Rules to Better Recruiting
In a consulting company, you're always balancing having either not enough work or too much. When you're approaching full capacity (i.e. full utilization), either overall or in a particular skill niche, you should make sure you get approval to hire more people.
When you do this, make sure you show your evidence so it's not just a gut feel.
To: Adam Subject: New devs
We haven't hired any new devs in a while so can we please have some more?
Figure: Bad Example - lack of information
To: Adam Subject: Recruit and hire new developers
As per our conversation, we need more developers. I just lost 3 months of work (full-stack, React + .NET).
- Please approve recruiting and hiring more devs ASAP
For more proof, check out our current bookings:
See the Power BI report
<This email was sent as per the rule: https://rules.ssw.com.au/when-to-hire-more-people>
Figure: Good Example – shows current bookings to give weight to the decision. This email shows you are out of resources
Trouble finding amazing developers?! Here is how we do it!
At SSW we do not use recruiters, instead we rely on word of mouth for referrals, or we advertise a position using LinkedIn. We find that the filters on LinkedIn are a good way of attracting people with the correct skills. You can choose up to 10 skills per ad, saving you a lot of time.
We also try to make our ads interesting and fun to help them stand out. For example, when we needed a new State Manager for Brisbane, we needed someone with a Business mind, who also knew our industry inside and out. So we created the title "A Business Guy (once a wannabe developer)". This got people's attention, and got us the right person for the job!
Once we have our candidates, we call them for a chat, put them through a communications challenge, and then a coding challenge. This ensures that we find people who are the right cultural fit for our company, as well as a kick-arse consultant and coder.
While you can find great candidates in very creative ways, like through events or networking; sometimes you need a little help reaching out. So how can you get an introduction without paying for a recruiter?
The advantage of using a Recruiter to help you find awesome staff is that they already have access to an excellent network of great people.
LinkedIn is a modern way of meeting new like-minded professionals, but it relies on you knowing someone that they know. With a normal LinkedIn Profile, you can only contact people that are connected with you or within 2-3 connections. So while standard LinkedIn is great for people you already know, it makes it hard to headhunt anyone new.
This is where LinkedIn Recruiter is a game-changer. Some the unique features:
- You can search for people that you do not know using keywords like “NET Developer”, “Sydney”, or “University of Technology”.
- It shows you if people are open to being prospected
- You can look at a profile without the owner knowing
- Post your Ads on LinkedIn and manage your applications
- Manages the application pipeline for you (but it is not customizable like in Talent Hub)
- Gives you applicant suggestions based upon your ads
- Allows you to directly message candidates via InMail
In LinkedIn Recruiter you can easily move the candidates from one stage to another, and some of them are automatic like “Contacted” This is triggered by you sending an InMail to a candidate or them replying. If you want a fully customizable funnel, we recommend the ATS LinkedIn Talent Hub.
If you are still having trouble finding great candidates either by searching via keywords or by posting jobs, here is a great "how-to" video from Ross Carvalho from LinkedIn to help you find those hidden golden candidates:
You can also watch a great 5-minute demo by LinkedIn Talent Solutions of the main features and search functionality below:
An ATS (Applicant Tracking System) is a way in which you can track your candidates during your recruitment process. It can be as simple as a Trello board, or a custom designed system. There are a lot of options on the market, some of the more popular ones are:
- LinkedIn Talent Hub
If you are a small company, you might get away with using something simple, like a Trello board, or you could simply use the built-in recruitment funnels in Seek or LinkedIn. However, if you need data to test the efficiency and cost of your recruitment, or if you need to integrate your ATS with a database, we recommend that you use a custom ATS, like LinkedIn Hub.
Advantages of using LinkedIn Talent Hub:
- You can track your candidates throughout the recruitment process.
- You can add candidates directly from LinkedIn Recruiter, applications, or import them from elsewhere.
- It automatically looks for a LinkedIn profile for imported resumes.
- You can export their details to another ATS if you decide to change without a lot of manual data entry.
- You can make notes about your candidates, so that if you speak to 10 people in a row, you can remember their strengths and weaknesses and also rank them in order of preference.
- You can share a candidate’s details with other members of staff without the need to move data or download a resume.
- You can customise the recruitment funnel to reflect your own process
- You can send candidates emails or InMail’s directly from LinkedIn Hub
- It integrates with Outlook so that you can invite candidates or interviewers via an appointment and view your calendar.
- It has reporting services that you can use to analyse your recruitment process and implement improvements based upon your recruitment data.
Figure: Bad example - An ATS system that doesn’t allow you to import candidates into CRM, or allow you to analyse data. It does allow you to contact candidates and track where they are in your recruitment process.
Figure: Good Example - LinkedIn Hub that is used alongside LinkedIn Recruiter. You can see how many candidates go into your pipeline, how many make it to each stage of your recruitment process, and how long it takes at each stage, including the “time to hire”. This should show how efficient your process is, and if you lose too many candidates at certain stages in your process.
The Microsoft landscape changed when it announced it was dropping its Dynamics 365 HR apps in favor of the LinkedIn alternative.
Figure: Bad example - Dynamics 365 Talent: Attract and Dynamics 365 Talent: Onboard
Learn more about LinkedIn Talent Solutions and LinkedIn Talent Hub - a new Application Tracking System (ATS) that lets you source, manage, and hire – all in one place. Talent Hub gives hiring teams complete visibility into every stage of the hiring process and how candidates have engaged with your company - from candidate pipeline, interviews, feedback to extended offers. It also uses the actions, skills, and experience of the half a billion LinkedIn members to deliver insights about your candidates, the talent pool, and the market at every stage of the hiring process. This means you can get timely insights throughout your hiring process to help you make better talent decisions and gain an edge over the competition.
