Lessons learned from a year spent recruiting...
When you are faced with needing to fill empty spots on your marketing team, you have a couple of options.
You could fill the void in the traditional method: post a typical job description and hope the best candidate applies.
Or, you could seek out the type of employee who will fit well with your team, add to the culture, and propel your business forward.
Skills can be taught.
But drive, determination, and cultural fit can not. To create a team that blends well together, gets along both in and out of the office, feeds off of each other’s ideas and work as a unit toward fulfilling the company’s mission, you can’t focus on skills alone.
And cultural fit isn’t exactly something you can describe in a 200-word post on Indeed.
So, how do you recruit for culture?
In the last ten years, I’ve recruited more than 100 people to fill empty positions. In the last year alone, I’ve recruited for open positions three different times and hired 8 individuals. (That’s a lot of recruiting for someone who doesn’t actually work in corporate recruiting!)
Some of the people I’ve brought in have had great resumes, but didn’t get along well with our team. Others showed great enthusiasm but lacked the technical experience we needed to be able to execute quickly.
However, the very best hires we’ve made in the last year have been those candidates whose skills were aligned with the job’s demands but whose personality, energy and fearlessness were unmatched. And these are the individuals who are changing the way our company does business.
When you’re ready to start building your marketing team, whether you need to add one associate or several, consider using one or more of these techniques that proved successful for our company in the last year.
3 Ways to Dominate the Recruiting Process
Target Your Key Recruits
Just like you would use certain lead generation strategies to find new prospective clients, you can employe these same techniques to attract prospective employees.
Using Facebook ads, you can create ads to promote your open position(s) and serve them up to the exact type of candidate you want to hire.
Think about the activities, behaviors, and interests of your ideal candidate.
Treat him like you would a buyer persona, and create targeted ad content that will appeal to this person.
Serve up video ads or testimonials from your current employees to give a sense of your existing culture. Those who appreciate the video content will most likely possess some of your desired traits.
Focus On The After
All too often, job advertisements prioritize what the company needs: required skills, required experience, and required availability.
Then they might offer a bit of information about what the candidate needs, such as hours, salary range, benefits, and paid vacation.
But rarely do hiring managers tailor their job description to what the candidate is really looking for - a life-changing experience. I don’t mean a bright lights, angelic voices, mountaintop type of life-changing experience. I’m talking about a quantifiable change in their quality of life or career trajectory due to working for you.
Will they make more money and therefore be able to reach their financial goals?
Will they be able to start a new career in marketing with you or be able to launch their dream career because of the experience they will gain working for you?
Or will they be able to enjoy more time with their families because of your generous time-off policy?
Including these after-effects in your job description will not only give a glimpse into your company’s culture, but it will also allow you to recruit serious candidates who are looking for a career and a home instead of merely a job.
Test the Cultural Fit
As I said, cultural fit is such a critical factor.
The quality and composition of your team can make or break your company’s productivity and camaraderie.
And while your employees don’t have to become best friends or spend all of their time outside of work together, you do want to create an atmosphere of cohesion. Ideally, you want your team to want to work together. (At the very least, they shouldn’t hate the idea of spending time together.)
But there are additional benefits of team interaction as well.
Strong teams can foster creativity, build trust, and promote a sense of ownership among other positive benefits.
In most interviewing situations, it can be difficult to really get a sense of cultural fit with the team. That’s why we started conducting “hot seat interviews” with our top candidates.
For second- or -third round interviews, candidates are brought in to meet with the existing team. The team gets the opportunity to ask questions of the candidate; likewise, the candidate can ask real, honest questions of the team without the influence of the boss or hiring manager.
This process has helped us to find the right personality and cultural fits as we have added to our team over the last year.
Every employee that we have hired since implementing the “hot seat interviews” has added tremendous value to our team. Without this exercise, we may have overlooked qualified candidates based solely on resume.
Remember, when you are building your marketing team, you want to make sure your candidates have the basic skills you need to get the job done.
But overall, you want to look for candidates with long-term growth potential who will add increased value to your team year over year.
Recruiting, hiring and training new employees is costly and time-consuming. When you make the right investment on the front end, you can focus on training, growing and cultivating these employees to create a marketing team that kicks ass.