Acquiring top talent is essential for business success
What does an ideal employee look like? They're likely smart and driven, good collaborators but also able to take charge of a project when necessary. Great employees are also often good communicators, can think outside of the box, and can reliably execute their tasks according to plan. Simply put, the most talented employees have many strengths that help them excel, and few significant weaknesses.
Unsurprisingly, given their range of impressive qualities, top performers can often find themselves with a wide range of professional opportunities to choose from. For businesses, this makes the acquisition and retention of these individuals a potentially difficult prospect.
Curious about how best to go about hiring the best people for positions in your organization? Here are some of the top strategies employed by business school graduates.
An open position might receive dozens or hundreds of applications, many likely sent by people who are unqualified for the responsibilities demanded by the role. To sift through so many applications in search of the best candidates would be, if not impossible, certainly a suboptimal use of time.
To get past this hurdle, smart executives will often make the beginning stages of talent acquisition an ongoing process, even when there is no immediate need for new personnel. By making an effort to network with talented individuals and keeping their information on file, these executives will build a great stable of effectively pre-screened individuals to whom new opportunities can be announced. Not only is this a measure that can save a good amount of time during the hiring process, but it also leads to new hires already having a productive relationship with the company and its leaders.
Professionals trained in a business executive’s university tend to have advanced knowledge of recruiting best practices, acquired through instruction from top academics and business leaders. While this expertise can help them to pick out prospects who will align well with the company's needs and goals, these skills are not infallible.
Mood, fatigue, distraction, and all sorts of other factors might conspire to make an unsuitable candidate look better than they are, or a suitable candidate look worse. Both of these situations can greatly hinder the effectiveness of a hiring campaign.
The solution that many of the smarter executives turn to is to bring other people into the hiring process. This might mean having others, like human resources professionals or department managers, handling some of the screening and interviewing duties ahead of a final interview with the executive. It might also mean bringing these same kinds of colleagues in to join interviews.
Someone else might catch interesting details about an applicant's mannerisms, or have an important interpretation of something they said, that the executive would otherwise not notice. And, of course, the more agreement there is between team members about the suitability of a prospect, the likelier the odds that a final decision will be correct.
Highly desirable applicants tend to get a fair number of offers. The more offers they receive, the lower the probability that they will accept one that you decide to send, and sending in an offer too late could well lead to them accepting a job somewhere else.
Recognizing this, business school grads will often move quickly when they are faced with a candidate who stands out. This might mean rearranging their schedule to fit a few rounds of interviews within a short period of time, or even bypassing some of the typical steps to ensure the opportunity to hire the individual doesn't pass by. They understand that the longer a business waits to acquire the best, the greater the odds that they'll wind up somewhere else.
The challenge in this sort of situation is that while expedience can lead to acquiring a particular candidate, it might also mean proceeding without the usual level of caution. Ultimately, there is no perfect solution to this problem. However, graduates of MBA schools, with their top-quality training in analysis and decision-making, are about as well situated to make the right choice as anyone can expect to be.
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