Articles

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Talent Acquisition: A New Focus for 2017

If your company is not already investing in talent acquisition, make this your goal for 2017!  Unlike traditional recruitment, talent acquisition is a long-term strategy focused on identifying specialists and future leaders able to fill difficult, highly skilled positions that typically take four to six months to fill.  Since talent acquisition is more strategic than recruitment, it involves more introspection and an understanding of HR practices and functions across all corporate departments, which strengthens internal cohesion and reduces turnover.  If you’re considering moving to a talent acquisition strategy (or if we still haven’t convinced you that doing so is important!), here are five things to keep in mind:

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Self-Directed Learning in the Workplace

Getting employees to participate in training seminars (let alone actually pay attention to them) can be like pulling teeth.  No matter how important or relevant the training, there will be people who think it doesn’t apply to them, people who show up then sit in the corner and doodle, people who leave after lunch, and so on, which can create the impression that you’ve just wasted a lot of money trying to get people to learn a new skill or process that could help them perform their job more effectively.  One way to combat this is to implement a self-directed learning program that allows employees to pursue their own education, expand their skill sets, and improve performance on their own schedule.  Below, we’ve provided some insight into why self-directed learning can be of value and how to implement a program of your own.

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How to Retain Top Talent

After putting the time and effort into finding the best suited candidates for an open position, you will want to ensure that these candidates stay and continue to contribute to the current and future success of your company. Employers are always looking to understand what keeps top talent happy. Here at Potomac Recruiting we suggest utilizing the following tips to ensure that you retain your best employees.

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How to Maximize the Value of an Internship Program for Your Company

Internship programs are ubiquitous around the beltway (and around the world), but few employers approach these arrangements as ways to attract, develop, and retain top talent.  A well-designed internship program will not only help the student or young professional learn valuable skills that will help them in future endeavors, but will create a talent pool of qualified candidates who already have an understanding of your organization and its culture.  We asked our experts to come up with some ideas for employers looking to leverage their internship programs – or start one – to attract fresh talent and expand their candidate pools.

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Using Social Media to Source Candidates

Social media has become a recruiting buzzword; these days, it seems everyone is sourcing candidates through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.  There’s just one problem: there are millions of people on these social networks, and finding the right candidate among the crowd can be difficult – if not impossible – leaving many recruiters and hiring managers wondering how, exactly, they are supposed to leverage this technology to improve their candidate searches.  We’ve put together some tips designed to help you get started and effectively utilize social media sites to identify and reach out to qualified candidates.

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Improving the Candidate Experience

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when in the midst of a candidate search, especially if you work at a small company that may not have a dedicated recruiter who’s been well trained and can manage every aspect of the search.  You may find yourself sending out brusque form e-mails to candidates who didn’t make the cut, or calling people in for interviews without really having a plan in place for what to do with them when they get to the office.  Spending some time thinking about the process of applying for a position at your company from the candidate’s perspective, though, can be very beneficial in the long run – applicants who had an overall positive experience, even if they didn’t get the job, will be more likely to keep in touch with the company and apply for future opportunities, and to recommend your company to their friends.  So, here are a few tips on how to improve candidate experience throughout all phases of the application process:

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Building an Effective Team Part Two: What to Do

Last week we took a look at some common missteps managers make when trying to encourage their teams to work together and perform well, and outlined why these issues can be detrimental to a team environment.  As promised, this week we’re flipping things around and offering a guide on things to do to build an effective team that is cohesive, high-performing, and communicative.

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Building an Effective Team Part One: What Not to Do

Much of a manager’s time is spent making sure their team or department is performing well and functioning as smoothly as possible, so we’ve decided to devote the next couple of weeks to our two-part series on how to build an effective team.  In Part One we’ll take a look at some common mistakes managers make – usually with the best intentions – in an effort to show you what not to do when trying to foster team development.  Then next week we’ll turn around and look at things to do, and provide some advice on techniques you can implement to help build trust and create a high-performing team.

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Creative Ways to Build a Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline is a crucial way to ensure your company doesn’t get caught in a lurch by a sudden departure or a new project that requires additional manpower, as an effective talent pipeline will contain highly qualified individuals who are ready to quickly assume a position.  Creating a solid pipeline requires a lot of effort, though, as candidates are not available indefinitely – they will find new jobs, move across the country (or globe), or do something to demonstrate that they would not be a good employee after all – and therefore you will need to constantly review and update your pipeline.  Doing so doesn’t have to be tedious, though!  We’ve put together a list of some unique, creative ways to make sure there is a steady stream of candidates expressing interest in jobs with your firm, and who you can add to your talent pipeline.

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Common Mistakes Companies Make when Hiring

Hiring the right talent is not an exact science: it takes finesse, experience, and a little bit of luck, and at some point everyone is going to make a mistake and hire the wrong person.  Company culture and the type of position being filled also play a role in hiring practices, which adds to the difficulty of creating a one-size-fits-all approach to hiring the perfect candidate every time.  Our hiring experts have, however, noticed a couple of common mistakes companies make during the hiring process, so this week they’ve put together a list of some of the more prominent errors and some simple fixes.

