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[Podcast] Talent Acquisition with Alex Mozota of Avitus Group

Greg and John are joined by Alex Mozota of Avitus Group to discuss the best practices for talent acquisition and employee retention in the current economic climate and in the post-COVID workplace.

All things must come to an end. Nearly a year into this pandemic we are once again experiencing improvement in the number of cases and deaths. There will come a time in the not too distant future when COVID will be treated much like other viruses that will never go away, we’ll keep a watchful eye on the progress, modify vaccines to handle the newest strains, and stay home when we are sick. Life will find its equilibrium as it always does, and we will settle into the new norm. Knowing that this too shall pass, it would behoove leaders to plan for the next step. Businesses fortunate enough to weather this storm ought to lay the groundwork now to capture the best available candidates when federal, state and/or local restrictions are lifted. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and the same is true for any company. With the increase in remote work and the ability to hire anybody, anywhere, why not hire the best available.

Unless you are hiring multiple employees per day, every day, no matter how good you think your hiring practices are, they just aren’t that good. That statement may sting a little, but think about it in these terms, if you were diagnosed with a heart condition and needed surgery, would you choose the surgeon that performs surgery a couple times per year, or would you choose the surgeon that performs a few thousand surgeries per year? I’ve been in the Professional Employer Organization (PEO) industry for nearly 14-years now and my experience has shown that when an employer is ready to hire, they often have a sense of urgency and just need a body to fill a vacant spot. This is not a sound strategy as turnover costs employers an estimated 33% of the former employee’s annual salary or the median annual salary of the organization. For example, if your organizations median annual salary is $57,500, turnover would cost you an estimated $18,975 per position. There are both hard and soft dollar costs that contribute to that overall number. Hard dollar costs could be recruiting, training and lost production. Soft dollar costs could be time to interview, train, onboarding and the compounding factors resulting from other team members picking up the slack. Employers choose a PEO to handle their back office, non-revenue generating employee administration tasks because that is not why they got into business, and as such are not as proficient and knowledgeable as a PEO. Conversely, employers that do not hire employees for a living should partner with a recruiter who does. Employers often shy away from recruiters because of the up-front cost of a placement, but when you compare it to the cost of turnover, it is a much better investment. The best strategy is to fill the gap with a temp or temp-to-hire employee from a staffing agency, then take your time to the find the best candidate possible, not only for their skills and abilities, but also one who is a good fit for your company culture. This will ensure a sound hire and increase the chances of finding a long-term fit driving down overall cost.

The most successful businesses employ strategies to drive initiatives. Recruiting strategies are no different. People are the most valued asset in business today, so invest in your hiring process. As consumers, when we have a positive encounter during a business transaction it is often the person we interacted with, not the product or service itself that made for a pleasant experience. The same holds true for your business. Your people are the face of your company, your growth and reputation depend on it. When it comes to developing a recruiting strategy here are some tips.

Evaluate what has worked in the past and revamp what has not. Keep in mind that old techniques such as making a phone call to candidates may have worked in the past, but that may not be the case in today’s market. Recent college graduates didn’t have a home phone growing up because we all have cellular phones now. As a result, they don’t know how to effectively communicate by phone and are often difficult to engage as such. However, they are excellent at texting, so be flexible and text them! Sticking to the adage of “why must I text, I’ve always called, they should conform to me” will prevent you from capturing bright young graduates.

Look at your sourcing strategy, how are you getting your job postings out there and are you actively looking for passive candidates even when you don’t have an open position. Use different approaches to maximize your exposure. Indeed is a great source, but don’t stop there, ask for employees to refer people they know, get on LinkedIn and Facebook, find a niche that works for you such as a local college job board, get creative. The key is finding those passive candidates that aren’t necessarily looking for a job and letting them know you want them. You want to create a pool of candidates from which to choose from when the time comes to fill a position. If you are recruiting when you have a vacant position you are already behind in your recruiting efforts.

Develop your employer brand which is the your value proposition to current and future employees encompassing your mission, values and culture. According to LinkedIn research, individual contributors & managers are 186% more likely to consider a position based on employer brand, candidates under 40-years old are 61% more likely to consider a position based on employer brand, and professionals outside the United States are 37% more likely to consider a position based on employer brand. Your image as an employer of choice is key to attracting and retaining top talent and is often reflected in Glassdoor reviews.

Finally, invest in your onboarding process. Too often employers feel that onboarding is simply the paperwork and training associated with hiring a new employee, but a true onboarding process is so much more. If done correctly, onboarding is designed to integrate a new hire into your company’s culture. You invested time and money to acquire a new hire, why not make an investment to keep them. An onboarding process is all about getting your new hire plugged in, so they are engaged. Beyond the initial paperwork and training it may include mentoring, developing, coaching, and integrating them into your work family. According to Gallup, 85% of employees are not engaged in their workplace, yet businesses that scored the highest in employee engagement showed a 21% higher level of profitability, which directly affects your bottom line. One of the simplest forms of success is to ensure your People, Process and Product are top notch so don’t skimp on recruitment strategy.

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Disclaimer: The information and resources provided herein are not a substitute for experienced legal counsel and does not constitute legal advice or attempt to address the numerous factual issues that inevitably arise in any employment-related dispute. Although this information attempts to cover some major recent developments, it is not all-inclusive, and any recommendations are based upon HR best practices and procedures. We recommend you consult an attorney for legal guidance.

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