High performer attracted to applying by following leadership steps

4 Things Leaders Must Do To Attract High Performers

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Our President, Marti Willett, worked with Fast Company to publish an article on what it takes for leaders to attract high performers. Check out the published article below:

Treating candidates with the thoughtfulness and respect they deserve improves your reputation—and your chance of snagging high performers.

Although the term “ghosting” originally referred to a dating phenomenon, it has since infiltrated the business world. Recruiting firms and hiring managers often cease communication with candidates they’re not interested in, leaving those candidates wondering what they did wrong. In fact, Glassdoor’s chief economist shared that ghosting is up 98% from February 2020.

Could there be a correlation between poor hiring practices like ghosting and the 2022 Great Resignation and “quiet quitting” work revolution? Perhaps. Recruiting firms and hiring managers don’t consider the candidate journey—they’re more concerned with hiring the right person. But job searchers remember how companies treat them. This could affect their relationship with your company.

Having worked previously as a hiring manager, I urge you to reevaluate your recruitment habits. Not only can poor practices cause undue friction and frustration, but they can also damage your reputation as an employer. Your applicants deserve to know when roles are closed, why they didn’t get the job, and what they can do to improve.

Luckily, you can overcome ghosting and other challenges in the recruitment process. Here are three strategies to help you break the worst hiring trends:

When I was a hiring manager, recruiters often sent me candidates who didn’t have the skills I was looking for. For instance, they would direct candidates versed in paid search to me when I actually needed to fill an organic search role. This might seem like a small difference, but it’s not. It left both the candidates and me in a difficult position.

As an employer, you need to know precisely what you’re hiring for—even if you’ve never held the same job. Failing to outline the right requirements in a job post can result in wasted time or, worse, a wrong hire. So spend time researching. Talk to ground-floor employees and consider involving their managers in the process. You can still consider applicants who demonstrate skill transferability, but you must first understand what that looks like.

LinkedIn says it takes 33 to 49 days to hire, depending on the industry. However, most sources say high performers are off the market within 10 days. In today’s challenging labor market, you have to move quickly. Your top applicant might get several offers to choose from, especially if they possess hard-to-find qualifications or credentials. If you’re too slow, they won’t wait; I lost out on some great candidates because recruiters took too long to present offers.

You can resolve slow communication by crafting a well-defined interview process. Your hiring team should create and share standard operating procedures so that everyone knows the ideal candidate experience flow and timeframe. Any potential snags in the process should be eliminated to reduce drag that results in applicant disengagement.

Too many employers leave candidates out of the loop. However, you should let applicants know what stage of the process they’re in, even if you’ve already chosen a different candidate. In today’s digital-first world, there’s no excuse for slow communication.

I advise investing in an automated system that deploys regular alerts, reports, and updates to candidates. The company I founded uses an advanced applicant tracking system (ATS) to get everyone on the same page. A high-tech ATS can handle more than communication, too. It can also house the data needed to run custom reports, populate real-time dashboards, and more. For instance, with our ATS, I can see where a candidate is in the interview process at any given time. This is valuable information that I can use to update applicants and maintain engagement.

Traditionally, employers wait until the offer stage to discuss compensation. This is way too late. One of my biggest challenges in the hiring process was discovering that candidates had salary expectations outside the role’s compensation range. Not only did this cause undue frustration for them, but it frustrated me, too. Who wants to spend time interviewing a terrific candidate only to realize you can’t come close to affording them?

It’s much better to talk about compensation up front. Hiring managers should consider chatting with recruiters to ensure their salary ranges are competitive and including those ranges in their job posts. After all, that’s what 61% of candidates feel is the most important information. At the very least, have the “money talk” during the initial interview so everyone understands what’s on the table.

Do modern hiring practices leave a lot to be desired? Yes. However, they can be adjusted accordingly. By following these tips and treating candidates with the thoughtfulness and respect they deserve, you can improve your reputation—and your chance of snagging high performers.

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