The talent you attract to your business is by far the greatest asset you can have and will ultimately dictate your success or failure. So, you would take the purchase of a capital asset (new machinery for your production facility) seriously by conducting a rigorous assessment process, surely you should treat human talent assets in the same way?
Here are 6 key things I recommend that you do to recruit great talent:
1. Have a talent philosophy
You should work out what talent means to your organisation. What would accelerate your performance now and in the future. Recruitment should be about future proofing your team and ensuring that you have leaders and high performing employees. The worst mistake any leader or manager can make is being afraid to recruit someone into your team that is actually better than you.
2. Stay updated about what is going on in your market
You should be gaining constant feedback about the talent in your industry and how your competitors are shaping their teams. One of the best ways to do this is through feedback from your externally facing employees (usually sales) but also by partnering a recruitment partner that is very active and operates as a trusted advisor, keeping you updated and flagging great talent when they identify it. Don't wait for a vacancy to arise before looking, there are probably better opportunities to grab high calibre talent if you have the right partnerships in place.
3. Run a robust recruitment process
Create a robust and consistent recruitment process that ensures all candidates are assessed in the same way and that you assess the right things. Behaviours, cultural fit and future capability to perform should be first on your list to assess. There are lots of tools and techniques that you can use including psychometric assessments and competency based interviews.
4. Put energy into your recruitment process
You need to act as your company's brand ambassador. Prepare well for interviews, be sharp and ready to both delve deep into the detail but also engage with candidates and build a good rapport. Recruitment is a two-way process and you are being interviewed as much as you are interviewing.
5. Look for emotional intelligence and self awareness
You don't want people who put on an interview bravado but instead want a natural approach and candidates who are open, honest and aware of their weaknesses.
6. Effective onboarding is critical
Effective onboarding has gone way beyond delivering an HR induction process. Understanding the HR policies etc... are important but preparing a new employee to be capable of performing as quickly as possible should be your priority. Consider what someone needs to know to deliver exceptional performance as quickly as possible. Who do they need to build relationships with, products, services, systems etc.... The onboarding process will also quickly shape someone's opinion about your organisation and whether they have made the right decision to join you.
Here is more information on effective onboarding.
Any good leader knows that your most critical decision is how you hire and whom you work with. People are your best capital and your biggest asset. And if you get it wrong, it is literally the difference between success and failure. Elon Musk once said that a company "is only as good as its people and how excited they are about creating." The smartest leaders are really comfortable hiring people who are much smarter than they are, who will push them with diverse thinking. Yes, finding and hiring talent is a skill you have to develop.