You know from your own experience, and from that of your peers, that it takes time and effort to create the magnetism needed to pull talent toward you. For our purposes, let’s assume you’ve been successful in your efforts to draw people in. You’re halfway home. To cross the finish line, you’ll need to sustain their interest in coming to work for you and your company, as you put them through the paces your firm requires before candidates are hired.
As you read through this excerpt from my newly published book, The Magnetic Leader, I’m going to challenge you to look at your hiring practices every step along the way. Try doing so from a job seeker’s perspective. Think about what areas you can improve upon. What steps can you eliminate? Are your hiring practices enabling you to hire the right people or are they doing more harm than good? Let’s begin by putting you in the driver’s seat.
Take the Wheel
When it comes to hiring, magnetic leaders always remain in the driver’s seat. They never delegate this task to someone else because they believe, like I do, that hiring is the most important job of any leader. Those who don’t think this is so are probably the same people who keep complaining about the quality of their hires.
You can’t delegate relationships, which is what hiring people is all about. The hiring process is essentially a matter of getting to know the candidates so that you can determine whether they are the right fit for your company, and vice versa. Now, I know that in some parts of the world arranged marriages are quite common and that some of these marriages do indeed work. But just because this is true doesn’t mean that most of us would be better off having someone else select our mate. The same holds true with regard to the hiring relationship.
In many cases, we spend more time with the people we work with than we do with our families. My experience tells me that I know best what will work for me in terms of a team member. I also know that no one can sell me like I can sell myself. And no matter what you believe, when you are hiring someone you are in the sales business. What I mean by this is that you have to take your candidate through a series of yesses, with the final being, “Yes. I’d love to accept your offer. When can I start?”
Here’s the part that gets confusing to me. Many managers are fine delegating the hiring function to their assistant or someone in HR. That is, until this person is unable to fill the job as quickly as the manager expects. HR is doing its best to keep up with the hiring demands placed upon it by the organization and a very demanding labor market. Most HR departments simply don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with today’s hiring needs. To win the race for talent, you must take the wheel—take control of the situation.
Here’s what I recommend to my clients who are looking to accelerate their ability to fill job openings with quality hires. Pick up the phone and personally call the candidates, especially those you are looking to source from another company. Right then and there you are sending a clear message to the candidate. You are letting him know that you are invested in the hiring process and that this is a priority for you.
Having someone else making the calls to candidates sends a message to them as well, however, the message may not be the one you intended to send. Nonetheless, candidates are free to interpret the calls any way they choose. Most will assume they are one of many people being called that day, and in some situations they might be right. Those who are gainfully employed and somewhat satisfied at work probably won’t bother to return the call. Why? It’s likely that they are receiving such calls daily. Like I said, take the wheel and make the calls yourself. And once you have the wheel, don’t turn it over to anyone else until you’ve crossed the finish line.
© Matuson Consulting, 2017. All Rights Reserved.
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