As of summer 2019, unemployment in the United States hovers at a near-record low of 3.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s the lowest it’s been since 1969.
However, there’s more to the story than a single statistic. The economy isn’t the same as it was 50 years ago. Just as society has evolved in the past half-century, so has the job market, presenting new challenges for both workers and employers.
Supply and Demand
In this new labor market, employers balance the cost of a new hire with the revenue that person will generate. While that calculation may not directly influence the hiring process, it is a guiding principle. Hiring employees for more than their value to the organization is unsustainable.
One of the most essential tasks for any human resources department is to recruit talented employees for the job at hand. With the right training, experience, and education, human resource managers will understand labor market supply and demand dynamics and apply that to their recruiting and hiring tactics.
Top Strategies for Recruiting Top Talent
A common business practice includes creating an “avatar” of the perfect customer and knowing exactly who is buying your product or service. The same idea holds for the perfect job candidate.
Before interviewing a single candidate, establish two fundamental elements:
- Understand what the job requires.
- Know who you’re looking for. Write it down. Give her or him a name.
Laying the groundwork makes the rest of the process more likely to recruit the talented employees you’re looking for.
Once you understand the exact requirements for the job and who the perfect candidate is, the next step is to let those people know about it.
Too often, employers post hastily prepared job announcements in all the wrong places. In order to recruit talented employees, it’s important to take the time to prepare a well-written, search-engine-optimized posting placed where that perfect candidate will find it. Just like any other business operation intended to reach an audience, having a marketing plan in place is essential to find and recruit talented employees.
Based on the responses from your job posting, prioritize candidates according to their initial information (CV, résumé, cover letter, etc.). Don’t prejudge too much at this point. If you’ve prepared and marketed the position well, most responses will likely be viable. The ones that aren’t should be easy to flag.
Depending on the circumstance, you may weigh skills against temperament. You’ll have that figured out in your preparation, but remember you’re building a team. Once you’ve prioritized your candidates on paper, the next step is to reach out to them on the phone. This is when you’ll start “getting to know” each one.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Skilled and experienced human resource professionals understand the critical importance of completing the first three steps to smooth the way toward a successful recruiting process. During the interview process, you can assess the candidate against your “perfect candidate avatar.” Remember that prospective employees have their own motivations and expectations for the job, too.
It’s a two-way street. Make sure a candidate can not only fulfill the needs for the position but also that the job meets the needs of the candidate. On both sides of the desk, it’s easy to gloss over issues that could emerge later as problems. This is where your own talent as a professional comes into play.
A Job Versus a Career
As you can see, successful human resource recruiting and management is a microcosm of business management in general: planning, marketing, execution. Recruiting talented employees is no accident. Human resource management is both a science and an art. Serious practitioners who pursue a master’s degree in Human Resources have the greatest impact on companies and the people within them.