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HR Matters // A Newsletter On: Creating exceptional workplaces and extraordinary results
TALENT MAXIMIZER Vol 10, Issue 3 - March 2013

Yesterday, I attended an event on recruiting top talent sponsored by my client Mass Leadership Technology Council (MLTC). People came out in droves to try and find the secret formula that would allow them to hire hundreds of people this year, and in some cases by the end of Q1.

The key differentiator between companies that have been able to rapidly pull in top talent and those that are hobbling along is the commitment of the CEO and the executive team. In the most successful situations, the CEO sees his role as spearheading the charge to hire great people. His actions filter down to the executives and hiring managers, who fully understand the importance of speed and quality hires. Now compare this to what we see as more typical. Talent acquisition as just a necessary evil.

I recently worked with a CEO who was committed to making his organization exceptional, rather than ordinary. Though our work together, he made some significant changes that allowed him to trade out B players for A players. He's forecasting a record year for his business at a time when many are going belly up. How's your business doing?

When it Comes to Hiring Top Talent, Only the Speedy Survive

By Roberta Chinsky Matuson

Nothing can be more annoying to hiring managers and great candidates alike than the blockage created by a hiring process that no longer fits today's fast-paced world of hiring. It's time to clean out your recruitment processes to allow talent to quickly enter your system. Here's how you can make this happen.

My cousin's son was recently offered a position in the management training program at The Yard House. The chain, which was launched in 1996, now has 39 restaurants across 13 states and was recently purchased by Darden Restaurants, Inc., owners of Red Lobster and the Capital Grill. The fact that he was offered a position in their management training program isn't exactly headline news, unless of course you are his mother. However, there is more to this story.

This gentleman was a highly sought after candidate who had experience with another restaurant chain known in the industry for their ability to select and develop talent. Within one minute of completing his online application, this young man received a call from a recruiter at The Yard House. There was none of this, "We need to wait a few days so he doesn't think he's all that special," game that often plays out when companies are courting candidates. Nope. They wanted him to know that he indeed was special. Their quick actions resulted in him saying yes to their offer.

If you had to, would it even be possible for your recruiters to respond so rapidly? If not, why? Perhaps it's because you don't have any recruiters or the ones you have are trying to balance the demands required when trying to fill more requisitions than humanly possible. Or is it because you aren't really clear on what an ideal candidate looks like for your company so when one arrives in your inbox you don't even notice?

When working with my clients to help them accelerate their ability to bring in top talent, I always begin by asking my client to try and apply for a position with his or her own company. Every now and again, a CEO or a VP actually gets through their own system before giving up. However, this is rare. Most roll their eyes and head straight to the HR department to see what the heck is going on over there. In the meantime, many terrific candidates have been lost. Most never to be found again.

Simplicity is key when you are looking to attract top candidates to your organization. Crazy pre-screening math exams or requests for essays about what candidates would do to prevent global warming are useless exercises that often turn candidates off before you've had a chance to ignite their interest. I'm not saying these exercises have no place in the selection process. That place just shouldn't be their first and often their last impression of your organization.

It's certainly nice to get other people's opinions when hiring, but not if it means having the candidate wait months while John returns from his six-month sabbatical or waiting for Mary, who won't even be working with this person, to come back from her trip to Disneyland. Speed trumps perfection every time!

Companies today are taking way too long to hire talent and while they are doing so, others who are moving swiftly are returning home with the lion's share of great people. It doesn't have to be this way if you are willing to clean out your old system and begin anew with a process that works in today's fast-paced world. What are you waiting for? The clock is ticking.

© 2013 Matuson Consulting. All rights reserved.

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About Roberta Matuson

As a thought leader in talent maximization, I've been invited by Deloitte University to participate in an exclusive event on inclusion and talent. In attendance will be the Chairman and the CEO of Deloitte, world-class leaders and clients. In next month's newsletter I will share best practices and specific actions you can take to maximize the contribution of all your employees.

Need a thought leader to present at an upcoming off-site or association meeting? Give us a call at 413-582-1840.

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© 2013 Matuson Consulting. All Rights Reserved.