Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

HR Management: Think Like a Sales Pro to Recruit the Best Talent


 One-size-fits-all approach to recruiting employees is not a strategy



You and your peers in human resources might be enamored with technology, but job candidates want more focus on the personal touch. That necessitates thinking like a sales professional.

In an effort to save time, HR professionals are heavily focused on automated functions. The functions range from everyday core HR duties to talent management.

A tendency is to lose sight of a vital aspect of the job – neglecting to use a personal touch in recruitment — hinders recruitment of the best talent. We got a reminder from the 2014 Candidate Preferences Survey by ManpowerGroup Solutions Recruitment Process Outsourcing.

ManpowerGroup Solutions: Candidates Prefer Personal Connection Over Technology

Certainly, technology can be awkward. Implementation leads to headaches. Integration and migration take up valuable time. Not to mention the significant costs.

Invariably technology evolves. This means reliance on technological changes, which then means HR professionals must endure learning curves, which take even more time.

Further, how annoying is it when technology doesn’t work? Perhaps there’s a poor user experience with technology that isn’t easy to use. Customarily, HR encounters poor tech support. Customer service seems non-existent.

As it is, HR can be a tough career. HR pros often don’t have the confidence of upper management. They are criticized for poor performance and don’t speak the language of CEOS. Human capital is the No. 1 reason why CEOs lose sleep according to a study. Many times, HR is not at fault in difficult situations.

Meantime, technology can inhibit the recruitment of job candidates.

Here’s a question: Are you so focused on technology, you don’t attract the best employees?

HR as a profit center

It’s possible to be so task-oriented without being mindful of the important big picture – turning an HR department into a profit center.

To evolve into a profit center, a key step is to attract the best talent and to understand the preferences of jobseekers. For successful hires, your sourcing and interviewing processes must be stellar in recruiting.

Ninety percent of applicants want a personalized approach when they’re looking for work, according to the Manpower study.

The study underscores why companies must customize their recruitment practices for the people they want to hire. That means candidate-focused Web content and personalized experiences.

“Even as technology – and the awareness of new tools – continues to rapidly advance, the tried, but true methods of in-person and phone interviews, and more frequent, personalized interactions with hiring managers or recruiters remain the clear preference of job seekers across generations,” said Manpower Vice President Jim McCoy.

Its back to basics in interviewing: candidates are most comfortable with tried but true traditional phone interviews found ManpowerGroup Solutions in Candidate Preferences Survey.

“The impact that high-touch – or human contact – has on a candidate’s recruiting experience cannot be overstated. A negative experience with a hiring manager or a recruiter may result in the right candidate rejecting a job offer,” he added.

“The content and functionality of employers’ websites and career sites matter. Since nine in 10 candidates use them as primary sources of information about employers, making them relevant, compelling and user-friendly should be a priority of employers,” Mr. McCoy explained.

“By maximizing their presence on, and engagement with, carefully selected social media, employers can attract and engage the right candidates faster and more efficiently,” he said.

72% of candidates, who use social media to learn about the jobs you post, use Facebook. 43% use Google+ and LinkedIn. Select your social media platforms well, recommends ManpowerGroup Solutions.

Key findings about candidate preferences:

  • 86 percent explore employers’ websites when researching positions online
  • 36 percent report employers’ websites and career sites lack clear and relevant information
  • 52 percent use search engine results, and 45 percent use peer recommendations to gather information about prospective employers and positions
  • Indeed, CareerBuilder and Monster top the list of most frequently used online job sites
  • 30 percent use social media to get more information about open positions or employers; of these, more than 70 percent use Facebook, 43 percent each use Google+ or LinkedIn
  • 72 percent prefer traditional, in-person interviews; 15 percent choose telephone interviews

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant HR tips:

How to Market Your Ideas to Your CEO Boss — the 4 Keys — If you’re a human resources or marketing professional seeking to be a partner in the C-suite, it’s vital to communicate effectively with senior executives. To market your ideas to senior management, here are the four keys in best practices.

Secrets in Motivating Employees to Offer Profitable Ideas — Savvy employers know how to profit from their human capital. Such knowledge is a powerful weapon for high performance in a competitive marketplace. Furthermore, there’s a correlation among excellent sales, happy customers, and high employee morale. Proverbially speaking, employees are where the tire meets the road.

Human Resources — Strategies and Metrics for Business Profits — Professionals in human resources could use more respect in the C-suite. To silence critics and to garner praise for helping their companies to profits, obviously, it’s in the best interest of HR professionals to use the right strategies and metrics. Unfortunately, HR departments could do better work, according to multiple studies.

Management/HR – How to Increase Profits via Employee Turnover — As cost centers, human resources have opportunities to shine whenever they act as profit centers. And employee turnover presents opportunities for companies to make money. Yes, that’s right. Employee turnover can help you make money retention. Let’s examine why by starting with a brief discussion of old school and new-school thinking.

10 Steps to Manage Conflict for High Performance — For progress, a business needs human interaction for ideas and innovation. Sometimes, argument, debate and conflict prove to be productive catalysts for high performance. But such catalysts can be obstacles to success, too. Here are the simplest ways to manage conflict.

“Get the right people on the bus and the wrong people off the bus”
-Jim Collins


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.