According to Kurt Anderson, director of Human Resources at Definitive Healthcare in Framingham, Massachusetts, recruiting is a long game. Eddie Cantor (or maybe Danny Thomas) famously said, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success,” and it took us 7 years to become a “Best Company to Work For.”
Anderson’s tips came at BLR®—Business & Legal Resources’ RecruitCon Road Trip East, held recently in Boston. (RecruitCon Road Trip West is November 29 in San Francisco.) Anderson was joined for the presentation by Danielle Perry, corporate recruiter for Definitive Healthcare.
Searching for talent is a long game, said Perry. You have to think of it as a sales job.
- Work the pipeline. When you find amazing candidates you can’t hire at present, tag them for future contact.
- Form partnerships. Form partnerships with hiring managers. You must agree on what a candidate should look like, but the hiring manager should realize that you may not find a perfect match.
- Broaden partnerships. One thing Definitive Healthcare has done is to make sure all managers know of all openings, so candidates can be referred to other departments, if appropriate.
Beware of the following hiring manager traps, Perry says.
- “I’m busy.” You can’t let managers out of their responsibility to participate.
- “Waste of my time.” Again, it must be a partnership.
- “We just need a body.” “Bodies” take up about 80% of HR time, says Perry.
- “I only care about the immediate opening.” First, always be building that pipeline; second, think what the applicant will be doing as next steps.
Consider what the experience of the typical candidate is going to be. For example, Perry says, personal acknowledgment is huge; reply as quickly and honestly as you can.
Perry shared a few experiments that Definitive Healthcare is involved with:
- New job boards, some niche job boards.
- Campus recruiting, which is important for the future.
- Speed interviewing.
- Evening group interviews. It sounds strange, but we are having good luck with it, Perry says.
Don’t assume that the hiring manager knows what to do with his or her new employee, says Anderson. Don’t believe “The myth of the handoff.” You must follow through. This was your sale!
Act as a strategic partner—push back when hiring managers aren’t doing their jobs with new employees.
Don’t forget the seasoned employee, says Anderson. Make an investment in his or her training; make the employee feel valued. If you invest $1,000 in development and training, and it results in one good referral, you’ve made a great deal. Be sure to interview all referrals, and have an honest, tough-love discussion with them.