The slogan of my community, AristocracyHR, is, “HR Otherwise Would Be Uncivilized.” That is to say that practices that are anything other than smart, common sense, innovative, and humane in application would be uncivilized and therefore lacking the value that an effective HR function should provide.
Anyone who is hired at a company is usually brought in through the recruitment group or the group eloquently called Talent Acquisition. Talent Acquisition from my perspective is the alpha and omega of HR and the entire organization. Any misstep by them and it is a grave reflection on the rest of the bunch.
The interesting thing is Talent Acquisition is only as good as the resources put into the function by decision makers. If poor practices are handed down from the top; it will be passed on to jobseekers and later to new hires. We can get into the conversation about who should nudge who when it comes to shaping the organization so that it exudes culture and value at a later date. However, there are a few things that have occurred to me in my travels around HR; some best practices that that can make every company’s hiring strategy civilized.
Here are five tips for deploying a successful hiring strategy in 2013:
1) Pay particular attention to the “human” aspect of human resources and make sure that every process, policy, practice, initiative, and experience takes on a “human” perspective. All too often, organizations get wrapped up in a law, a piece of compliance, policy, and let’s not forget their bottom-line. I’m not saying look at every situation with rose colored glasses. I’m simply saying to stop and think about how this new initiative or way of doing things will affect the human that will ultimately live through it. Heck, ask an employee or two before you roll out one of your masterful plans- you may be surprised at their answer.
2) Embrace technology, but do not overcomplicate it. Whether it is your applicant tracking system or your new employee self service rollout. By all means spring into the 21st century, but be mindful that everyone is pressed for time and attention span. Make anything you do with your technology for hiring is intuitive and simple. It should not require a 2,000 page manual and a Computer Science degree.
3) Stop wasting jobseekers time. Yes, I said it. Stop showing up to job fairs with no jobs or jobs no one there could qualify for. If no one out there is good enough to do your job openings, pull the posting and wait for the backlash of the employees that are now overburdened with the extra work. My point is stop the cheap tricks. People talk and they aren’t as dumb as you think. Actually they aren’t dumb at all. They can see the trick coming before you say, Ta-da! This right here will kill your brand and any chances you have of attracting top talent.
4) Put the dollars and cents behind the strategy. The companies whose hiring strategies have impact are the ones who are putting dollars and cents behind the strategy. That doesn’t mean be foolish in spending your money – it simply means money well spent within the hiring function can do wonders for your recruitment and employer branding efforts. Like most budgets, there is almost always an area where money is wasted either on a worthless initiative or just because the money has to be spent before the end of your fiscal year. Putting money behind the strategy can be as simple as springing for a continental breakfast at a local venue for new hire orientation or advertising the opening on a new niche website. It sure beats the humdrum, transactional orientation you hold in a conference room where the highlight of the new hire’s day is signing up for benefits and boring presentations.
5) Check in with your employees (whether new or tenured) before they check out. People get hired, they get an offer letter, they arrive for orientation, they report to their departments and then they disappear into the deep, dark crevices of the organization. Things for that new employee usually goes well and they thrive. Yet other times they ask themselves one month into the job, what the heck am I doing here? It is an internal conversation that gets more infuriating with time, because no one has the courtesy to do a customer satisfaction check in. Without periodic interviews, an exit interview of tenured employee simply doesn’t tell the whole story. Do spot checks even if things look good from where you sit. You don’t want any Op-Ed’s floating around the internet airing out your dirty laundry or better yet you actually want to retain your employees.
Deploying a hiring strategy for 2013 without taking these five tips into consideration would truly make for uncivilized hiring and poor outcomes. If you can incorporate 50% of these suggestions, you will see a remarkable change in your employees and how job seekers see you. It’s all about making many small strides for big results. Baby steps people, baby steps.
Janine N. Truitt (@CzarinaofHR) is an HR Professional based in Long Island, NY. Learn more of her expertise in Recruitment, HR Technology, Talent Management, Employee Relations, and HR Policy/Compliance on her blog, The Aristocracy of HR.