January 17, 2022

Start Striving for a Better Rather Than Perfect Recruitment Process

In his best-selling business book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . and Others Don’t, Jim Collins declares, “Good is the enemy of great. And that is one of the key reasons why we have so little that becomes great.” This is sage wisdom with broad applications. However, for some, it can be paralyzing advice. In the pursuit of excellence, good comes before great. And if your recruiting process leaves a lot to be desired, good could be a noteworthy goal on your road to greatness. 

Recruiting Process for Startups

In an era when tides have shifted in favor of candidates, companies with haphazard methods for gathering a pool of qualified job candidates tend to find themselves aboard leaky ships. Candidates no longer have to tolerate bad practices when engaging new career opportunities. They have options. If hiring at your company lacks structure, speed, clarity, and a general candidate focus, you risk missing out on talented people who could take your business to the next level. 

Here’s the thing, we know developing and implementing a successful strategy takes thoughtfulness and intentionality. And that takes time. But that doesn’t mean you should wait until you have each aspect of the process refined before you deploy new tactics. Analysis paralysis results in nothing being done at all. Any step toward your goal is better than none at all.

When starting your quest to strengthen and optimize your recruitment process, take guidance from a concept that permeates innovative start-ups: fail fast. These companies have discovered the value of failure and see it as a key part of their growth and success—but only if you learn from it. Knowing what doesn’t work is as valuable as knowing what does.

creative recruiting strategies-08

What if you identify that your biggest need is developing an employee value proposition or something else that involves multiple stakeholders or buy-in or vendor selection? Go ahead and start that process. You’ll benefit from the momentum. But don’t let it be the only thing you do. Identify other areas where you might see more immediate results. 

Note the areas where you see the biggest barriers, and tackle those first. Look at them in light of which ones have the greatest potential impact, and let those answers determine where you start. 

For example, if your job descriptions are simply repurposed from somewhere in the company with minor tweaks made for the current role, you’re doing your organization a disservice. This is poor advertising. You don’t want candidates disenchanted by their first impression or deterred from applying because of vague, unclear, or unrealistic expectations. Job descriptions are a window into your company, and you can differentiate your organization and make a positive impression by how you communicate about open roles.

That’s just one example. Perhaps your current process requires five interviews or your hiring managers need training on effective interviewing. Or maybe your TA team needs better information to guide their sourcing and recruiting. 

Do you need a careers page to showcase the awesome opportunities and culture you have? No matter where you start, pick an area that needs improvement where you can take immediate action. Ruthlessly evaluate, and cut down areas that create friction. 

Be willing to experiment. Try new approaches, and see what happens. 

If you write a few job descriptions from scratch and find yourself with all the wrong candidates, you’ll know you need to dive back in and revamp the content.  Basically, be willing to quickly adjust when you find that something doesn’t work. Even if in the end you turn to outside experts for help, getting to a place of having great job descriptions is a learning process with many valuable lessons along the way. 

With benchmarks in place, you can track the adjustments and results and note the lessons you learn. And when you see trends in a positive direction, you can feel proud of your good results paving the way to great ones. 

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