William Byham

Friday, 31 January 2003 06:19

Ignore buyer's market

The single largest mistake an organization can make during the current buyer's market for talent is to gleefully ride it out and wait to deal with the labor crunch when it hits. The best strategy is to act as if the economic downturn is already over, and enact changes accordingly.

That means doing a better job of hiring great people, as well as effectively retaining the valued employees you already have. To hire the people you will need now and in the future:

* Upgrade your selection systems. Take a hard look at how you're sourcing candidates, the steps you're taking to narrow applicant pools to identify final candidates and the time, costs and obstacles associated with hiring. Explore what e-recruiting technology can do for you, but don't overlook crucial steps such as conducting accurate job analyses to identify the right target competencies and incorporating proven tools such as behavior-based interviewing, tests and inventories, simulations and full assessment centers.

* Brand the company as a good place to work and as a place where people can grow and learn. Good people want to work where they can develop and grow. Research by DDI World Inc. has determined that development opportunities are of primary importance to those in management positions and also important to those in nonmanagement positions. If your organization facilitates and promotes individual development, be sure to communicate it through your recruiting Web site and in printed materials aimed at prospective candidates.

* Ensure that your selection systems make a good impression on candidates. In surviving and thriving amid the labor crunch, selling prized candidates on the organization will no longer be a best practice, it will become a necessity. Still, there are stories about interviewers who keep candidates waiting, take phone calls during interviews, don't offer tours and otherwise fail to treat them with courtesy and respect.

Oftentimes, the problem lies with the organization's failure to show its recruiters and hiring managers how to interview properly. By providing the right training to interviewers, you not only improve their skills and increase their ability to gather the information they need to make the right hiring decisions, you also help them to better make a positive impression on candidates. How to reach: DDI Inc., www.ddiworld.com