How to hire the best

How to hire the best

Hiring the best talent requires the ability to first attract the best talent in the labor pool to your job openings. Plain and simple, you must understand that to hire the best talent, you probably need to offer better than average salaries. Don’t see this as being too expensive. That is a short-sighted point of view. Instead, see it as a good investment that will pay off in better performance, competitiveness and productivity.

Too many companies shoot for the stars when recruiting new talent, but are not willing to back that up with a very competitive salary. I’m sure you have seen that job description for that Project Manager position where the company requires not only an MBA put ten plus years of experience within a very narrow industry focus. Plus they absolutely must be certified in all these different programs with various uppity-sounding acronyms. Sounds like a high level, high paying job, only it isn’t. This company expects to hire someone of this caliber and pay them $40K a year? And, then they gripe that there’s no good talent out there.

The bottom line is this: If you believe it is imperative that your company attract the very best talent in your industry, then you have to perceive the compensation as an investment, not a straight up cost. By offering a competitive package, you are investing in talent that will provide you with an edge over your competition. The difficult thing for business managers is that you can rarely quantify or measure the return on this investment. It’s a faith-based investment, and many business managers hate the idea of not being able to specifically measure the return on an investment. But, having top talent, for most businesses, is one of the clearest competitive advantages you can have.

Beyond the willingness to pay above average wages to attract the best talent, here are some other suggestions:

Offer 3-weeks of vacation off the bat. You don’t lose much by offering that one extra week from the industry average, and many people just won’t use that entire amount of time anyway. But, it looks great on paper to a good candidate.

Offer a form of profit sharing bonus based on performance. This works because you are only incurring this expense when your profits are growing and you are exceeding your targets. This creates a positive-reinforcement cycle as your employees want to do what it takes to get that performance bonus which is tied to some kind of success measurement, like sales. Again, this looks great on paper without requiring you to sacrifice anything.

Offer flexible scheduling maybe involving some telecommuting. If you are hiring professional employees and 50% of their work is in isolation, why not offer them the opportunity to telecommute on Mondays and Fridays or something like that. Recent studies have shown that telecommuters are actually more productive, not less. Allowing employees to telecommute at least part of the time may also reduce your overhead expenses. This also says: I trust you, but don’t let me down. Good employees will appreciate that and work a little harder to keep that privilege.

Create positions that enable upward movement for good performers and state this in your job description and interviews. Good employees usually want to know that their new job can take their career in an upward direction rather than pigeon-holing them at the same level. Make this a mutually beneficial idea and create, not just the job, but an internal advancement culture in your company. It’s usually better to recruit from within anyway, so make this perspective part of your job description to attract upwardly-mobile talent.


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