Human resources personnel have many skills in their arsenal, yet these days, recruitment and retention might be the most important task they apply their skills to. Every recruitment and retention expert needs a set of skills for finding the right candidates for their company’s open positions. What competencies, actions and tools do HR personnel need to be effective at attracting and retaining top talent?
As much as many CEOs and company leaders would love to simply tell their HR department to “go hire us some rock stars,” it doesn’t work that way. If you’re in charge of finding the next wave of organizational talent, you’ll need the following skills and tools in your toolbox. If you’re in charge of a company that needs an infusion of new talent, these are what your hiring managers will need to get the job done.
A Public, Ethical Recruitment and Retention Code
This is a fancy way of saying “ethics.” Ethics, as opposed to morals, are generally widely accepted notions of right and wrong. Some people step outside of what’s ethical and do things deemed wrong by most in society, but recruiters can’t do that and the people they’re recruiting can’t even appear to be doing that. They need everyone they want to bring aboard to trust them and have faith in the process.
Recruiters are often the first people a prospective job candidate meets from your company. If they don’t have any credibility or can’t make a good first impression, they poison your company’s reputation within the candidate pool. As we’ve seen time and time again, particularly with millennials entering and negotiating the workforce, prospective employees won’t want to work for a company they feel is unethical in some way (and they develop their first impressions from the recruiters and interviewers).
Analytical and Planning Skills
These skills go hand in hand and, in the HR world, they’re almost the same skill. Analytics, in this case, means knowing how to accurately record the hard numbers you need to make decisions and changes to improve employee engagement. You can’t simply ask everyone, “how engaged do you feel with your work and the company?”
Finding the right candidates for a job starts with keeping the all-stars you have. When you know you have talent in positions in the company other than the one you’re hiring for, you can speak more accurately about your company’s workplace culture and its vision because you know you have a full room of employees who buy into the company mission. When you see the mission carried out every day, it becomes easier to explain that mission to prospective employees. When you have the numbers to back up that mission and you know which talent pools show better performance according to your key metrics, you can hone in on your perfect candidate and be better able to explain why he or she should come work for you.
Technology and the Skill to Use It Effectively
Using the right technology will allow you to perform all your other duties more effectively. Of course, investing in the right technological tools is one thing, but using them to their full potential is something else entirely. Cloud communication systems, digital postcards and employee-onboarding suites have revolutionized the recruiting, hiring and onboarding processes and have made recruitment and retention easier for HR professionals. Bells and whistles don’t mean much and are a wasted investment if you don’t explore them and learn how they can help in your everyday recruiting work. Technology is constantly changing and improving, of course, so you have to have your finger on the pulse of new systems and ways of finding and contacting talent.
Recruiters of the Future
There is, of course, more to being an effective recruiter, including the ability to communicate, not only with prospective employees but to management and company leadership, as well. A good recruiter must be able to explain the hiring process and the job to employees, while explaining their decisions and impressions to management. These skills are tailored to how employers recruit. Retention is a larger concept that all employees — not just HR experts — should help with and buy into. Creating a positive, productive community at work should be everyone’s job, not just those in charge of recruitment and retention.