How to Use Strategic Hiring to Achieve Business Goals
Many organizations struggle with executing a standardized hiring process – strategies can often become over complicated and disconnected when everyone involved in the hiring process fails to be on the same page, with regards to goals, tactics, and expectations.
43% of HR leaders say they do not have an explicit future of work strategy, putting pressure on recruitment (Gartner). And when organizations are under pressure to hire, the tendency is to make hiring decisions fast. However, a strategic hiring plan will result in a streamlined and repeatable process that improves hiring success and mitigates risk
What is strategic hiring?
50% of organizations are anticipating increased competition for talent (Gartner). With this in mind, organizations need to rethink their approach to recruiting top talent, and embrace strategic hiring. Strategic hiring is a tactical approach to recruiting and organizational planning that aims to attract top talent, with a view to filling future roles as well as current vacancies.
Focusing on your long-term goals has clear advantages. You can:
- start to anticipate market needs responding with agility and insight
- stay ahead of competitors with effective sourcing techniques to attract top talent earlier
- develop talent pipelines, focusing on talent that already has the right skill sets, or aptitude for learning
- ensure company-wide buy-in to your recruitment process and align goals.
A three-step hiring process
A streamlined end-to-end hiring process includes three key elements: sourcing, evaluating, and interviewing. Getting these stages right, can enable you to form a repeatable hiring process that can be slightly tweaked depending on the role.
Candidate Sourcing - Where to start
Taking place towards the beginning of your hiring process, candidate sourcing involves methods of researching and finding talent that meets the requirements of your role. Candidate sourcing can be time-consuming but is very effective.
“One in every 72 sourced candidates, on average, is hired’. Unfortunately, whilst recruiting is a top priority for 46% of HR leaders, 36% say their sourcing strategies are insufficient for finding the skills they need (Gartner).
So, it is important to look at where to source candidates, which avenues you can use to identify applicants, how to track applicants and what parameters matter, so that you can align your strategy and form an efficient process.
Evaluating - How to narrow your qualified pool of candidates
If your candidate sourcing strategy has been successful you should have a pool of qualified candidates who in some form meet your requirements. Your next focus is how to evaluate the candidates you have identified, and determine who should progress to interview. Ask yourself, what does your ideal candidate look like and what tools can you use to qualify candidates? These questions can produce a number of variables which is where pre-hire tools can play a role.
Interviewing - 7 seconds to make a good impression
The competition for top talent is high, 52% of hiring managers are focusing on improving the quality of their hires; and candidates are in turn coming to interview with high expectations. As brand ambassadors your interviewer needs to ensure a positive candidate experience, expectations should be clearly outlined and feedback provided. To achieve your business goals, you need to be able to maintain links with your candidates. Job applicants report a 36% increase in willingness to increase their relationship with an employer if feedback is provided (Talent Board report, 2021).
Now we have our three step hiring-process and have identified what to look for. How can organizations implement these steps to achieve business goals?
Five Steps To Improving Your Strategic Hiring Approach
1. Source by skill set
In research by HBR, Hidden Workers Report “94% of employers believe that qualified high-skills candidates were vetted out of the process because they did not match the exact criteria established by the job description”. With a skills-based approach to hiring, you can source candidates who fall outside of traditional work/educational routes rather than relying on outdated proxies. This helps to reduce competition and widen your talent pool so you can attract candidates with the aptitude to develop and take your business further in the future. Facilitating discussions with key stakeholders about your long-term goals, can also help you to decide which routes will be most effective for sourcing active and passive candidates for your talent pipeline.
2. Use the best tools to source and verify candidates
75% of HR professionals believe that there is a skills gap among their applicants (SHRM). Getting your job description to the right prospective candidates and then verifying their credentials is a challenge for many businesses. Using a sourcing tool that meets your needs can enhance your hiring process, AI-powered tools such as Credly’s Talent Match is a skills-based hiring platform based on verified credentials, giving you access to the most qualified talent pool faster.
3. Personalize your outreach
The best talent pipelines are those which are forward-looking. Establishing a dialogue with new candidates and making them feel valued is a great way to not only engage them but build your company brand. In turn, this can help organizations cut their per-hire cost in half, and reduce turnover among current employees by 28% (LinkedIn). Your outreach conversations need to be relevant and personalized so that candidates believe their next step could be with your company.
4. Determine your hiring outcomes
What would better hiring outcomes look like to you? Define what your Talent Acquisition team is looking for in an ideal world. It could be better quality candidates, improved retention rates, lower cost per hire, or quicker hiring times. The important element is that this focus needs to be aligned across the business, so that everyone involved from the HR team to management has a clear vision of the talent required. This can not only assist with candidate sourcing but upskilling current employees and adopting a future-first approach that factors in career mobility and the transferability of skills.
5. Select hiring assessments
Predicting job performance is a science, and one that can help mitigate the risk of making a bad hire and resulting in a costly outcome - up to 30% of an employee's first-year earnings. One way to predict performance is through the use of hiring assessments such as TalentLens’ Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal or Raven’s Adaptive which enables you to focus on the key competencies and skill sets you require.
Research from SHRM, found 36% of HR professionals agreed that a job candidate who scores high on an assessment but doesn't meet the minimum years of experience is very likely to make it onto the list of final candidates.Hence, organizations who value pre-hire assessments are benefiting from greater insight, leading to data-driven hiring decisions and ultimately better engaged and motivated employees who are aligned with a company's goals and culture.
Prioritize Strategic Hiring for Business Success
The future of work is evolving fast, and today’s leaders will need to be strategic, visionary and transformational if they are to facilitate hiring success in the future. Companies attracting top talent will be proactive and able to produce efficient hiring processes that are easily replicated for hiring success.
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