Note: Feb 2020 will see the launch of a new Dynamics 365 Human Resources offering
Figure: Good example - LinkedIn Talent Hub
Does your ATS allow you to store all of your candidates in the same place? Even if they applied from another source?
One of the definite perks of using an ATS like LinkedIn Talent Hub for recruitment is the import functionality.
If candidates apply via a LinkedIn job ad, they will automatically appear at the beginning of your recruitment funnel on LinkedIn Talent Hub. If you have put your job ad on more than one platform, LinkedIn Talent Hub allows you to import the candidates from your other sources.
To do this, you can either search the available LinkedIn profiles to add a candidate, or you can import them using their resume which auto populates the important information for you. This means you can add candidates from any source imported into your ATS funnels, you can even tag the source if you would like to remember who came from where.
A fun new feature of the LinkedIn Talent Hub import search, is that it identifies when an imported candidate also has a LinkedIn profile. The system then prompts you if a candidate has a LinkedIn profile and if you would prefer links the resume to a profile.
LinkedIn Talent Hub is huge! So do you know the main features?
LinkedIn Talent Hub brings LinkedIn Recruiter and Jobs together into a new ATS platform that lets you source, manage, and hire – all in one place. You can post a job and immediately source quality candidates using Recruiter in the same view, as well as keeping track of applicants and managing the hiring process in one place. It can help you:
- Open requisitions and determine job targeting.
- Source candidates via Recruiter Search.
- Manage your complete pipeline.
- Schedule interviews.
- Collect feedback from hiring committees.
- Extend offers to candidates.
To see the main features and see the Hub in action, watch this video from LinkedIn Talent Solutions:
In order to give you candidates the best experience, you need to be constantly analysing your process and improving it where you can.
An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) system like LinkedIn Talent Hub gives you the ability to track your recruitment data, as well as your candidates. It allows you to analyse things like:
- Your candidate funnel - how many candidates went into the top of the funnel, and how many made it through to each stage of the process.
- How long it took to recruit someone, from posting the job ad, to signing the contract.
- When they applied & when they were hired.
- Where candidates dropped out of your process.
- Where you candidates came from, and where they may have previously worked.
- If your process has any issues – for example, where you lost the most people, or if a stage took too long to complete.
You can see how many candidates go into your pipeline, how many make it to each stage of your recruitment process, and how long it takes at each stage, including the “time to hire”. This should show how efficient your process is, and if you lose too many candidates at certain stages in your process.
The first day of a new job can be daunting. For the new starter, the workplace is unfamiliar, their colleagues are strangers, and there’s so much to learn they think their head might explode. All up, it’s a stressful time.
There are few simple ways to help new hires feel more comfortable as they adjust to their new workspace:
Before they start
Prior to the newcomer’s arrival, make sure their desk and work area are clean by giving the desktop, monitor, mouse and keyboard a wipe with a damp cloth. Then test that the equipment on their desk, such as the computer, phone and any other electronics, is in good working condition.
The day before they start
Give them a call and make sure they're ready and know what to bring with them, what to wear, etc.
At SSW we give the newcomers the option to bring their own equipment, so make sure to ask them before they start.
On their first day
On the newcomer’s first day, have the manager leave a short “welcome to the company” handwritten note and a cup of good coffee at the newcomer’s workstation to greet them first thing (The welcome message could even be written ON the cup if possible). Make sure they have someone looking after them.
Other nice days could include:
- A mug
- A map of the area with some cool things pointed out (good coffee spots, restaurants, etc.)
- Use a blank notebook to write a welcome note and put handy hints inside, then they can continue to use the notepad during induction!
It’s also a nice idea to take the newbie out to lunch on their first day so they can get to know their co-workers outside of the office. NB: check if they have any special dietary requirements.
These are some thoughtful ways to show the new hire that the company is pleased to have them on board, and leaves them with a good first impression of their new workplace.
It can be sad when a co-worker is leaving the job, but you should always find a good reason to celebrate the day and make it special – especially if they worked for the company for a long time.
You should always provide as good of an experience for when your staff they leave, as when they joined the organization.
Here are some ideas:
- Have a special lunch with the whole team
- Prepare a card signed by all team members to say goodbye
- Get the team together for drinks after work (if you are working remotely, this can be done via Microsoft Teams or Zoom)
- Get the boss to write a speech about the soon to be ex-employee and make sure everyone can participate in the farewell
Of course, you can personalize it according to each employee’s personality.
As a goodbye could be due to redundancy, or a resignation, it’s always a good idea to ask the employee how they might feel about the situation. This is an important step to ensure they are comfortable.
Do you rely entirely on the claims of Recruitment Agencies when selecting new employees? If you do, it may be a very costly mistake. We have been giving coding tests to new employees for 10 years. A candidate has to prove they can walk the walk before they can join our team.
We give a Project Management test to coders as well. Developers should be able to contribute to the working of a project from end to end. They need to communicate with not only sales and marketing staff, but also clients and people that walk off the street! Clients typically think developers (aka computer nerds) come from another planet. Getting Project Managers at the go between is good, but on many jobs it just adds a layer and an unnecessary cost to a job. Recruiting developers that understand the ins and outs of project management means that that developers have less reliance on a Project Manager, they get to speak to customers more (a very good thing) and the customer gets a cheaper solution.
Another thing is that when interviewing you have to go on your instinct a bit. This won't always work, but as Joel says: "a bad candidate will cost a lot of money and effort and waste other people's time fixing all their bugs." It's best to let a good candidate slip occasionally than let a bad one spoil your coding and client relationships. Joel again: "If you have any doubts whatsoever, No Hire."