Attracting a high calibre of talent can be challenging, which is why I decided to write these articles to help hiring managers with recruitment strategies to enhance their chance of securing their ideal team members.
In the previous two articles, I covered what matters to high performers and what influences them. In this article, I will cover the high performer’s decision-making process and how to influence them at each stage.
Depending on whether the talent you are considering is actively on the market, or not on the job market at all, their decision making differs. I am going to cover both scenarios.
High performers who are actively on the market:
When a high performer becomes available on the job market (whether they have been made redundant, have reached their highest potential in the current role or are not satisfied by their current employer), they will not be on the market for a long time as many other businesses, including your competitors, will be looking at hiring them.
They are likely to have back to back interviews with multiple potential employers as soon as they become available. As a result, they will have exposure to multiple brands and working environments and can easily compare the recruitment experience of each employer.
The recruitment experience that they have with you is extremely important. This includes everything from how long it takes you to respond their application, how flexible you are with interview times, how they are greeted at your office, how long they wait in the reception for you, how you interview them, how approachable you are, and how quickly you provide them feedback and indication of next steps after the interview.
You need to prepare carefully for each of these steps. You will be surprised to learn that throughout my career I have had strong candidates turning down an opportunity because one of these steps went wrong. I am going to give you some real examples that I have come across in my career.
1. The interviewer was late to the interview. I am sure we all can agree that being late to an interview without notifying the person you are meeting is professionally wrong. Accidents and unexpected things happen all the time, but how you manage it is very important. If you suddenly get an important call that you have to take, ask one of your team members to greet your interview and notify them that you are stuck and will be with them in 15 minutes and if there is anything they can do for them in the meantime.
2. The interviewer had their mobile phone on the table and consistently checked their phone. This is another behaviour that is not only rude but very distracting for the person you are interviewing. Some people may think that this makes them look like someone who is very important, but unfortunately, this is not the case. The truth is that checking the phone non-stop represents a stressful environment, lack of care, lack of organisation and lack of consideration.
3. The interviewer only focused on the candidate's ability and did not share any information about their own business, the position and benefits of working with them. If you have not read my previous articles, I highly recommend reading them as they explain the importance of your employer brand and how the recruitment process is a two-way street.
4. Going silent after the interview. Providing feedback and clarifying the next steps after the interview is integral. I a firm believer in honesty. Even if you think you are not able to give your interview an update in a week, communicate that with them at the end of the interview and the reason why. If you believe that they are the right match for your business, tell them what the next steps will be.
Another fact that you need to consider when a high performer is on the job market is speed as they are likely to receive a job offer from your competitor soon. Of course, being too quick may come across as desperate but if you take too long to make a decision, you will risk losing the talent. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen hiring managers make is thinking that if they lose a strong talent, they can find another one shortly.
High performers who are not active on the market
This is a totally different story and requires a gentler and more subtle approach comparing to the talent who is actively on the market.
Imagine that you are in your current position and are not thinking of changing positions and suddenly an employer who you have not heard of contacts you and says that they want you in their business and want to have an interview with you this week. How would that make you feel? How would you respond?
I am sure you probably would have a full week made of many plans both personal and work-related and possibly read their email or answer their call when you are engaged in important matters of your daily life.
So what should we do in this situation?
The best approach would be to look at the process like a marketing conversion funnel.
First, you create awareness of your brand to potential high-performers by initial contact (meeting at a networking event, connecting on social media etc).
Secondly, you generate interest. Once you have them within your network share your thoughts and approach to your work on social media or conferences or even on your website (In-case they check your website after initial contact).
Thirdly generate desire. Many employers do this by showcasing their achievements and team collaborations as a case study across different touch-points. This helps the potential new hire get an understanding of what it is like to work with you.
Lastly, action. Now that your potential new hire knows of you and understands what is it like to work with you, you can initiate contact. How you approach them is very important. If you send an email or make a call that is not personalised, chances are you will be let down. However, you can use the following formula to start the conversation:
- Make a personalised comment/compliment on their career
- Make a comment on your interest in getting to know them
- Introduce your opportunity and its benefits to them
- Ask if they are interested in exploring the position with you.
Once you have engaged them and meet with them, you can practice all the other tips that I have given throughout these three articles to secure high performers for your team and let your team flourish.
I know that this sounds daunting as we have done it ourselves. We have spent hours and hours to establish these relationships and developing our brand amongst our community so that when we contact them, the Creative Recruiters brand is known by them, however, it is worth the effort. If you think that you just do not have the time and capacity to do so, feel free to give me a call on 0481 332 461 to help you secure high performers for your business.