Human Resources Strategy Tips From Top Recruiters

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January 4, 2016
Robin Dominik Havre
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If you’re honest with yourself, how good is your current human resource strategy for recruiting hot new talent? What’s your conversion rate from interviews to hires? And how long do those new hires stick around?

A lot of things have changed in the past couple of years of human resources. Businesses are taking more time to hire than ever before and, as mentioned in TED talks we’ve discussed previously, the entire HR landscape is shifting.

Why is that important? Because getting your recruiting strategy right has never been more critical.

1. Internal assessment

The first thing you need to do is look at your current processes with an internal assessment. You need to figure out where you are now. If possible, benchmark yourself on the statistics mentioned above, answering these questions:

  • What’s your interview to higher conversion rate?
  • What’s your conversion to long-term employee rate?
  • Do you have a solid, defined recruiting and interview structure in place?

2. Rating system

While you’re in the process of reviewing your internal structures, create a rating system for applicants so you have a more scientific method of scoring and keeping track. Measure aspects such as:

  • Suitability for the task
  • Previous experience
  • Likeability
  • Culture fit

3. Structure

Assessment done and rating system in place, it’s important that you stick to a regular structure during the interview process.

Without putting one in place, it’s too easy to deviate from something resembling the complete version and miss out important information that can mean the difference between a bad hire and a stellar one.

4. Post-interview notes

During the interview, you should take notes. But, if that feels a little uncomfortable, do it immediately afterwards instead. It’s one of those things that, if you leave it until later, you probably won’t get it done. And if you do, you’re likely to forget much of the most important stuff.

Commit to a note-taking process and be incredibly diligent about it.

5. Body language

Your body language is super important. Conversations aside, it essentially means the difference between:

a) Giving the impression you’re not particularly interested, perhaps leaning back in your chair, averting your gaze

b) Giving the impression you’re buying what they’re selling, leaning forward and listening intently

Which of the two do think is more likely to get the most out of the person sitting in front of you? These are super-obvious examples. But the important thing is that you pay attention and watch your body language. Check out this excellent book on Amazon that covers the topic in some detail.

6. ¾ Rule

The 3/4’s rule simply states that you should not be talking for more than 25% of the interview. Here having a structure set up (as mentioned above) before you start should help you stick to this principal.

And if you’re interviewing with a colleague, ensure that you mention this to them first. That way, you have an external party to review your performance later and make sure you don’t get carried away with the chatter.

7. Requirements before culture

A big mistake that’s easy to make is getting lulled into a situation of “liking” someone and thinking they can be a good match based on their personality.

It’s fair to say that culture is more important today than it ever has been. But at the end of the day, you need someone who can get the job done. Your culture fit is a secondary consideration.

8. Level of interest

You need to have a question in place to gauge the level of interest.

Sometimes (especially with unemployment rates being so high in many countries right now) someone might just need a job, and if you’re excited about hiring them, thinking they’re super qualified for the position, then they might say yes because they can see that and they’ve got bills to pay.

Don’t miss this vital piece of intel’. Gauge the level of interest before you spend time teaching new hires and showing them the ropes. That way, you won’t need to start the process all over again when something better comes up for them.

9. The golden question

Finally comes the “golden question”. The classic version is “why should we hire you?” but a better way to say it is:

“Why should I stop searching right now and give you job?”

This is partially because it contributes to the level of interest concept mentioned above. But, in addition to that fact, it gives your interviewee an opportunity to talk about themselves and their plus points, something that most people are not comfortable doing.

Seeing how they fare tells you a lot about the person.

Over to you…

Got a 10th step you feel should be added to the process? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Robin Dominik Havre

Robin is the CEO of New Intranet. He's helped many companies deploy successful mobile intranets that are easy to use and specially designed for employees not working in front of a computer. The goal of this blog is to provide research-backed intranet and internal communications advice for more successful HR strategies.

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