Being Organized Can Help You Win the War For Talent

(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is sponsored by iCIMS, a leading provider of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) talent acquisition solutions. iCIMS was recently recognized by Network Products Guide as one of the 2012 Hot Companies and Best Products. This is the second year in a row they’ve won the award. Congrats!)

A recent article compared high-performing talent to frogs in a wheelbarrow. The analogy was they can jump out at any time. Another reference to the emerging war for talent.

As business professionals, we can recognize the challenges of recruiting and retaining talent. And we know what a failure to effectively recruit and retain talent causes our business in terms of disengagement, morale and turnover (just to name a few). So, the real question when it comes to the war on talent is “How do we win it?”

Remember the quote by Machiavelli, “Before all else, be armed.” The first step to winning is getting organized.

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Before dismissing the notion, hear me out. If you really want to hire the best and keep them, you need to have a plan. And it can’t be some “fly by the seat of your pants” strategy. The only way to develop a plan is by getting organized. A disorganized plan is an oxymoron.

To start, here are a few things you need:

1)      Data – If you’re trying to hire the best, do you have the information necessary for a recruiting strategy? For example:

    • Where are your best candidates located?
    • What is their preferred method of hearing about job openings?
    • How do they traditionally apply?

This is just a preliminary list but, you see what I mean. To attract high-performing talent, you need to find them. And you’ll waste a lot of time and money without getting organized on the best way to locate them.

2)      Systems – A consistent hiring process will keep you organized. It allows you to respond faster and hopefully hire that rock-star before your competition does.

This is where procedures can be your friend. Don’t create processes to stop things from happening. Create a flow to your recruiting process that enables people to get hired faster and more efficiently. As a HR pro, my operation loved having a process that was simple and well-communicated. Everyone knew it and worked it effectively.

Now it might sound like getting organized involves technology. And it does. Today’s technology can definitely recruiting, talent, talent management, icims, softwarehelp you get organized and stay organized. When used to its fullest potential, technology can free you up from administrative burdens so you can focus on growing your network, having conversations with candidates and building relationships with high-performing employees.

Because if your organization is going to win the war for talent…that’s where you win it. By letting technology do what it does best, it allows you to do what you do best.

Which leads me to organization point #3.

3)      Programs – Specifically a well-thought out onboarding program. Getting people in the door is one thing. Keeping them is another. The first significant impression employees receive about the company is during the onboarding process. It tells new hires how much the company cares about the hire they just made. And how invested the organization is in the success of their employees.

Organizing what new hires need to learn is critical to the success of the daily operation. It’s also key to employee retention. It doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive program. Companies can start by creating a list of activities that new hires need to know and when they should know them by. Store it electronically so it can be monitored by the employee, their manager and HR.

I can already see in the weeks and months to come a lot of conversation about a war for talent. And that’s fine. But the real conversation is about winning. Getting organized and putting a plan in place to attract the talent your organization needs. Then organizing a way to make them as productive as possible … as quickly as possible. That’s how talent wars are won.