From startups to enterprise, companies are duking it out on the talent battlefield to attract and hire top talent.
The number one reason that a ‘top’ candidate rejects an offer is due to their acceptance of a competing offer. Competition between companies is fierce, and it’s time for HR and recruiting pros to look to their sales team counterparts for tactics worth stealing to help them land top talent.
Define Your Hiring Funnel & Create Stages
Sales professionals live and die by their organization-wide sales funnel — comprising a number of ‘stages’ that correspond to the progress of the lead through the sales process. It allows everyone on the sales team to have a birds-eye view into the velocity of each and every lead as they move from prospects to qualified and (hopefully) closed-won deals. Similarly, having a well-defined funnel for hiring will help you track the progress of candidates at different stages of the recruitment process.
Create A Process For Outbound Prospecting “Sourcing”
In the sales world, sales development reps (SDRs) are responsible for outbound prospecting. When an SDR identifies a prospect, the SDR engages with the prospect to qualify them. Then, the prospect is introduced to an account executive who ushers them through the next stages in the funnel.
HR pros should look at recruiters in a similar capacity. Empower recruiters to act as your front line so that you can focus on candidates that are further along in the process. Make sure recruiters have all of the tools and information they need to focus on sourcing and screening so that they can fill the top of your hiring funnel.
Assess Your Company’s Brand & Positioning For Hiring
Every company has an employer brand, which is separate from the company’s public brand. This employer brand embodies the brand positioning that your company puts forth, the experiences of current and former employees, as well as the experiences of job candidates. Just like potential customers, your candidates do research to find out whether your company is the one for them. They look to your brand’s communications (your main website, hiring page, videos, etc.) as well as other people that they know or don’t know via Glassdoor, Linkedin, etc. to create a picture of what it would be like to work for you.
So, what can your HR department do about it?
Work with your marketing team to assess your employer brand. Take a close look at the hiring section of your website, an often overlooked area that has a huge impact on your hiring success. Make sure that it speaks to your culture, values and what it’s like to work for your company. Be very clear about the benefits and perks that your employees enjoy by working for you. Show photos of your office and team so that candidates can picture their life at your company. Lastly, consider what the process of applying is like for candidates. Do you use a streamlined applicant portal? Is it easy to use? There’s nothing more frustrating than an outdated system which can lead candidates to believe that your company is behind the curve.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Everyone should be on the same page when talking about both the hiring process as well as the benefits and perks of working for your company. Sales teams role-play all the time to make sure they’ve dialed in their pitch and that they’re prepared to answer common questions. Do the same with your interview stakeholders!
Automate Processes As Much As Possible
Sales teams have become adept at automating processes to maximize their time so they can focus on “high value” interactions with prospects. Outbound prospecting email sequences, lead scoring and document automation platforms like PandaDoc are just a few of the ways that salespeople have cut down on manual processes.
All three of these solutions can also benefit an HR organization. Leverage email drip campaigns to ‘prospect’ into attractive candidates’ inboxes. Use candidate scoring technology in an applicant tracking system. Digitize and automate document-based transactions like extending offer letters are all great ways for HR pros to use technology to make hiring more efficient, opening up extra time that can be spent closing top candidates.
By looking at your hiring process as a distant cousin to sales, you can start to draw parallels between hiring and sales processes. In doing so, you can then implement sales’ best strategies to hire top talent.
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