Last week I shared with you the famous innovator behaviors by Clayton Christensen that could help you develop more innovative HR solutions. Over the next few of weeks I will help bring you up to speed on the latest trends, thoughts and approaches on:

  • sourcing,
  • developing, engaging and retaining talent,
  • performance management,
  • reward concepts,
  • organization structures, and
  • leadership development concepts.

Today, I’m going to shed light on the latest trends of finding the best talent for your organization.

Getting the best talent is not of course just the selection process. It includes sourcing, selecting, hiring and onboarding talent. And all of this should be based on, if it isn’t already, your organization’s ‘recruitment / people’ philosophy and its employer brand.

People Philosophy

1. People Philosophy

Adopted from the ‘Garbage In = Garbage Out’ philosophy, many leaders have publicly stated their preference to keep vacancies open until they get the right candidate for their organization. Whether it’s Tony Hsie from Zappos, Larry Page from Google or Steve Jobs from Apple (who famously stated that “You Have to be Ruthless if You Want to Build a Team with “A-Players”). All of them accept the consequences of a lengthy hiring process in order to get the best talent.

In his book Work Rules, Laszlo Bock describes that as a consequence selecting a candidate in Google is taken out of the hands of the hiring line manager. Hence, he always trades off the quality of the candidate versus the time it takes to fill the vacancy. Netflix’s success story can, for a large part, be traced back to their recruitment philosophy. They only hire people that are responsible and possess the following characteristics:

  • Self-motivated
  • Self-aware
  • Self-disciplined
  • Self-improving
  • Act as leaders
  • Don’t wait to be told what to do
  • Pick up the trash lying on the floor

Similarly, Upworthy, a digital media agency, has started to list open ended job postings. The vacancy doesn’t have a title or specification. Instead, the organization is looking to hire talented people rather than skills because it believes those can be taught. Those who are hired need to be able to adjust with the organization’s culture – something which is most essential to them.

2. Employer Branding

Most organizations have understood that their reputation in the talent market reflects directly on their ability to attract best talent. Recently, I was working with a client realizing that they have a very weak employer brand. For them the only way to attract best talent was to pay 40% higher than the market. If something spells out the need to invest in building an employer brand then this is it.

Using technology, gamification and social media are of course the way forward. You can get the attention of potential hires by engaging with them through blogs, vlogs or social media channels that interest these people and are common with the organization’s culture. This will help you build a brand amongst candidates who may consider working with you in the future. Also, it can help identify talent who best fit your organization’s culture based on shared interests.

Social media has also helped organizations bring transparency into their culture. Employer reviews help potential candidates make wiser decisions before joining or planning to join an organization. Dell, through its Facebook page, encourages open dialogue and shares videos and photos of the workplace environment. It also regularly holds polls to interact with users and potential candidates directly. Other innovative organizations use Periscope to stream live events for external talent to view.

3. Sourcing

Despite all the focus on social media, referrals are still, for many organizations, the most effective way to ‘identify’ talent. Banking on your best talent’s knowledge of the organization’s culture and expectations to identify people is still a workable strategy to source talent.

Of course, the big drawback is that you quickly start attracting clones. In order to ensure diversity of the candidate pool, Big Data can help recruiters search for potential candidates with much more ease and without the need to go through stacks of paper. Recruitment agencies are harnessing the power of technology to assist organizations find the best cultural fit. And thanks to recruitment agencies like Adecco, Randstad, Manpower and Robert Half, the search for the best talent is limitless in the global village.

4. Selecting

To ensure that they hire the best talent, leading organizations are moving away from giving line managers direct, and often, sole responsibility for hiring decisions. Selection is primarily conducted by cross functional groups and focused on leadership competencies as much as professional skills. This can help ensure a more diverse approach to selection and decrease the subjectivity of the process.

And of course, if you’re interested in finding out what’re the best questions asked globally, check out my blog on The Most Insightful Job Interview Questions by the World’s Top Companies.

5. Hiring

One of the most overlooked stages of the recruitment process is the hiring phase. The phase where an offer is made. There are times when new recruits are being tempted by counter offers from existing employees. The entire recruitment process is rendered useless in the event the selected candidate decides to remain with their current employer, or even yet, join a competitor. I‘m sure at some point you’ve experienced this frustration.

How can you prevent it? By applying all the engagement tools that you would to your current employees (and maybe even more). Try ‘buddying’ the new recruit with one of your best talents. Invite them for events that your organization or department is holding and start treating the ‘to be’ employee as if they have already joined. Make them feel comfortable and at ease. It’ll make their first day at work less nerve-racking and make you look more attractive as employers.

6. Onboarding

To keep the first day stress under control organizations have been using virtual onboarding techniques that provide new recruits essential information. Ernst & Young provides an innovative onboarding portal and answers questions typically asked by new recruits on their first day. Google has a ‘Buddy Hire Program’ that helps new recruits familiarize themselves with the environment and helps them adjust faster. Having a mentor by their side also helps them be more productive.

Another useful technique is to provide new recruits with a ‘learning path’. These can be helpful to document and identify their progress along their new journey. Most leading organizations encourage their new recruits to use social media and share their experiences. This also works well for current employees to know their new colleagues while also catching the attention of future prospects.

For more creative onboarding ideas check out these ‘Extreme Onboarding’ techniques and these Ideas/Innovations for Induction.

Next week I’ll talk about innovative development solutions for your best talent. See you then.