How to Recruit Great Talent

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Hiring top-notch talent is getting more challenging with each passing year. According to the Manpower Group Survey, 34% of employers reported difficulties in finding qualified specialists in 2012. This number grew up to 36% in 2014 and last year 38% of employers complained about the shortage of five-star applicants. The same survey revealed that 1 in 5 employers don’t have any strategy for recruiting talent. Just to make it clear—posting a vacancy on your website and waiting for an avalanche of CVs is not a strategy. Unless, of course, you’re recruiting for a super trendy product company that everybody thinks they may want to work for.

Leverage job descriptions to promote company culture

According to Lever data, only 36% of applicants report receiving informative and concise job descriptions. On the other hand, 72% of employers believe that their descriptions say it all. To cut a long story short, the vast majority of recruiters fill vacancy announcements with standard, over-hyped phrases that mean almost nothing to candidates. As a result applicants frequently decide not to respond to vacancies because they can’t estimate the scope of job responsibilities properly. There is also another side to this story. Vague vacancy announcements often attract dozens of vague CVs, which obviously makes it harder for recruiters to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Just to make it clear—posting a vacancy on your website and waiting for an avalanche of CVs is not a strategy.

Let’s also not forget that before going knee-deep into the company’s characteristics and beliefs, candidates get the first glimpse of the corporate culture through a job description. It may be hard to fit all friendliness, warmth and joy into formal vacancy ads, but you should definitely try to reflect your culture. Avoid clichés, add your brand style, but don’t go too hard into pouring in emojis and jokes that no one understands.

Reach out to passive job seekers.

Let’s face it—the majority of talented people already have great jobs. But it doesn’t mean they aren’t considering other options.

“There is a close circle of first-class developers, where everyone knows each other. These people rarely scrape along on bread and water. They almost always have a job”, says Beetroot’s HR expert Daria Holovata, “As it usually happens, one of them spreads the word that there’s a company that is “the new place to be” resulting in others considering a move there. There is a high reliance on friends’ recommendations in this sphere. This is the reason why turning your teams into brand ambassadors is so important. Of course, no one pushes people to promote company’s culture. But you should do your best to make it so good, and be “the place to be”, the company they’d want to talk about (and work with) by choice”.

Apart from passive job seekers there are also “passive vacancies”. Let’s say, you accidentally run into the perfect candidate but you don’t have a vacancy to offer at this particular moment. Would you walk away? Of course not—If you find something worthy you never let go! After all, supporting good relations with potential candidates is a robust recruitment investment.

“I have a year-long “love story” with a top-notch designer, who might be a good call for one of our dedicated teams as soon as we have an open vacancy. Meanwhile, I just strive to keep our relationship warm and friendly so we can start a recruitment process straight off the bat at any time”, shares another Beetroot’s HR expert Tatiana Boichenko, “It’s normal practice to reach out to potential hires from time to time—invite them to company events or maybe send them a birthday card”.

Attend various events

The key word here is “various”. When looking for developers, the majority of recruiters zero in on IT only events. It’s clear it makes a lot of sense. There is a good chance of meeting IT specialists at IT events. But if this method renders itself obsolete, try other events. After all, top-drawer IT specialists are just like us and their interests go far beyond the IT sphere.

Let’s face it—the majority of talented people already have great jobs. But it doesn’t mean they aren’t considering other options.

“From time to time we attend cultural exhibitions or sporting events. Especially sports events—like cycling races or marathons. And, oh boy, you can’t imagine how may IT guys are there”, Tatiana says, “But don’t get me wrong. We don’t go there on purpose to stalk people. We go there because we enjoy sports and the arts. And sometimes we get an opportunity to talk to potential hires about our work and culture”.

Sometimes, simply mingling is not enough and you might want to try being a participant of an event yourself, or even an organizer of one.

“We regularly sponsor IT-related events and become speakers at some of them”, Daria says, “It’s a good opportunity to present our company to a wide audience of people. There might be potential hires among them, who share our values and may become interested in joining the team”.

Engage candidates on social media

Whether we want it or not social channels are becoming lifelines of modern communication. According to BetterTeam research, 94% of recruiters browse LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to get their hands on the best candidates. Considering the increase in social media influence, believe us, you don’t want to be within the remaining 6 per cent.

Social media recruitment is a double-edged sword. While you can scroll through an applicant’s feed to explore their personality, don’t forget that they can also do the same in return. BetterTeam research reports that 59% of a candidate’s decision to accept or decline a job offer is heavily influenced by the impression they receive from the company’s social media presence.

Another sticking point to consider is privacy. When recruiting through social media you should clearly see the line that goes between curiosity and intrusiveness. Checking on candidates social feed is okay, stalking them and sending friends requests in the middle of the night—definitely not okay.

Final remark

Sometimes finding a great candidate can be all about mere luck. Dasha recalls the day when Beetroot co-founders, Andreas and Gustav, went for lunch to a local canteen and ended up hiring a great person, who is now our sales guru!. The moral of this story—you should be open to talking to new people, off the cuff. Tell them about the latest Jimmy Kimmel show, dive into a Game of Thrones discussion, have a little chat about your company. You never know when you might find yourself face to face with the perfect candidate.