We hear it all the time: "hire the right people" and "build the right culture." Yes, these aphorisms may be tried and true, but possibly preached too often and practiced too regularly to give you any competitive edge to recruit top talent.
As a young bootstrapped entrepreneur, I was obsessed with hiring the right talent and building the right culture, I required all candidates to take the Meyers-Briggs personality test and submit a three-page essay after reading our 20-page culture document.
If the candidate was past the first three rounds, we would then require a nine-hour interview for the fourth round. This eccentric, Spartan-like interview process--which was primarily driven by intuition--was designed for a particular breed of sales professionals and eventually proved to be quite successful.
However, as Wasabi CEO David Friend recently told me, "Hiring in the startup world is quite different from hiring with a company that has over 1000 employees."
As I transitioned into an executive role with a staff of over 600 employees, I couldn't help but research ways in which we can leverage technology to recruit the best talent.
Here's what I found:
1. The importance of social media continues to grow.
Many companies are feeling the pressure to build up their online presence not only to attract customers but also to recruit talent.
According to a recent study, over 91 percent of employers are using social media to hire today. This trend will continue to grow. Even for my company, which is a B2B SaaS solution, we continue to build brand awareness through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
"In an economy with unemployment near at 4.2 percent, CEOs have to take a very active position on finding top talent," says Rhian Sharp, president and CEO of Sharp Medical Recruiting. "If you are not a CEO with a strong presence online and don't use social media--LinkedIn, for example--you will not win this war on talent."
Stay on top of the competition by maintaining a strong presence online. Too busy? It's not difficult to train an intern for assistance or use products such as Hootsuite or SocialPilot to streamline your social media posts.
2. Companies are looking outside the usual social media channels.
Facebook launched a Facebook Jobs feature earlier this year to help small businesses recruit the best talent. The feature designed to poach business from LinkedIn has not yet picked up much steam.
Christoph Seitz, CEO of Rinkens applauds this feature, saying:
"Facebook has 1.86 billion users, while competitor LinkedIn has only 433 million members. Most Facebook profiles are filled with important demographic information like age, past job titles, employer information, educational background, and even interests. This is key for employers as they target their job ads to reach candidates with the proper credentials."
The early bird catches the worm. I know this from experience: When Angellist, a social networking site for startups, was in its infancy, my company was able to gain a sizable competitive advantage by using it since not many other employers were. More recently, I was able to recruit a talented intern through another new platform, GenM, which just launched last year.
3. Predictive analytics is coming into play.
Predictive analytics is coming into play for all industries and recruiting is no exception. Trust me, my company builds predictive analytics software for movie exhibitors.
David Joubran, CEO of Acumen Solutions, says, "Using predictive analytics not only helps businesses avoid bad hires. It also ensures that the rock-star talent you do acquire continue to grow and make an impact at your company."
There's been a sharp rise of predictive analytics, according to a recent study by Dresner Advisory Services. If your organization isn't staying ahead in big data, you'll slowly fall behind.
4. Companies are supplementing traditional hiring practices with data.
When considering your approach to recruiting, there is no need to think that an intuitive approach versus a data-driven approach is mutually exclusive.
At my company, we always say, "Man meets machine." With the power of one's intuition supplemented by data, one can make much more powerful decisions. This can give you an overwhelming advantage in the war for talent.
Rob Hecker, vice president of human resources at Colonial Life, says big data can help you identify top employees quickly. "By combining traditional HR data--employee demographics, performance data, sales data and customer feedback--employers can gain a clearer picture about individual employee performance and the factors that influence this," he says.
Often, we mistake technology with the replacement of tried-and-true traditions. This cannot be further from the truth. Technology can enhance and help your decisions, as opposed to eliminating or marginalizing them. Re-educating and training your staff on your technology can offset that tension.
Times are changing. Ignore the latest trends at your own peril.