How can organisations ensure that they attract the best talent?
There are various recruitment methodologies that enable organisations to ensure they are recruiting the best talent there is in the market, including:
- Advertising in the media;
- Internal succession planning; and
- Database searches and using search firms.
Advertising tends to attract job seekers and not necessarily the best candidates. Internal candidates should be included in the process to benchmark them against external candidates. Databases change often and need to be updated constantly. Search firms are ideal because they utilise a scientific process of research and head-hunting to ensure that they have covered the market thoroughly and will present to the organisation a shortlist of the best from which they can select their ideal candidate.
Typically, a recruiter is guided by the specifications provided by the employer in terms of what candidate to look for. The obvious attributes would be quantitative, in other words, qualifications, length of experience in the field and a track record of delivery. However, also of importance, would be the qualitative aspects like culture fit, which a recruiter would assess by personality attributes, energy, passion, priorities and aspirations.
Soft skills are everything. Technical competence alone will not crack it. One needs to be able to communicate effectively, listen to people, and demonstrate that you care about peoples’ wellbeing in terms of work and personal matters, and have the ability to work in teams and achieve results jointly. If the role is a leadership one, then the candidate has to demonstrate an ability to achieve results through people. Should one be unable to achieve the balance and only focus on hard skills, this could very well break off one’s success in the organisation. There is also the issue of presentation, both physical and verbal. How one projects oneself sends messages about who the person is and will be professionally. Most experienced recruiters would say they are able to establish in the first 10 minutes of meeting a candidate whether they will be the best fit.
If you have the requisite skills and experience for the job, you should be confident. However, there are various factors that can put one ahead of the pack. Companies will often be impressed by the fact that a candidate has taken the trouble to understand who they are. So preparation is very important. Depending on the role, they may need to understand the reporting structures and how they work, general knowledge of the company’s image in the market, current events affecting them and how they are responding, demonstrate a broader understanding of the sector in which they operate and how they can impact the rest of the industry and market. They may also need to be proactive and engage the panel in discussion. Speak as if you have the job already and show what an asset you would be if they gave you the opportunity to join the company.