talent

The recruiting industry has been talking about the War for Talent for years, and there are some recent signs that indicate we should be paying more attention to this issue – and sooner, rather than later. As noted in Forbes, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent in November 2016, and in May 2017 it dropped even further to 4.3 percent – the lowest jobless rate since August 2007. Additionally, LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends in 2016 reports that 59 percent of companies are investing more in their employer brand compared to last year.

As we continue to hire new talent, the competition is nipping at our heels. It’s not uncommon now to speak with an executive who has received several offers simultaneously. Given the increasingly competitive search environment, having a recruiting strategy in place before you need to hire a new team member is a critical step to attracting the talent you need. Here are some steps you should consider:

  • Clarify Your Needs and Wants
    Work closely with your human resources colleagues to ensure you have a job description that clearly outlines the responsibilities and priorities of the role as well as the qualifications and experience needed. What goals should they be able to accomplish in the next six to 12 months, as well as in the long term? What skill sets and experiences should they possess to be successful in both the specific role and general business environment? In addition, the description must be compelling. This document will be candidates’ first impression of the potential job opportunity with your company, and you want to make sure candidates are eager to learn more.
  • Prepare for the Interview
    Read over the candidate’s credentials thoroughly in advance of the interview. Map out what competencies you want to probe and learn more about. Create an interviewing environment that is warm, friendly, intelligent and conversational. If you make the person feel comfortable, they will most likely reveal more about themselves. Preparing before the interview makes you more effective, and the candidate will be impressed with your thoroughness. Have you ever interviewed with someone and were convinced they never saw your resume? What kind of impression were you left with as a result?
  • Be Responsive and Act with a Sense of Urgency
    Good candidates are in high demand, so you need to act swiftly. Streamline the hiring process and make sure it’s efficient. Do they really need to come back a third time? If there is time between the interviews, pick up the phone and engage them. Candidates like to be “wooed” as much as you do, and staying in touch may help them remain interested throughout the process. On the other hand, taking a long time to reach a decision can be concerning to the candidate. They may end up questioning if this reflects how long it takes your organization to make decisions as a whole. Will they become frustrated in this environment? Being decisive can be the difference!

Don’t think your job is done once they accept the role. Keep engaging them in conversation. Create a welcoming environment. Be available to them and give them every opportunity to succeed. Setting the stage and tone in the beginning will help put them on a positive path with the company. It takes time, persistence and a positive attitude, but it can be instrumental in retaining a newly hired, talented employee.

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