The battle for top talent has never been this fierce, especially in technology-heavy areas where the demand is massive, and the supply is still very much limited. Hiring top talent has become more difficult than ever before, even with diminishing employee loyalties and remote work opening up entirely new avenues for employers.
In other words, recruiters need to go further than just posting their job ads on a few career sites and LinkedIn.
Today, we will be taking a closer look at 4 creative techniques you can use to hire top talent.
Gamify employee referrals
Pretty much every company does some kind of a referral program in-house, encouraging their employees to suggest or even reach out to their friends and acquaintances who might have the right skills for certain jobs.
The issue with most employee referral programs is that they are sort of run out of steam after a while. Employees get interested when they learn they can earn rewards of some kind, but not long after, the thrill is gone, and they stop trying. Either because they were unsuccessful in the past or because the rewards are nothing to write home about.
Gamifying the referral program tackles both these common reasons for giving up while keeping the whole program fresh at all times.
First of all, gamifying it turns it into a more continuous process, meaning that a few failures don’t discourage people. It also holds the potential for raising the overall reward pool as the company will be getting more participation and more great candidates, thus indirectly increasing the reward pool.
Such a program also plays to people’s competitive nature and can even grow into a whole inside thing that helps build a strong company culture and a feeling of ownership.
Handle your events like a pro
When we talk about events in terms of attracting and hiring talent, we are talking about two distinct approaches – getting the most out of events organized by others and organizing your events the right way.
If you intend to attend events organized by others (conferences, local meetups, industry trade shows, etc.), there are a few things you have to make sure you are doing the right way:
- Attending the right events – Sometimes very niche events will be the right way to go and other times, it will be very general ones. Also, don’t be afraid to go lateral and attend only tangentially related industry events if you think that talent might be there. Too often, employers spend too much time and resources on the wrong events.
- Preparing a clear, direct message – Make sure everyone understands who you are, what you offer and what they can expect from you as an employer
- Sending the right team – Your message can be the best in the world, but if you don’t have someone to send it across in a friendly, honest but also salesy way, you’ve done nothing.
If you intend to organize your own events, make sure to do something that hasn’t been done to death.
If you plan to do something bigger and you feel overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out to professional event planners who know how to make your experience unforgettable.
Kick things off with a challenge
Everyone knows what the first step is when applying for a job. You get your CV updated, and your cover letter all spruced up, and you fire them over hoping for a call.
As an employer, all this does is provide you with a ton of CVs to read through, often from people who may not even be interested in the job and/or who might be grossly overrating their skills.
Why not do something different and start things off with a skill challenge of some kind?
Don’t worry; we are not talking about some cryptic hidden job ads like the one Apple ran a few years ago.
We are talking about a basic skill challenge that will help you identify people who are really interested in actually getting the job and who have the basic skills to fill the position.
This also makes it more interesting for the candidates and increases the chances of the job ad going viral as people start talking about it.
You can follow the initial challenge with a more traditional hiring process, of course.
Tap into educational organizations
One very misunderstood and underutilized potential source of talent is educational organizations in your area (not necessarily only in your area, but for convenience purposes, it’s probably best to concentrate on nearby places).
Many employers feel that it is too complicated to tap local educational organizations for talent or that this is something that is only reserved for the biggest players.
In reality, this is something most companies should at least consider, especially if they are in need of a skilled, specialized workforce.
You should also remember that colleges are not the only sources of entry-level talent. In today’s economy when more and more young people are apprehensive about college debts and as they realize a diploma is not the crucial factor in job search, many young people look for a job straight out of high school. This is especially true for young developers who like to learn on the fly and get to practice as early as possible.
Night schools, adult education organizations, and retraining programs are other sources of potential talent that you should keep in mind.
Reach out to local educational organizations, create a network, and make sure future graduates know about your company. (Also, make sure your company is a welcoming place for people just entering the job market in such a fashion.)
While the four creative techniques for hiring the top talent we discussed today are definitely something you will want to try out, make sure not to forget the basics – building your brand as an employer, being straightforward about the jobs you advertise for and delivering on your promises.
Simply put yourself in the candidates’ shoes.
Author: Michael Deane
Michael Deane is one of the editors of Qeedle, a small business magazine. When not blogging (or working), he can usually be spotted on the track, doing his laps, or with his nose deep in the latest John Grisham.