The "War for Talent" is real. With boomers retiring and experienced candidates in short supply, employers find themselves in competition for top talent. As a retained executive search firm supporting companies in their search and (most importantly) attraction and engagement of these executives, we recommend five steps for maximizing employment brand and appealing to "A-players."
(Over)Communicate: Candidates often feel left to "dangle" without any updates. Stand out by openly sharing your perspective on their fit and the status of their candidacy. This also mitigates your risk of losing strong candidates who may disengage as a result of uncertainty with your process.
Follow an efficient process: When beginning your search, establish which company representatives will interview candidates and how many rounds of interviews you will utilize. For candidates flying in from other parts of the country, consider combining multiple rounds into one visit. A systematic process, including opportunities for interviewers to share clear and timely feedback, allows you to communicate effectively with candidates (see #1) and act quickly on strong candidates who are evaluating multiple opportunities.
Stick to the schedule: Calendars shift, meetings arise and interviews often need rescheduling. While candidates will understand to an extent, accommodating you means moving appointments and rescheduling meetings with their current employers. By limiting the frequency of changes to interview schedules, you will keep candidates engaged and feeling respected.
Prepare: We expect candidates to walk through bios of the interviewers, review the client company and competition and organize examples of their most relevant achievements and expertise. As the hiring company, you owe it to the candidates to do the same. Review their resume and any relevant paperwork that has been shared with you and be prepared with relevant questions that will probe their related experience, strategic thinking, and leadership style.
Ace the interview: Candidates ALWAYS have options and are interviewing you just as much as you are interviewing them. They may have questions about roles and responsibilities, how you define success, company culture and more. Ultimately, they want the answer to one larger question: "Why should I work for this company?" Organizations with an attractive employer brand have thoughtful responses that show how they cultivate talent and how the role provides the chance to leverage existing skills while mastering new ones.
Today's market creates fierce competition over the most desirable talent. Follow the steps above and start standing out as an employer of choice with high-caliber leaders.
By Michael Lazar