Over the past five years, the approach to sourcing the right talent for your company has changed beyond all recognition, particularly within the IT market.  

In my view, ensuring that you recruit the best talent for your business means technical leaders need to be an integral part of the recruitment process from the start.

It is worth asking yourself how involved you are in shaping the requirements and how these are communicated to the market. 

The messages conveyed will have a direct impact on how many strong candidates are attracted to your business.

The involvement of many CIOs and technical managers in the recruitment process is typically superficial, starting by writing a job spec, often using a bland, pre-defined template; reviewing CVs, which are rarely supported with much supplementary information; and undertaking interviews.

Your assessment of the process is determined by the quality of the interviewees but what about the people that were not attracted in the first place and therefore you never got the opportunity to meet?

The focus on attraction should be just as important as selection and senior technical staff should be directly involved.  
The more people you attract, the higher the quality is likely to be.

The career aspirations of the young, talented technologists may well be different to what yours were

There is a clear emphasis on wanting to seek some purpose in the role they are undertaking. It needs to be clear from the candidate’s first interaction with your company’s brand, which could be a phone call or a job advert, that the role adds intrinsic value.

This is not just in respect to the development of the company but that this role is in part a personification of the company’s values which (hopefully) impact positively upon the environment in which it operates.

Organisations that demonstrate authentic, consistent social responsibility will be far more attractive than those that don’t. 

Much of the top talent want to genuinely demonstrate that they are making a difference.  Now that’s pretty straight forward if you’re the CIO of Save the Children, but many business have a highly valuable story to tell about the positive work they are doing, though this is rarely demonstrated in the marketing for staff.

Typically, the channels you will use to attract people to your organisation are likely to be both internal, through HR and referral functions, and external through the use of a recruitment supplier chain.

Ask yourself how involved you are in shaping the message that those who manage your recruitment channels are using as they go to market on your behalf?

Attracting as many skilled people into your talent pool as possible raises standards. Ensuring you go the market with the right message is key.

Your chosen recruitment partners are a vital communication mechanism for you and your business. 

They will be speaking to hundreds of people each week; any one of which could be your next star appointment. Are you comfortable that your recruiters are representing you in the right way?

Experience shows time and time again that the businesses that hire the best candidates have a fully joined up message between the hiring manager and the resourcing function.

The tools available to attract talent have also changed.  The use of technology has transformed the way we communicate and should be used by organisations to develop their employer brand to attract more people. 

Social media allows businesses to engage with a wide community of key talent, keeping them updated of the organisation’s achievements and constantly reinforcing your company’s key values.

The relationship that a business has with its recruitment suppliers should also have changed significantly over recent years. 

Organisations that still adopt a distant, supplier management type of relationship are unlikely to capitalise on the benefits of true partnership with a recruitment agency.

CIOs should challenge both internal and external recruitment suppliers continually to ensure that the message being communicated demonstrate the value of the work their team is undertaking.

Internal recruiters should be fully aware of all development within their organisation. 

External recruiters should be selected on their understanding of the business and how they plan to take that to market to attract top candidates.

It’s hardly surprising if your recruitment department or agency fail to deliver the desired quality of candidate if all they have to work with is a generic job description.

Good external recruiters should be seen as a tool to enhance your employer brand.

Regular contact with proven recruiters within your market should also be used to extract market intelligence and innovative techniques that could be implemented internally.

The success you’re having, the products you’ve launched, the value you’ve delivered, should all be fully integrated with your brand and seamlessly connected to your recruitment strategy.

Rhys Hefford, CEO of Channel 3 Consulting and Digitech Resourcing

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