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Making the Most of a Reference Check

Checking references is a step that, unfortunately, many recruiters and hiring managers decide to skip when bringing in a new employee.  It often seems tedious and time-consuming – the candidate has already passed through the pre-screening process, they’ve gone through phone and in-person interviews (perhaps even multiple rounds of face-to-face interviews), and they’ve managed to shine through it all.  What’s the point of going through their list and calling everyone just to get standard, canned responses about what a great employee they were?  Reference checks should never be ignored, though.  People can be trained on how to interview well and come across as competent, personable, and eager, so checking their references to make sure that they are actually a good employee, not just a good interviewee, is crucial.  Additionally, you need to verify that everything they’ve said on their résumé is accurate – you’d be surprised how many people are willing to lie, thinking that they won’t be caught out!  So, this week our experts have put together some tips on how to make reference checks as painless – and fruitful – as possible.

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How to Simplify your Hiring Process

Hiring new employees is never going to be an easy process: identifying, interviewing, vetting, and on-boarding the right candidate takes time and effort, which pays off in the end, when you are rewarded with a competent and loyal employee.  There’s no need to struggle with an arduous hiring process if it’s leading to difficulties in attracting qualified candidates, though.   Take a look at these tips for simplifying your talent acquisition process, and see how many you can apply to your business!

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Reducing Employee Turnover

It’s no industry secret that employee turnover and “job hopping” are on the rise, with fewer people choosing to stay with the same company for the entire length of their careers, as was once common.  This does have some benefits, as employees are gaining a wider variety of experiences and skills which they can apply to each new workplace, but can hinder company growth – especially for small companies.  With that in mind, we asked our HR experts to come up with some tips for reducing employee turnover and improving long-term retention rates. 

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How to Improve a Negative Employer Brand

It can happen to any company.  A few negative reviews on Glassdoor, one discontented employee spreading rumors, or a piece of negative press, and all of a sudden your company is suffering from an unattractive brand image.  Happily, however, there are a number of ways employers can turn the situation around and improve a negative brand image problem.  We’ve put together some easy steps that can help you rebuild your company’s image, or even just help you turn your company’s brand from average to excellent.

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How to Build a “Talent Pool” for your Company

One of your primary jobs as a hiring manager is building an effective talent pool for your company, which can then be tapped to help you fill any open positions.  With that in mind, we’ve put together some simple tips and tricks to help you create, or improve, an effective pool of candidates.  A truly exceptional talent pipeline will help you simplify your hiring process by providing quick access to pre-screened internal and external candidates who are known to be good fits with your company culture and who are interested in opportunities with your business, and we are happy to assist you with your candidate pool, regardless of where you are in the process!

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Making the Most of a Phone Interview Part 2 – As a Hiring Manager

Last week we took a look at some of the things candidates can do to ace a phone interview, so this week we are decided to flip the focus and offer some advice for hiring managers!  Phone interviews can be a valuable tool, particularly if you have a lot of candidates who have applied for the position and not enough time to meet with all of them in person, but there are some simple things you can do to make sure you are getting the most out of each phone interview.

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How to Attract Millennial Workers

Millennial workers, or those born between about 1980 and 2000, have been trickling into the workforce over the past few years, and will continue to do so over the next decade, leading many business owners and hiring managers wondering how to attract this new generation of employees to their particular company.  Dozens of studies and articles come out every year on millennial traits, millennial goals, and millennial sensibilities as members of older generations try to understand what drives millennials and how to motivate them to succeed in the workplace.  With that in mind, our experts have put down some of their thoughts on how to attract—and retain—millennial workers and build a modern workforce.

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Recruiting Cyber Personnel as a Small Business

Recruiting cyber and IT security personnel is becoming more important for businesses of all sizes, particularly as companies become increasingly reliant on the internet for daily tasks.  Unfortunately, the talent pool of cyber professionals has not yet caught up with the demand, leading to competition between government agencies like DHS and the CIA, who are also working on ramping up their cyber capabilities, and private industry.  To help you attract—and retain—talented cyber professionals, Potomac Recruiting has put together a list of a couple items to keep in mind as you plan for your future hiring needs.

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Recruiting Through E-Mail

Finding talent to fill an open position in your organization is easier than ever thanks to tools like LinkedIn and online job boards, but attracting that talent to your business, particularly if it is a small business without a well-known “brand name,” can still be difficult. With that in mind, our experts have put together some tips for writing an effective recruiting e-mail that will catch your target’s eye and make them want to learn more about your company. Highly qualified candidates are likely to be receiving lots of e-mails from recruiters and hiring managers, after all, so if you want to bring them in for an interview your e-mail is going to have to stand out!

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Working with an Independent Contractor

Bringing in an independent contractor for a specific project is an excellent way for small businesses to reduce overhead and save money: the hiring process isn’t as extensive, you don’t have to provide benefits, and you won’t be stuck paying a fixed salary to an employee who’s wasting time all day long because the work you hired them for is done.  However, you also have less control over an independent contractor, and since contractors are typically used for short-term projects, you may face a high level of turnover.  And of course, there are legal challenges!  Be sure to read up on local, state, and federal regulations on what constitutes an independent contractor and what laws are in place, and consult with legal counsel if you still have questions.

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About Us

Potomac Recruiting consultants are specialists in talent. Our experienced consultants are passionate about finding the right people for your business—that’s the Potomac Recruiting advantage. We specialize in finding the people who will help your business exceed its goals, and our success is measurable: in today’s fast-moving world Potomac Recruiting is proud that our retention rate is 93%.  

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