What’s the difference between recruiting and business development? Not much according to Michäel Maltais, Manager, Talent Acquisition at BDC.
“Every time you put your company ‘out there’, whether you’re running a promo or posting a job, people form an impression of you,” Maltais says. “With recruitment, you have to convince your audience that what you’re selling—a place in your company—is right for them.”
So how do you cut through a noisy job marketplace and draw the best candidates to your business? Maltais offers these five tips to successfully build your team.
1. Know what you want
What “top talent” means for you will be different than what it means for someone else. It’s not just about skills and qualifications (though it could be) but also fit and other qualities. If you run a window-washing service, your top candidate might be “fast and fearless”; if you’re bringing on board a customer service representative, a “good listener and quick thinker” may be more of what you need.
Maltais says it’s good to avoid hiring someone just because you think they’re like you. Difference can be a good thing and a source of fresh ideas. What’s key is for the candidate to fit the role.
2. Search the right places
Once you’re clear on your definition of top talent, you have to figure out where to look for it. If you’re seeking a recent graduate you’ll want to contact local universities or colleges. LinkedIn can be a great source for a wide range of professionals. Depending on who you’re looking for, you may need to try different channels.
3. Set yourself apart
“When you’re posting a position, find an angle that differentiates you from your competitors,” advises Maltais. He recommends searching competitors’ job postings to see what they’re saying so you can better decide how to stand apart.
When it comes to writing a posting, rather than give a laundry list of duties (the old, “the successful candidate will...”) try to paint a picture of what working in your business will be like. How does a typical day go for someone in that role? What will they start doing and where could they end up six months from now?
4. Let your employees be your ambassadors
No job board will sell your company like your employees can,” says Maltais. If you really want your people to spread the word to their networks, you can even offer incentives for references. It can be worth it: Candidates referred by your own staff are more likely to be better employees and stay longer than random applicants.
5. Tailor your pitch to the person
When you’re ready to talk to a candidate, be sure to listen for what they’re looking for career-wise. Top performers don’t just want a job—they usually have career goals of their own and want to know how you can help them achieve their objectives.
Don’t be afraid to promote what your company has to offer, but at the same time be honest. There’s no point promising something you can’t provide, because they’ll find out sooner or later and may choose to move on when they do.
Approaching top talent on social media
A lot of companies post jobs on social platforms like LinkedIn. But you can also turn the search around and use social media to find people who would be good in your company.
If you’re approaching someone on social media, let them know why you’re contacting them, e.g.: “I saw on your LinkedIn profile you have lots of experience building apps for the construction industry. My company develops software for the sector and I wondered if you’d be interested in talking...”
And remember—you’re marketing yourself! Even if the person isn’t interested, thank them for their time and ask if they might know someone. Reaching out this way builds both your network and your brand.