By Christina Davis
Recruiting, interviewing, hiring, and training new employees are all necessary evils that most company owners face. But finding the time, not to mention the candidates, to fill open positions. Last year’s national unemployment rate was 3.6 percent, and this year’s rate has dropped a little bit more to 3.5 percent. The smaller that number gets, the harder it is to find people. And, the harder it is to find people, the harder you have to work to keep people. However, the reality is that keeping people starts before you even meet them.
Whaaaattt? That’s right: From the first ad you run, you are either setting the foundation for retention or making it less likely that your next hire will be for the long-term.
Only five to seven years ago, employers had their pick of multiple qualified candidates; today, it’s hard to get even one to respond to your ad. With so many companies having to fight for a small number of available candidates, how do you ensure your position gets noticed?
We’ve all seen the ads...
Must be able to work flexible hours, have a clean driving record, and be at least 25 years of age. Pay is $9/hour plus gratuities. To apply, send your resume to email@example.com
Are you excited to apply? Does this ad make you spring into action and send your resume in right away? I didn’t think so...
Warm, outgoing, passionate, authentic, and hard-working. Raise your hand if that’s you! We’re looking for awesome chauffeurs to transport our equally awesome VIP customers. If you’re at least 25 years old and have a safe driving record, we have a luxury sedan waiting for you.
Compared to the previous ad which would you prefer?
At LMC People, our recruiting department takes a different approach to the everyday job postings. We find ways to capture the attention of potential candidates so they are excited about finding their new job and company. Adding a picture that speaks to the company or the type of work is definitely an eye-catcher. And why not use more colorful and descriptive words to set yourself apart from every other ad? Paint a picture of what it’s like to join your team so applicants can imagine themselves working with you.
The Initial Meeting
Now that you have the prospects’ attention and the calls and applications are coming in, how do you sell your company to candidates you interview? Do you walk interviewees around your grounds, or introduce them to team members during the walkthrough so they can get a feel for the culture? Remember: They will be watching you and how you treat others as a standard for how they should act once hired.
Let’s switch gears and talk about the questions and conversations you have when interviewing. Do you have set questions you ask each candidate for the same position, or do you wing it? If you have set questions, do they help you in discovering more about the candidate and their thinking and behaviors?
Using behavioral-based interview questions could help you get those answers. Behavioral-based interview questions are simply those that ask candidates to give specific examples of how they have handled certain tasks and situations in the past. A person’s behavior does not change much during their adult years; therefore, the way people behaved and performed in previous positions is a good indicator of how they will perform in your company.
When interviewing, ask open-ended questions that are specific and related to the core competencies of the position. Here are some key phrases to open with: “Tell me about a time when...” and “Describe a situation when...” or “How do you manage...” Allow candidates time to think through the questions; don’t fill the silence.
When listening to and reviewing candidate’s answers to these questions, ask yourself if their actions demonstrate what you would like to see in an employee. Did their explanation of a problem-solving example reassure you, or did it cause concern? Some red flag terms to listen for include “always,” “generally,” “never,” “I can’t remember,” and “I can’t think of an example.” These terms show that the candidates are generalizing their answers and not being specific in their examples, or that they just haven’t had an experience from which to draw.
Once you have completed your interviews, checking references is a vital next step for your recruiting process. Who better to give you insight into your potential new hires’ work ethics and experience than their previous employers and other professional references? The purpose of a reference check is learn more about the candidate’s work history and other characteristics that pertain to the position.
According to CareerBuilders, 56 percent of employers have found a lie on a resume:
• 62 percent have falsified their skill sets
• 54 percent embellished their responsibilities
• 39 percent lied about their dates of previous employment
• 31 percent documented incorrect job titles
Conducting employment references can help you make sure your candidates are presenting their true selves and not who they want to be or think they are. Be sure to conduct these reference checks before making your final decision to offer employment.
If your recruiting process is thorough and thoughtful, you have already taken the first steps in retaining your new employees—by making sure they are a good fit for your company and the position. On the other hand, if you find yourself just trying to keep your head above water as you recruit, it may be time to get help.
The recruiting process is time consuming, and when done properly, unfortunately takes time away from managers’ other responsibilities. Having a recruiter assist with some or all of the process frees up your staff to work on the business, while ensuring you are hiring the right people for your open positions. [CD0320]
Christina Davis is the HR Director for the LMG Group. she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.