As stated in the first article, the goal of good recruiting should be to attract the best candidates available to become a part of your work force. Minimizing the number of candidates it is necessary to attract to be able to fill the vacancies you have should be the goal of efficient and effective recruiting. That means that ideally you will lose fewer candidates at each step in the selection process so that you ultimately have a good ratio between the number of individuals applying and actual candidates given job offers. This involves targeting qualified candidates in your recruitment process and it also involves doing what you can to ensure the success of the candidates you have attracted.
While producing recruitment strategies that generate large numbers of candidates to apply for the jobs you have available may look impressive, it means very little if those large numbers do not equate to eligibility lists with large numbers of highly qualified candidates. In addition, large numbers can also lead to increasing expenditures in the selection process which is ultimately a waste of money if the quality of candidates is lacking and the steps in your process reflect high failure rates. In order to accomplish the goals of efficient and effective recruiting it is necessary to go back to the beginning and look at the entire process keeping in mind the marketing model.
Successful recruiting begins long before a job announcement is posted and it is being carried out on a daily basis. The foundation for successful recruiting begins with the organization itself. To make your recruiting efforts fruitful you have to be an organization that people want to work for. Much is said about “branding” these days. While it may be a new concept in relation to recruiting it has been the corner-stone for successful marketing for many years. It has now rightfully become a common term in recruiting because a good brand supports good recruiting. Companies like Southwest Airlines and Google do not have any recruiting difficulties because they are seen as successful companies and they are known for treating their employees well.
If your organization is not seen in a positive light, Human Resources must work to ensure that it is. Every employee must be seen as a potential recruiter. If employees are happy with the organization they work for they will let it be known in numerous ways, and if they are unhappy with where they work they will let that be known in more ways. Every contact your employees have with the public reflects on the organization itself and either supports a positive image or detracts from the image of your organization. In addition, now a days with the wide range of social media that is available, employees can reach large numbers of individuals and they can either build up the organization or tear it down. Ideally you want your employees building up your organization and representing it in a way that supports a positive brand.
Steps that help ensure the satisfaction of current employees build the brand and recruiting efforts benefit. Mission and vision statements also help build the brand and while it is important to have them, it is even more critical that each level within the organization live up to the expectations expressed in these statements. Failure of any part of the system to live up to and reflect the ideals expressed in the mission and vision statements can be disastrous for the organization and such failure can ruin morale and derail recruiting strategies.
In addition to living up to mission and vision statements, organizations must value their employees. Even in these tough economic times, organizations must strive to have competitive salaries and benefits. It is difficult to attract and retain good employees if you do not reward them. Included in meeting employee’s basic needs should be security. One of the things that public sector employment has traditionally offered has been job security. In many public sector organizations this has become a thing of the past. Further, the media and special interest groups have vilified public employees. All this contributes to a difficult recruiting environment and yet it is critical for public sector employers to do what they can to keep their salaries and benefits competitive and provide for job security. Few individuals are willing to apply for an organization that is facing lay offs.
In addition to meeting basic needs of employees, in order to have a positive brand, employers should provide opportunities for individual growth and advancement. Both of these are necessary for a positive brand, effective recruiting, and retention of valued employees. Employee recognition for performance also contributes to employees feeling valued and these concepts, taken together with meeting basic needs and providing upward mobility, create a positive brand which ultimately aids recruitment and retention.
The next critical component of an effective recruitment plan is to conduct a needs assessment which fits hand and glove with retention strategies and succession planning. If your organization is only looking at current needs and ways of meeting them, the vision is too short. To have a viable recruitment program, you need to have a five or ten-year plan that incorporates potential growth as well as replacement of lost talent. With the aging of the workforce and changes in retirement benefits proposed for future employees, it is important to recognize that organizations are going to lose a wealth of talent. While this has many implications for succession planning and training, it also is an issue that must be considered when establishing recruiting goals and time tables.
While many organizations look at this negatively, in the Talent Acquisition Plan that I wrote for the State of Nevada we looked at the challenges as opportunity. This is particularly important since it puts a positive focus on the acquisition of new talent that can breathe new life into an organization, revitalize ways of doing business, and build upon the work of those that have gone before them. It is inevitable that valuable talent will be lost; however, with proper succession planning coordinated with effective recruiting, organizations can emerge stronger and more effective than they have ever been. Recruiting must play an integral role in shaping the new organization, it must be supported from the top down so that it gets buy in from the employees dealing with the public as well as the actual recruiters and it all begins with proper planning.