Jordana’s Headhunting Tips for Hiring the Best

In any business, but in particular customer facing service businesses such as Retail Forex, who you hire for different roles can make all the difference between failure and success. And typically does.

Jordana Barkats, HR Manager at brokerage platform provider Leverate has some words of advice for making sure that your business is hiring the best people too.

Your company is only as good as the people who comprise it.

Yet, finding and hiring great people is one of the biggest challenges organizations face.

Jordana Barkats, Leverate

Jordana Barkats, Leverate

In a Harvard Business Review article on CEOs titled “The 3 Things CEOs Worry About the Most”, talent-related issues were their main concern, especially how to find and hire the right people. Great talent is much in demand in all industries and unfortunately the supply is low. McKinsey coined the term “The War for Talent” to describe the increasing competition in hiring talented people. In this and upcoming articles, I’ll share some tips and best practices that’ll help you win the war for talent.

Before you even kickoff hiring you should consider your employer branding. How are you perceived as a company and as an employer? Do you have a good reputation? To hire the best people your company should be branded and marketed as a fantastic place to work. You can consider what makes your company a great place to work; pay, benefits, flexibility, great people, fun etc. and present that externally to potential hires and in professional forums or meetups. Your website can also have a careers page presenting the open positions and note that current employees and former employees are significant ambassadors of employer branding and they should have good things to say about working in the company.

When kicking off a hiring process you need to know exactly what you are looking for, meaning be very clear in defining the skills, experience and personality characteristics that are needed to succeed in this position. It is helpful to think of someone who is successful in this position and define the profile you are looking for based on their characteristics. Once they are clarified, you can write up a job description (JD). Depending on the population you are interested in, the JD can be funny, formal, short or long, but should catch and keep people’s attention and definitely should be clear and without errors as it is the first impression they have of your company. Once you have an accurate and catchy JD and have decided on a salary range and conditions for the position, the next step is sharing the JD, so that the right people see it.

In my experience the best way to acquire talented employees is to have your current employees bring on their friends. They’ll do the initial screening for you, they know the company and position well and it is in their best interest to recommend quality people. So make sure to share the JD’s internally, encourage a ‘friend brings friend’ culture and offer an attractive recruitment reward. All employees should share the JD on their social media accounts and with people that they think would be a great fit for the position.

Next, you should post the position in the right places; industry related professional forums, LinkedIn groups, Facebook groups and websites are all good places to start. If you are looking for fresh graduates you can post on college job boards as well. Depending on the profile of the candidate you are looking for there may be additional specialized places in which to post. You can also post on industry specific job boards or general job boards like Monster in the US, Drushim in Israel, 51 Jobs in China etc. Posting on job boards is a mixed blessing. You’ll receive a lot of CVs but will spend a lot of time reading CVs that are completely irrelevant. If you do decide to post on a job board you should make sure that the basic requirements of years of experience, skills needed, etc. are very clear. If you need to hire in mass, i.e. hiring a large number of people for a standard or entry level position, then job boards are useful.

If you are hiring more managerial level positions, specialized positions or positions in foreign countries it may be worthwhile to invest in recruitment agencies or headhunters. There are industry specific headhunters/recruiters as well as generalized. The service they provide is finding and sending you CVs of people that are a fit for the position. They speak to the potential candidate before sending you the CV to make sure they are interested in the position and that their salary expectations fit what you are offering. This can save you a lot of time and effort if done well. Here are some tips to work well with employment agencies; it’s important to make sure that you and the recruiter are aligned. I suggest that after you send over the JD, you speak to the recruiter working on your position and reiterate what is most important to you in a candidate, including qualities that you did not include in the JD, for example a candidate’s former companies and the ideal profile for the position. When the recruiter sends you CVs you should give the recruiter feedback to help them better pinpoint their search so they can send you more relevant candidates. Depending on the position and the recruiter you should receive anywhere from 5-10 good CVs and will usually pay them anywhere between a month to 6 months of salary depending on country and seniority.

You can also be your own recruiter by headhunting on LinkedIn. Headhunting skills take some time to hone but you can begin by searching on LinkedIn with keywords like companies, job titles, location and professional keywords. You can also start with people who are successful in the position and look at people who are similar to them spreading out in your search. After reading a potential candidate’s LinkedIn page you can reach out to them by LinkedIn Inmail if you are interested. Unless you have a recruiter account, you have a limited number of Inmails so choose wisely and write an email that will pique their interest in the position. Customizing each approach to the candidate’s background and interests will boost your chances of success, so it’s worthwhile to invest the time. Overall headhunting is very time consuming and is most useful when you are looking for a highly specific, managerial or specialized candidate.

These channels should provide you with CVs of quality and relevant candidates for the position. If for some reason you’re not receiving the amount or type of candidates you need, you should rethink the JD and where you are posting or perhaps partner with a recruitment agency. Once you’ve received the CVs, then next step is reading them and reading between the lines… we’ll talk about that next time.

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