What to consider when hiring new talent What to consider when hiring new talent
Business leaders worldwide worry about attracting and retaining top talent, especially as remote and hybrid workforces are becoming the norm. In their responses to... What to consider when hiring new talent

Business leaders worldwide worry about attracting and retaining top talent, especially as remote and hybrid workforces are becoming the norm. In their responses to surveys, they often list it as a main inhibitor of profitable growth into the future!

Despite this, most business leaders and managers prioritise other tasks over recruitment and talent selection rather than seeing it as a vital part of their jobs. In addition, many business leaders and managers lack the skills to ensure that the right people are found and placed in the right jobs.

Statistically, traditional recruitment methods have a 60% failure rate, resulting in an enormous waste of time and money. Getting recruiting right can’t be left to an HR department or line manager alone; business leaders have to get personally involved.

Getting the right people for the right jobs is a four-stage process, with each step being of equal importance:

Before advertising a vacancy, business leaders must be crystal clear about the job specification and the attitudes and behaviours of the person needed for the job. This, in turn, needs to align with the company’s purpose, vision, and values. The best talent has a choice these days and will simply not work for an organisation whose values they don’t share; another reason why leadership needs to be actively involved in recruitment.

These specifications should be written and clear enough for anyone to understand. This will help prevent two common recruitment mistakes: deciding the job specifications based on the available talent or hiring based on chemistry rather than a proper fit.

The popular saying “hire for attitude, train for skill” is very noble in its intent, but business owners and leaders who adhere strictly to this sentiment might not achieve the optimal mix of behavioural competencies needed for peak performance.

Owners and leaders of smaller organisations often fall into the trap of thinking they won’t be able to attract top talent, so they approach the vacancy listing process timidly. Top talent isn’t, however, always the most expensive people or the most qualified. Instead, they are the people who are the absolute best fit for a specific role in a particular organisation.

It is therefore of utmost importance that a vacancy listing is not just a list of required skills and experience; to attract the appropriate talent, the vacancy listing must reflect the true culture and values of the business and what it’s like to be part of the team.

To access the top talent pool, business leaders must involve those who are experts in selling the company’s benefits in creating the vacancy listing. Marketing people are often better for this task than an HR department or recruitment agency.

It is best for a business to attract top talent—who might be currently employed—rather than limit itself to a talent pool of despondent job seekers.

During the interview process of a shortlisted candidate, top talent will most likely ask questions to help them determine whether the business’s values align with their own.

If they can’t get a clear idea of the values or how the business practically lives those values, or they feel that their values do not align with those of the company, they’ll look for employment elsewhere.

It is astonishing that many companies worldwide still rely on an impressive CV with one or two interviews as the only activities to recruit talent. Even references can’t be guaranteed as a mark of quality as they can be influenced by litigation around labour disputes.

True top talent will be able to prove that they are the best during an assessment that must form part of the recruitment process. Of course, the difficulty of the assessment will differ depending on the job level recruited for, and businesses must never abuse the assessment process to gain free insights or labour.

Assessments may appear time-consuming and costly, but the cost of getting recruitment wrong is about four or even five times the employee’s annual salary! It’s therefore much less expensive to use assessments than to recruit and train an employee who was never right for the job or whose aspirations conflicted with the businesses.

The final stage in the recruitment process should be a discussion and negotiation between the selected candidate and their potential direct manager on the exact details of the role and remuneration package.

People can make or break a business – regardless of size or shape. With economic pressure rising and an increase in leadership burnout, no business leader can afford to stand back and allow mediocre talent to come on board.

Authored by: Juanita Vorster

Antoinette Panton

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