Building Your Organization - Attracting Talent

By Tom Bixby, President & CEO, LEVEL Management Partners
Published May 12, 2016

In the first article in this series, we began examining the challenges of building your organization by looking at timing your growth and opportunities for outsourcing. This week we will focus on your ability to attract the best talent.

Key questions include:

  • How do you find the best talent?
  • Should you pay more to hire experienced people?
  • How might assessments help select the best candidates?
  • Should you use Contract-To-Hire arrangements?

How do you find the best talent?

When you are ready to bring new people into your organization, you’ll always want to find and retain the very best candidates. In today’s highly connected world, it is common for any job opportunity to draw hundreds or even thousands of applicants. This presents a massive administrative burden as well as significant legal dangers.

LEVEL Expert Network™ member Barbara Trulby is a Human Resources professional with The BT Factor, a Charlotte-based HR services firm. Trulby shared, “I met with the director of HR at one of the world’s leading software companies, ranked in the top 5 for best companies to work for, and there are over 300 applicants for every opening. That company has an incentive program where employees refer others to the company to fill open positions. If that candidate becomes a successful employee, the employee that referred them receives a financial reward. “

“Social media is another recruiting tool that can reach the candidates a company is looking for,” Trulby said. “I worked with one company whose executives searched LinkedIn weekly to find the talent they needed to grow the company. That was how they found me! LinkedIn is the recruiter’s database for employers and job seekers.”

Should you pay more to hire experienced people?

In the real-estate game, the question is whether to buy or build the ideal property. In recruiting, the same applies when considering candidates with great experience at higher compensation packages versus more junior candidates that require less compensation but demand more resources to develop.

Trulby advises, “The decision to bring on a more junior person depends on whether the organization has senior staff with the time, talent and desire to mentor and train. If the position requires a specialization that is difficult to find and/or there is a project with an aggressive deadline, then hiring the experience and offering a higher compensation makes sense.”

How might assessments help select the best candidates?

There are many automated assessment tools available for helping identify qualified applicants. These assessment tools typically fall into the following categories:

  • Qualification and Background Screening
  • Virtual Interviews
  • Job Simulations
  • Technical Knowledge and Skill Tests
  • Job Success Characteristics
  • Other assessments

“Prior to hiring, prepare a skills database identifying current skills and skill gaps that exist within the organization,” counsels Trulby. “This knowledge enables designing interviews and assessments around those gaps. “

“Assessments can obtain information that goes far beyond an interview, skills testing and a manager's 'gut feeling' about the candidate,” Trulby said. “The right assessment can confirm what the manager may feel or think about the candidate and confirm what the candidate said about their abilities and fit for the position and organization. “

According to Trulby, the right assessment can indicate if the employee has the potential to grow within the position and the organization, the desire to learn, determine if they are team player, tells how they handle stress, indicate if the way the candidate works matches the management style, and much more. There are a variety of assessments so choosing the right ones is critical. Using the right assessments can give the management team an 'Operations Manual' for the employee.

Should you use Contract-To-Hire arrangements?

When adding people to your organization, is it better to directly hire people into permanent positions or use a Contract-To-Hire approach? The contract approach provides an opportunity to see the person in action prior to making a permanent-hire commitment.

Trulby advises, “For critical positions that require hard-to-find experience and skills, a permanent hire is the recommended approach. For non-critical positions, a temp-to-hire can save time and money. “

In the third article in this series, we will cover the key decisions and challenges associated with adding management layers into your organizational structure.

View Part 3 - Building Your Organization - Adding Management Layers
How healthy is your business? What changes might drive sustainable growth?
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