Author: Rahul Varshneya
Whether you’re seeking freelancers or full-timers, finding top talent isn’t easy. Once you’ve hit that fast-growth stage and are looking to bring on several team members at a time, the search gets even tougher.
A 2017 survey by WorkConnect by SAP found the best candidates get snapped up within 10 days of going on the market. Most executives turn to job boards to source candidates, but with at least 150,000 job boards in the U.S. alone, recruiters are more likely to receive a sea of unqualified resumes than a reasonable pool of talented possibilities.
Even worse, executives who hire the wrong people pay dearly for their mistakes, especially during those hectic growth stages. According to the Center for Management & Organization Effectiveness, bad hiring decisions cause 80 percent of turnover, and new employees take up to two years to match the productivity of a current staff member.
New resources, studies and strategies should make it easier — not harder — to hire better candidates. However, with so many views and tools vying for executive attention, identifying the right hiring strategy is just as challenging as making the right hire.
Save money during the fast-growth phase and find better candidates by following these three tips.
1. Highlight your dynamic culture.
The best employees want to work for the best companies. Websites often are candidates’ first opportunity to get a feel for the company, so be certain your site design highlights company values and champions an appealing culture.
Meltwater, a software as a service company, created a clever acronym to describe its culture and values. Moro, which is Norwegian for “fun,” encourages employees to enjoy the ride. Enere, which means “No. 1,” puts competitive performance front and center. Respekt, which is (unsurprisingly) Norwegian for “respect,” reminds team members not to let competitive fire interfere with kindness. Together, moro, enere and respekt create MER — the Norwegian word for “more,” representing the company’s commitment to continued progress.
2. Use the freelance economy to test the waters.
The booming gig economy allows executives to take highly qualified contributors on extended test runs. When new projects or needs arise, hire a freelancer to do the work. If that person reliably produces high-quality work, extend an enticing offer. Convincing a talented freelancer to end the lone-wolf lifestyle can be expensive, but the productivity and savings of filling a needed role more than make up the difference.
Justin Gignac cofounded Working Not Working, a site that connects creative freelance and full-time candidates to executives who need them. He believes more companies should leverage the freelance economy to find full-time employees.
“The freelance economy gives you the flexibility to tap into the subject matter experts on an as-needed basis,” he wrote for entrepreneur.com. “Every time a unique need crops up, you can find an ideal candidate for the job. Then, if you realize an individual consistently works 40-plus hours a week (while producing amazing work in the process), you can then consider adding him or her to the full-time roster.”
3. Treat recruiting like marketing.
Sell the company to potential employees as if they were potential buyers. Advertise unique benefits and create campaigns that show people how great it is to work at your company.
Build an employment funnel — similar to a sales funnel — to weed out unqualified people quickly and get potential hires in front of decision makers. No one wants to waste time on bad leads, so why waste time on people who won’t fit your culture or perform up to company standards?
Take a data-based approach to assess the candidate funnel. Evaluate the job descriptions and other processes that attracted your high performers, then emulate those successes in your current efforts. If boring, technical descriptions attracted better candidates than fun, energetic ones, scrap the fun stuff and use the material that has proven to bring in stronger performers.