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Anyone Can Recruit. . .But Can You Sell the Organization?

Jeff Kortes

Why is it so difficult to land talent? Because it’s a candidate’s market and candidates can chose where they want to go to work. Baby Boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 per day and there are not enough people to fill the jobs available. The bottom line is that millennials have their choice of jobs! After, you make them an offer…they still have to accept! This topic came to mind when I was visiting with the General Manager of a foundry client company that I have worked with in the past as both a “headhunter” and employee retention consultant. I use him as a great example of how to do it right. He is outstanding at selling his mid-sized company to millennials and, as a result, he has successfully competed with large employers that are able to pay top dollar as their main recruiting tool.

As I was meeting with his leadership team to discuss recruiting and employee retention and the discussion was drawing to a close, he brought up the topic of how to sell the organization to prospective candidates to his leadership team.  He realizes that millennials have the ability to pick and choose which organization they want to work for. Some key points he brought up were:

  • Treat candidates with the utmost respect and courtesy.  Why is that important?  You want candidates to WANT to come to your organization.  You want them excited and enthusiastic about the potential to join your organization and then continue to build on that when they do.  He uses the same philosophy of treating employees with the utmost respect and courtesy as part of his employee retention strategy.  That’s  why he has great employee retention.
  • Build enthusiasm.  It starts when you set up a time to do a phone interview.  You set a time to call the candidate for the phone interview…CALL EXACTLY AT THAT TIME!  Very few companies do.  As a result, candidates are amazed by your timely call because what should be common courtesy is rarely practiced by many companies today.  You have just set yourself apart from 90% of the other companies and just taken the first step in the process of selling the organization by calling on time!
  • Be candid and honest.  Every organization has challenges.  Be honest about them.  Explain the good and the bad without being negative.  If a candidate is deceived in the interview process, they will ultimately leave the organization in short order.  Millennials are a very open generation.  Have a dialogue with them about the plusses, the minuses, the challenges and the opportunities the organization faces and how they can make a difference.   They will appreciate this candor.

It’s a different world in recruiting than it was even 5 years ago.  It’s now a two-way street.  Candidates are selecting you as much as you are selecting them.  If you go in with the attitude that a candidate will be “privileged” to work for you, that arrogance will come out in the interview and all the money in the world won’t convince them to work in your organization.  If you want success in your recruiting efforts, follow the three pieces of advice that this General Manager gave to his leadership team.  If you do, you will see a remarkable improvement in your recruiting success.

Jeff Kortes is the Founder of Human Asset Management LLC.  He has over 25 years experience in HR leadership roles in both plant and headquarters environments.  Human Asset Management LLC works with organizations to recruit, retain and develop their people.