Hiring Strategy Starts at the Top

March 7, 2022

Talent Acquisition may be as crucial to organizational success as any time in history. That’s a big statement I know, but we all feel it. By now, you’ve probably found that typing “We are hiring” into your LinkedIn bio is not proving to be an effective recruiting strategy. But even the most sophisticated, talent-focused organizations aren’t hitting their hiring goals. Internal TA teams are working around the clock and scratching their collective heads on how to engage the folks they need. It's an all-hands-on-deck moment to be sure.

But “all hands” means “all hands.” A good leader can’t simply delegate this work. Like all important organizational changes, having leadership invested in a solution matters. When the hiring challenges mount, leaders must step up to make hiring a priority across the organization. Talent acquisition should have a place in your company's mission and on-going agenda. From granular pieces like job descriptions and performance reviews to the overarching company strategy, let everyone know there is an ongoing investment in solving the problem. Let’s talk about a few key pieces you can implement.

Employer Brand

First, think about your employer brand. Annette Simons elevated storytelling as a tool for moving and motivating audiences in her iconic book “Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins.” It’s true in talent acquisition as well. Your employer brand is different from your customer-facing brand in important ways. Wrap your head around those differences and tell the story you’d want to hear when considering working for your company. Gain insights from your current employees. Why did they join? Why are they staying? Get that story out there. Have your recruiters and recruiting vendors out there telling that story to the people you need to grow your business.

Leadership in Interviews

A quick and effective way for you to craft an employer brand is by being available to interview top candidates at all levels. Ask your HR team and they’ll tell you there are no easy levels or titles to hire at this moment in history. Often, an interview with a CEO or Founder can tip the scales for a candidate considering multiple career options. Word travels fast; face time with top leaders communicates your employer brand far and wide, helping sell your culture to the broader market. Carve out time for interviewing and broadcast to your hiring organization that you are doing it. Create the expectation that your trusted internal leads will do the same, making hiring a core competency across your organization.

Strategic Expertise

You can also elevate talent acquisition by hiring a strategic Head of People. We are regularly being asked to find people with strategic talent acquisition expertise; someone to better guide the organization, bringing a holistic approach versus a tactical, executional skill set. These folks can dial in your recruiting tech stack, attract the best third-party recruiters, and hire top internal recruiters to enhance your entire recruiting initiative with cohesive, compelling messaging to your potential talent pool.

A Real Commitment to DEI

Last, but certainly not least, diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical touch points for every employer of every size. The endeavor is a moral imperative as well as a crucial factor for business growth. Increasingly, candidates from all backgrounds factor in a potential employer’s diversity when considering their career moves. A large percentage of professionals want to work for an organization that is seriously addressing and making progress in equitable hiring at all levels with truly supportive spaces for diverse talent on their teams. A genuine DEI approach is table stakes and takes a company-wide commitment. Beyond being critical for society, it has become an important touch point for a robust hiring strategy. 

So here’s your checklist:

  • Get involved in the hiring process, including interviews with every top candidate
  • Develop and communicate your Employer Brand, using insights gleaned from your current employees
  • Hire a strategic People person with a core competency in TA and retention
  • Dial in your recruiting tools, including software and TA Vendors
  • Lead on DEI as a core strategy

Like all great endeavors, I’m certain it feels a little daunting. Should you need some help figuring out next steps, I’m always open for a chat.

Cory Salmela
cory@salmelatalent.com - LinkedIn - Txt

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

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