People Positive Culture

Employers and employees, does it really need to be this hard?

Want to Attract the A-Talent? Treat the D-Talent better.

You want to hire the A-talent?

I will tell you how. Treat the D-talent better.

Companies either have a hard time finding the talent they need or they believe they have to throw money and perks at talent to entice them to join their company.

A-talent is the talent that has the skills, experience and attitude you seek for openings with your company. The typical strategies to hire the best talent? Offer more money, amazing benefits, provide office perks like free food and foosball and hope for the best. D-talent may be great talent for somebody, but not for your company. They are someone else’s A-talent. So, you ignore them. Wrong. Treat everyone the same during the recruitment process.

Treating the D-talent (B’s and the C’s) better shows your company is consistent and focused in your recruitment strategy. It aligns everyone in your organization along the same goals and plan. You present your company and your staff as being a united front. Your organization comes across as professional, organized and your employees engaged and involved. Good stuff when a candidate is evaluating whether they want to come work for you. The foosball table is fluff; this stuff is real.

People talk. Company reputations get built on what people on the street say and whom they say it to. Treating candidates poorly sends bad messages out to their extended network and you risk negative associations with your company. If your firm has a bad reputation, or has a bad recruitment process, people will talk about it. Your employer brand suffers. If your employer brand suffers, so does your recruitment efforts.

I recently had a conversation with a business owner who complained that he couldn’t find employees fast enough. He felt people were lazy and did not want to work hard. This was an insight into how he, and subsequently how his company, hired people. I did not want to tell him, but his attitude is a reason his company can’t attract people.

Most companies try to attract talent with money, benefits and perks. Survey after survey tells us that money is not the most important driver for most employees.
Throwing money and benefits at A-talent may work at times, but it is not a strategy. And it’s certainly not sustainable. In the long-term it probably creates more problems. If money is the driver for people to join a company, money will always be the driver. And they will probably leave as soon as someone else gives them more.

Most large corporations have a process in place for managing resumes and candidates. It does not mean they do it well, but they have a process. Many smaller firms don’t have a process, and they don’t have a strategy. And it shows.

Take these small steps to build a strategy and start attracting better talent.

• Establish a process for recruitment and hiring. Identify someone to “own” your process. No rogue managers….everyone follows the process.
• Don’t solely rely on job postings as an awareness campaign for your openings. Be proactive in promoting your brand. If you do post jobs, focus more on your brand, vision and future and less on a laundry list of skills you seek.
• Implement an employee referral bonus program.
• Make the process reasonable for the candidate to navigate. Be clear on everything from next steps in the process to coaching your employees on who they may be interviewing and why. Get everyone on the same page.
• Map your company hiring plans with your growth plans.
• Make sure your employees know where the company has been and where it wants to go. They are spokespeople for your brand. They need to know your company’s story.
• Be honest about your company’s strengths and weaknesses. Don’t sugarcoat stuff. The truth will come out eventually anyway.
• Acknowledge and respond to EVERYONE that submits resumes.
• CALL everyone you interview but do not hire. Thank them for their interest.
• Identify people that may fit future opportunities. Let them know you have this interest.
• Have formalized offer letters and job descriptions.
• Offer fair market salaries and benefits.
• Know what your salary range is and be firm. Pay extra if you have to but not as a policy. If it’s about money, this may not be the candidate for the long-term. Know this early.
• Have an on-boarding process established.
• Be clear and set expectations for success early with new hires.
• Have a training plan established.

16 easy steps every company can implement. You will become organized. Professional. Intent. Strategic.

You will begin to build a reputation as a company that values people. Not just the A-talent, but all people.

The A-talent will get the message.

One Response to “Want to Attract the A-Talent? Treat the D-Talent better.”

  1. October 4th, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    M!ke Russell says:

    “Acknowledge and respond to EVERYONE that submits resumes.”

    A task destined for automation. But even so, wouldn’t an auto-reply note -written with heart- be one of those special touches that stays with the applicants?

    Smells like opportunity.

    Great message, Steve.

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