Unemployment may be approaching a long-term high, but in some sectors, including supply chain, we’re still in a major talent crunch because of the lack of appropriate skilled resources while the need for those skilled resources is still rising. That’s why, if you’re lucky enough to attract an application from a good candidate, you have to make sure you keep their attention. But how do you do that?
SI would recommend you start by writing a grateful acknowledgement of their application with a request to promptly schedule an initial call, at their convenience (within reason — either within your normal operating hours or at times you can guarantee availability). The focus of the call should be on selling your company and position to them, not on them selling themselves to you. Once you have verified that they are who they say they are and a real candidate (and not a placement form pushing a stretched resume of a junior resource at you), it’s time to explain why they want to work for you. This should involve a discussion of:
- a day in the life in the role
and a no holds barred discussion of the good, the bad, and the ugly and how you hope they can help you improve the role (and not just put another coat of lipstick on the pig)
- the stakeholders they will be interacting with
and how they fit into the organizational structure
- the corporate culture
and why it really is a great place to work, even with its beauty marks
- the commitment to employees
with a focus on the training and personal development options available to employees
- the decision making processes
in terms of selecting the new hire and executing the role
- the goals for the role
and what will be expected of the successful candidate in the first 30, 90, 360 days
However, be very careful to:
- manage expectations
Do not oversell the role, the culture, or the benefits. If the offer is more than fair, the benefits will sell themselves. If you are sincerely happy in your role, convey that, and if you click with the candidate, a soft sell will sell the culture. And any talented resource knows that every role has an interesting side and a boring side. It’s what you do to minimize the boredom that counts.
- not throw money around
If you offer too much money, a smart candidate will suspect something is up. If the role has a market value of approximately 125, and you’re offering 195 as a base, they’re going to wonder if you’re a bad place to work (and have to bribe people), dumb (and unaware of true market rates), or wasteful (and running out of rope as a result). While top talent wants to be paid well, they understand fiscal responsibility (as that’s their job) and will happily work for the high-end of market average with a good bonus structure, that should be performance based and unlimited.
- get too personal
While talent wants to feel like they will be able to communicate and work with you and other employees comfortably and productively, they other expect an air of professionalism on the job and know that there’s a time for work and a time for play.