Hi, my name is Adam Daines, I’m the CEO of ADDA Infusion. I’ve spent my career to date, specializing in building HR departments, human capital planning, employee coaching, interview training, talent management and international HR. My advice for anyone looking to attract the best talent and retaining them always starts at the same place: think of it like a romantic relationship (metaphorically of course).
You’ve got your dating phase which, thanks to the advent of online dating, now resembles recruitment all the more. You move up your commitment to each other with financial ties and contracts (not unlike a marriage) and just like with some relationships: you might end up hanging in there longer than you should.
Growing apart is sometimes natural (and necessary) in our inter-personal relationships, and this is true in employment as well.
So how can you attract the best talent for your business?
Well again; think of it like the dating game. Are you a ’10’? Is your company the most attractive it can be? Do you compete in the market at the level necessary to attract the best and brightest?
A lot of companies shoot straight for the Google-level employee, without first ensuring that they can compete at Google’s level. When you think of it in those terms; it starts to put things in perspective doesn’t it?
Employers really need to look at their website and social media presence. How up-to-date is it? What information do you provide? Just as with a dating profile: there are details that make you stand out as somewhere attractive to work.
Some areas to pay attention to are:
- Are you environmentally friendly?
- Do you look after your community?
- What are your mission and values?
- What do you stand for?
Something that we see examples of a lot, are companies that talk about past glories on their site and social media. Just as with posting a 15-year old picture of yourself on your dating profile, you shouldn’t do this about your company. It just invites the inevitable question of – “well what’s happened since then?” The inference being: you’ve peaked, hit your apex and now you’re on the downslide.
Remember: when you are looking at candidates, they are judging you as much as you are judging them. At least – they should be! I’d suggest that the ones who aren’t, probably are not the folks you want to be attracting in the first place.
The proactive, prospective employee should be looking through your company profile, seeing what they can bring to you; just as much as you are looking at their resume, to see what they can offer.
They will also likely be looking at your Glassdoor reviews and other indicators, to see what kind of employer you are. Are you a churn & burn type, or do you cultivate relationships and tenure?
What can you do if you’re not a 10?
Well, it’s a case of looking at what you’re offering. Salary, benefits-package, growth and development opportunities – these are all things that people look for when considering their next move, and you need to make sure that your’s are competitive.
The Interview Process – The Dating Game
So this is yet another area that we see some ‘dropping of the ball’, in terms of attraction. Your interview process is like that awkward first date, but it doesn’t have to stay that way.
The most successful interviews are the ones that show candidates a window into your company culture. They will have read about it online (assuming that you’ve covered your bases as per the above) and now it’s time to get a sense of it in the room.
A ridged, overly-formal or question-laden interview process is just going to misrepresent your company culture and what the work environment is like (or at least: hopefully it will).
If you can cultivate an atmosphere of conversation and an exchange of who you both are, it will go a long way to attracting the right people.
Think about it: you don’t want someone who is a bad fit right? Well they need to get as clear a sense of your company as possible, just as you do about them, in order to know if it’ll be a good fit. Again: it’s a two-way street. Be open with them, encourage them to be open/relaxed with you and you’ll both soon see whether this relationship has a future!
Retention – how can you ensure that they’ll stay with you?
The first thing is not to over-sell the position. We see this quite a lot too and it rarely ends well. Don’t forget that the 90-day probationary period is as much for them as it is for you. If you’ve over-sold the position, they’ll know within that time and likely be heading for the door.
I know this sounds like it probably doesn’t happen all that much, but trust me: I’ve seen many interviews where the position and company were over-sold, and the successful candidate has left within 90 days. Just be truthful with how you represent yourself and the role, and trust in the process to find the right match. It will stand you in much better stead for the long run.
Once you have someone on board who is perfect for the role, how do you keep them? Well once again; it’s like a relationship. You need:
- Two-way communication
- Listen to their needs
- Offer opportunities for personal & professional growth
- Make them feel wanted & valued
These may all seem obvious, but it is very easy to let one or more of them slide through complacency. If you want the brightest minds working for you, that means that they will look for new opportunities for advancement if their needs are not being met where they are. The competition will be happy to take them on, having let you put in the time and investment to cultivate their talent.
So keep things interesting!
Offer them plenty of opportunities to report back on how they’re doing. Be aware of where they’re at professionally and also where you are at as a company.
Your company will go through phases too, especially during the start-up years, and you may find that some employees just no longer fit with where you’re headed. That’s fine! Remember; you need to be honest with yourself when things just aren’t working out. Breakups are a part of life too.
So to summarise:
- Have a strong ‘employer brand’
- Create an informative & enjoyable interview process
- Offer opportunities for development & growth
- Make sure that your employees feel valued
That’s all for this blog. If you have any questions around HR, recruitment and retention – please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye out for more informative vlogs and blogs in the coming weeks and I will look forward to speaking to you again soon.