As most CEOs and organisation leaders will tell you, the key of success for any business is its ability to attract the best talent in the market.
Steve jobs one said: "When you're in a start-up, the first ten people will determine whether the company succeeds or not. Each is 10 percent of the company. So why wouldn't you take as much time as necessary to find all the A players? If three were not so great, why would you want a company where 30 percent of your people are not so great? A small company depends on great people much more than a big company does."
Jim Collins showed in Good to Great that "great vision without great people is irrelevant" and that it is essential for business leaders to go the extra mile to ensure they are equipped to hire the best people in the market. Why settle for B or C players just for the sake of hastily filling an open position? Why waste time training and on-boarding the wrong people when you are risking to increase your attrition rate further down the road, and subsequently, balloon the spending on recruiting?
Unfortunately, more often than not, CEOs and top executive spend very little time on developing a robust hiring strategy and tracking their hiring progress. The visibility they receive from their HR is minimum and they are often kept in the dark as to the status of their talent pipeline. Instead, they focus on the day-to-day operation, distracted handling never ending fire drills (which should in essence be handled by their employees if they were A players). Enrolling your HR to find a person with basic qualifications to fill a role is simple, but doesn't require much expertise. Establishing a well thought-out and managed recruiting process takes a bit more effort to prepare and will provide much greater recruiting results with talented new hires, better candidate experience, and more visibility on the work achievements made by your HR recruiting team.
Just like an organization would do for its products and services, the recruiting process should be regularly monitored, reviewed and refined by its leadership to ensure the organization has a systematic and efficient hiring approach.
From my experience in recruiting A players for Apple and Tesla, here is a list of 8 rules you can follow to build a successful recruiting strategy for your business:
1 - Create a culture of pro-active recruiting (not a re-active one):
Your HR should always be recruiting. If they start recruiting when a role becomes available (reactive recruiting), chances are that the best talent in the market have disappeared. Instead, they should constantly scrutinize the market and look for the best players out there so that they know exactly who to contact when the right role presents itself. Pro-active recruiting requires your HR to excel in building your talent pipeline ahead of time. Always be on the lookout for A players, always be meeting them, networking, and building your talent pool.
2 - Bring the right people in the bus:
Leaders should never hesitate and wait for the right role before they can bring an A player on board. The key is to do everything you can to bring them in as soon as you can identify them. They will help you build the right map for you to steer your bus in the right direction and drive you to a successful journey.
3 - Hire top-notch recruiters:
Your recruiters are often the first people your potential candidates will meet with. You should make sure they represent your brand with an innovative and resourceful attitude, and are as enthusiast and passionate as your top sales person. Of course, good recruiters, like all talented professionals, won't come cheap, but they will make a huge difference in attracting future top performers. If your recruiters can't sell or influence (in addition to assessing top talents), you’ll loose talent to your competitors.
4 - Train and develop your HR to sell:
Include your recruiters in your sales training program and have them take part in your marketing meetings. The more excited and engaged you make them, the better job they will do at representing your brand and attracting great people. Excluding them from all the exciting stuff happening inside your organization can only have the reverse effect in the long run. David Sweet (author of Sweet Sales) adds that, "training your HR to sell can only help them improve their negotiation skills during the offer stage and their ability to close offer contracts for the good of your organization.”
5 - Keep your hiring process simple, consistent and fast:
Recruiting the right people is often a matter of timing and if your competition is more responsive than you, chances are that they will most likely end up hiring the same candidates you are after before you even blink.
6 - Get your HR team a Recruiting Management System:
Save them from their old spreadsheet so that they can automate their manual workload and save time for the more essential (Sourcing and recruiting great people); for Japan, HirePlanner.com is a good example of simple, efficient and easy to implement system that can provide your HR with great tools to build more efficiently their talent pipeline ahead of time. Those type of Application Tracking Systems (ATS) will also offer you more visibility on your recruiting status, reduce your cost per hire and help you protect your data to avoid compliance issues.
7 - Track your recruiting performance:
Just like CEOs would regularly track metrics on their sales and other KPI driven functions, they should also have access to the following type of data to have a better grasp of their hiring situation:
- Number of hires per month or quarter
- Average time per hire
- List of companies new hires are coming from
- % of offers which have been turned down
- List of companies or reasons talents are lost to
- Time required from receiving resume to the offer stage
- Number of interviews required on average for each hires
- The source of where candidates applications and hires are coming from (Agencies, Job board, referrals or direct sourcing)
- Forecasted recruiting cost ...
Keeping track of those type of KPIs will help leaders ensure constant performance and correct any pitfalls as soon as they occur.
8 - Interview your new hires:
Have your new recruits evaluate their hiring journey and onboarding experience. The key being here to generate new ideas to continuously improve the hiring process within your organization.
The majority of leaders spend close to 80% of their time dealing with issues caused by their bottom performers. CEO should remember to set the bar high when it comes down to their hiring so that they can turn things around and spend most of their time with their A players. They should invest in hiring no-one else but high performance employees and create a culture that rewards those high performers and weeds out low performers with no growth potential.
Leaders should not make any rushed decision while selecting their people, getting it right is more important than getting it quick for the long term. As Steve Jobs once "eloquently" said: "I'd rather have a hole than an a*! hole."
Written by Fabien BROGARD CIPRIANI