2022: The Universal Goal - Hiring the right talent.

January 5, 2022

Lori Murphy, VP, Client Engagement

There is a good chance that 2022 will be like 2021 in many respects.  Many believe that companies will still face a shortage of employees along with significant disruption across numerous industries.  Organizations will be tasked with finding the best talent that can navigate through change and be a part of the accelerated innovation. Josh Bersin wrote a recent blog that sheds a lot of insight into what is happening in the market and what he anticipates will continue to happen for the foreseeable future.  It’s definitely worth a read.

https://joshbersin.com/2021/11/the-job-market-is-going-crazy-and-its-going-to-get-worse-how-do-we-recruit/

What does this mean for talent acquisition and recruiting?  It is important to note the difference between the two. Let’s break each of them down.

Talent Acquisition is ongoing; it is a strategy around hiring top talent over the long-term. This means several things are taken into consideration:

1.     Building a pipeline of specific types of jobs your organization typical hires.  

For example, if your organization has a strong focus on marketing, you want to ensure that you have a pipeline of marketing experts with the expertise that you look for on an on-going basis. Be sure to incorporate your Diversity and Inclusion goals here too.  

2.     Putting an interview process in place.

At BLEND360 we have a process that we all follow when hiring for a new position. It involves the following:

a.     Clear Job Description

b.     Phone Screens

c.      Pre-work before on-site

d.     On-sight interview

e.     Project Review

f.      Caucus

A unique aspect to our process is the identification of “Bar raisers.” These are people with extensive hiring/interviewing experience that participate in the hiring process to ensure that our high standards of talent selection are adhered to for every position.

3.     Retaining top talent –

It is important now more than ever that organizations ensure that they have a strong employee focused culture and a solid understanding of what their employees want so they can retain them.  It is useless to incorporate something into your company’s culture if your employees do not really care about it. Be sure to ASK them what they want.  

Creating and developing a company culture is a lot harder than you think. It is not just about implementing a variety of unique benefits.  There are so many resources to help create a strong culture, but a few people stand out to me: Jen Fisher (Chief Well-being Officer at Deloitte) and Arianna Huffington (Founder/CEO of Thrive Global). Check out Jen’s Workwell Podcast.  You will find a variety of topics as it pertains to company culture and employee wellbeing.    

Recruiting is a short-term goal and typically involves filling a specific role for an immediate need. Thus, the approach to this scenario should involve the following:

1.     Working with your HR team or staffing companies to help find top talent quickly.

2.     Working with a professional services firm to fill gaps and tackle critical initiatives.  

3.     Follow your TA process

BLEND360 has seen a significant increase in our business, for both consulting and direct hire positions.  Our clients know that we provide top talent that not only has the right skill set, but we take the time to truly understand their company’s culture and D&I goals to ensure that the talent will be a strong fit.  

I speak with a lot of clients and top candidates on a regular basis about the hiring process, and oftentimes, candidates share with me some of the things that have discouraged them from pursuing what may have otherwise been a great opportunity. In a market where candidates have several offers on the table, there are steps that can be taken to ensure a more positive candidate experience:  

1.     Avoid having the candidate interview with too many people. Limit it to 3 whenever possible. And one should be the hiring manager.

2.     Do not draw out the interview and decision-making process too long. Candidates are quickly weighing their options, and we’re seeing career decisions being made much faster than a year ago.  The longer you draw things out, the more likely it is that you will lose that candidate to another organization or even a competitor.

3.     Do not discriminate against someone who is older. Often a more tenured candidate can bring things to the table that a less tenured candidate can, such as leadership, strong work ethic, industry expertise.  

4.     Don’t discriminate against a junior level candidate either. A candidate with strong potential and a fresh perspective can help your organization grow in new ways.

5.     Please do not look for a unicorn.  A unicorn is a mythical animal. Unicorns do not exist in the real world.  Look for someone who has the will to win, loves to learn and will fit in to your culture!

WHO to hire:

There are several things to consider when you are hiring for an immediate need OR building a pipeline for your long-term talent acquisition strategy:

First, consider the skillset required. There is a lot of talk in the market about this being a candidate’s market.  However, that will not last forever, and you want to be sure that you hire the right person with the best skillset, as well as the best ability to navigate through change as the workplace and companies accelerate their evolution and innovation. Ideally, you want someone who can stay long term, but has a skillset to build upon and has the will to adapt to change and even be a change agent.  

Second, consider your company’s culture.  There is a lot of talk in the market about this as well.  Do you have a good grip on your company’s culture? Are you aware of the variety of benefits your organization offers (outside of the typical health insurance, PTO, etc.)?  It is the extras that are going to attract different candidates so be sure to share them!  What is important to one may not be important to another so be sure to ask the candidate what is important to them.  

Supporting New Hires:

One of the most important things to do is be sure that you support your new hires. That means several things:

1.     Provide Training: this is absolutely critical. Too many organizations do NOT do this or do not do it well.  You cannot expect someone to ramp up on their own, without providing appropriate training. That means training on processes, systems, company culture/structure, etc.  If you do not do this, you will likely have unmet expectations on both sides and a longer learning curve.

2.     Assign a mentor: this can really accelerate the ramping up period. Having an objective colleague as a buddy can really be helpful when new hires are trying to navigate a new organization and role. Communicate your expectations of mentors or buddies so that both parties are prepared.

3.     Share company information: structure (including org charts), business plans (long-term and short-term), company goals along with their individual goals.  It is important for employees to understand how their goals align with other areas of the organization.  Be as transparent as you can.  That will surely build trust between the new employee and the company.

4.     Lead by Example – I cannot stress this enough.  Every hiring manager and employee needs to fully understand their organization’s culture and overall hiring and coaching and development goals.  And they each need to walk the walk, not only talk the talk.  

Hiring and retaining top talent is going to be a top focus for every organization this year.  Invest in it!  Invest in your people and invest in your culture.  It is hard to say how long this will last, but it could be the new normal as employee priorities continue to shift and change.  

Blend360 Talent Solutions connects hiring leaders with world-class talent to drive results.  Learn more at https://www.blend360.com/talent-solutions

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