People often ask me, “What makes an employee qualified to join your organization?” I come across many resumes of candidates that on paper would probably do a good job in our organization, but CATMEDIA does not just want “good.” We want people who are great, thought provoking, and creative. Although no one is perfect, some people are more qualified than others. Our goal is to find out who is the most qualified to secure a position in our organization.
I have attended many human resource conferences, listened to webinars, and sought expert advice from HR pros on social media to answer the question posed above. I received many different responses (too many to state in this short blog), but the consensus of those responses is that recruiting and retaining qualified employees is different for each company. There is no crazy formula or complex strategy to achieve this. Each company has to establish characteristics to determine which candidates are best suited to join the organization.
Employee searches often begin with a re-visit to the previous job description: you change a few words, remove a sentence, and post the position to a few job boards. You’ve done your job. Now you can sit back, wait, and watch the hoards of quality candidates submit their resume, begging and pleading to join your company, right? Wrong--if this is how your organization conducts their employment searches, your turnover numbers will be through the roof!
Finding qualified employees starts with an organized, strategic approach comprised of the following:
- Perform a job analysis to determine what tasks, duties, responsibilities (TDR’s), knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA’s) are necessary for the position
- Identify your recruits targets
- Draft a recruitment message
- Review the job description and recruitment message with hiring manager and edit accordingly
- Determine best channel(s) to reach targeted individuals
- Review past recruitment efforts and compare
- Know and be able to clearly communicate what the job opportunity entails
Organizations with great reputations have considerable commonality. They may have engaging CEOs, dynamic product offerings, great environments, flexibility, and competitive pay and benefits. Organizations focused on hiring the right people will experience these occurrences in their recruiting departments:
- Increase in applicants
- Reputation as a favorable employer of choice
- Increased number of employee referrals of qualified candidates for their open positions
- Lower turnover
- Increased diversity of employees/candidates
- Higher acceptance rates of job offers
- Decrease in time to fill positions
How do organizations know they have the right people in the right seats? Upper management cannot just assume that every person they hire has the appropriate mindset every time. In order for employees to thrive, they must be able to share their ideas with the CEO, upper management, and co-workers. We believe the following elements are necessary to achieve employee success:
Vision: Employees must believe in their leaders, product offerings, and their companies’ plans to perform well and refer qualified employees. I remember losing confidence in the vision and products of the organization I worked for early in my career, and I often questioned whether I wanted to continue pursuing a promotion to the next level. After realizing the company’s vision was not aligned with my career goals, I quickly developed an exit strategy and executed it.
Like-minded people: To attract and retain quality employees, organizations must appeal to applicants with similar mindsets (whether it is leaving a larger organization to come to a smaller company, making a greater impact, having similar motivational goals, or even sharing similar work ethics). No matter what the similarities are, having common interests will help bring talent into your organization.
Processes and Procedures: Employees must understand and buy into the processes and procedures that have already been established by the organization. Those that are responsible and take pride in their positions will conform to the already established processes, learn the history and context of why those processes exist, and then suggest improvements when appropriate.
- Conflict/Issues: Organizational conflict is good and healthy for your organization. Honest differences of opinion show that employees care about doing a good job; they just have different ways of approaching their work. Sometimes, here at CATMEDIA, we have conflict among employees and departments, and our CEO and other department leaders empower employees to resolve those conflicts by communicating directly with each other. I have been involved in workplace conflicts in the past, and the one thing I observed is that both parties wanted to do the best for the company, we just had a difference of opinion on how to make that happen.
- Continuous improvement is closely related to ongoing learning. Companies who continue to grow and attract talent are those who track results, value new ideas for process improvement, and adapt as necessary.
Hiring qualified, talented individuals is very important to an organization’s success. Finding qualified employees takes time, and is worth the effort. Developing a specific recruitment strategy, targeting the correct candidates, and sharing similar organizational objectives can create a rich environment for your organizations to find qualified employees! Now go out there and recruit the best and brightest from across the globe!
What tips would you add for recruiting qualified employees? Please share your stories below.
CATMEDIA is an award-winning Inc. 500 company based in Atlanta, Georgia. Founded in 1997, the company specializes in advertising, creative services, media production, program management, training, and human resource management. As a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB), CATMEDIA provides world-class customer service and innovative solutions to government and commercial clients. Current CATMEDIA clients include Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).