What’s New in Hiring Strategies? by Barbara Mitchell, Managing Partner, The Mitchell Group Everything has changed now that the economy is back on track. Organizations are finding the job market highly competitive and the momentum has shifted to the job seeker and not the organization that is hiring. Established organizations are competing with innovative start-ups. So what can HR Managers and recruiters do to ensure you hire the right candidate? When you go through your budgeting process, create a workforce plan so you can anticipate when new hires will be needed and what skill sets they will need to have to be successful with your organization. Your plan should look at potential retirements, terminations, new divisions, products or anything else that might impact your current or projected workforce. This is also the right time to look at what HR management should look like in your organization. Understand your organization’s culture so that you can sell what you have to offer to candidates. Remember, you are now competing for talent so you have to know why someone would want to work for your organization and be able to “sell” the opportunity. Be sure your benefits package is as good as it possibly can be so that you can compete with other organizations for the talent you want. Survey salaries of other organizations to be sure your pay structure is as competitive as you need it to be. Consider developing a “total rewards” strategy that links salary, benefits, time off and rewards and recognition programs to make a complete package to attract the best available talent. The renewed emphasis on hiring is creating a need for more HR managers and is creating HR jobs and recruiting positions. Cast a wide net for applicants. This means using social media, job boards, diversity sites, your local employment commission office, your professional network and professional organization websites for candidates. If you don’t have an employee referral program, consider starting one and paying for hard to find talent. Remember, your employees will only refer people they think will get hired because a bad referral will reflect on them. Referral programs can be highly successful and very cost effective. Make it as easy as possible to apply for a position with your organization. Many organizations are no longer requiring resumes and cover letters—applicants can submit their LinkedIn profile or apply on a mobile application. Be sure interviewers are trained in interview skills and knowhow to get the most information from job candidates. Insure they do not not put your organization in jeopardy by asking illegal questions. HR Managers or directors should be part of the hiring and training processes for all new hires. Treat every job applicant like a VIP—remember, even if that person isn’t right for the job, you still want them to have a wonderful experience while applying for a job at your organization. You want them to tell their friends and colleagues what a great organization you are so be sure to keep your commitments to them when setting appointments or following up. Look at developing skills to recruit the “passive job seeker”—these are the people who aren’t currently looking for a new job but who have a valued skill set that your organization needs or will need. Find them on LinkedIn or at industry conferences or through your professional network and establish relationships with them—including keeping in touch long before you think you might have a job opening. Then, when the opening is available, they will already know a lot about your organization and be willing to consider a move. The renewed emphasis on hiring is creating a need for more HR managers and is creating HR jobs and recruiting positions. Turnover is increasing as employees have more opportunities so consider developing retention strategies and engagement strategies so that you won’t have to fill so many openings. Barbara Mitchell, Managing Partner of The Mitchell Group, is co-author of The Big Book of HR and The Essential HR Handbook.