The most successful clients we have partnered have undoubtedly viewed recruitment as an integral part of their business strategy and give it the respect and resources it deserves. Those organisations that view it as a necessary costly activity and don't invest time in it rarely enjoy the benefits that it can provide their business. Recruiting brilliant people is a clear opportunity for you to differentiate from your competitors.
Patty McCord, the ex-Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, outlines 4 key considerations to ensure your recruitment strategy and activities are aligned with your company's overall strategy.
McCord placed talent acquisition or recruitment at the heart of Netflix and gradually got line managers to recognise the value of them investing in building partnerships with their internal recruitment teams. Line managers had previously seen recruitment as an irritation but went on to recognise the power of having a great team and the impact on the performance metrics they had been set to achieve.
1. Probe beneath the surface
Go beyond recruiting experience on CV's and dig deep into what makes someone tick. Look at their problem-solving capabilities or analyse data to see if there is any common theme amongst outstanding leaders etc... Netflix identified that one outstanding trait for a specific technology role was a musical ability. This was then fed into their search for more talent and it worked. Avoid making assumptions and look for behaviours that may be a bit out of the norm but could catch you something very special.
2. Engage managers fully and treat recruiters as business partners
There is nothing worse than not being given access to a hiring line manager. When an HR or recruitment person stands in the way of a direct conversation and tries to translate what the line manager wants, it usually only results in one outcome - a failed appointment. Recruiting someone is not like buying a product from Amazon where you can choose a specification that you can guarantee the product will have. Every person is different and recruitment should be an ongoing dialogue with the line manager to share market insights and candidate data as the assignment progresses. It could be that a candidate may not align to the briefed specification but they are an even more exciting prospect for the company. Managing a recruitment process against a tick box of wishes limits the value you will get and so building a strong partnership with your recruiter is critical.
3. Always be recruiting
Recruiting shouldn't be confined to using a headhunter or advertising a vacancy when it arises. Your employees and external stakeholders should always be looking out for talent that would benefit your business. The number of social and business engagements that happen each day is huge and among them are opportunities to identify employees who could make a real difference to your business. You may not have a vacancy or authorised headcount but if a superstar comes along who could deliver an outstanding return on their investment, should you not at least be talking to them?
4. Set compensation that makes sense for you
There is an assumption that people will only move jobs for an increase in their basic salary or package. People forget to look at the personal, professional and career impact that joining a new employer could have. If someone will only move for a higher salary then they are likely to be the wrong person. Clearly, remuneration is important but you should also give consideration to well-being, personal development, working in a great culture, future career opportunities etc.. Don't think that you need to enter a Dutch auction to lure outstanding talent, you will be surprised what motivates people and it is not just money.
It is important though to keep assessing remuneration of each employee if you want to retain them for the long term.
Overall, some sound advice to add to your recruitment strategy.
In truth, one company’s A player may be a B player for another firm. There is no formula for what makes people successful. Many of the people we let go from Netflix because they were not excelling at what we were doing went on to excel in other jobs. Finding the right people is also not a matter of “culture fit.” What most people really mean when they say someone is a good fit culturally is that he or she is someone they’d like to have a beer with. But people with all sorts of personalities can be great at the job you need done. This misguided hiring strategy can also contribute to a company’s lack of diversity, since very often the people we enjoy hanging out with have backgrounds much like our own.