If you are responsible for hiring talented individuals for your professional service firm, you know how big of a challenge staffing open positions can be. While the elite firms are able to attract top talent, most firms fight among themselves to gain a large portion of a small pool of candidates. Combined with the challenges of a workforce that demands an evolved work environment, you face a difficult set of circumstances while hiring.
This requires you to do two things. First, you must adjust your hiring practices so you can adopt a more holistic approach. You can no longer do one-size-fits-all presentations for all candidates. Second, you must adopt new means of communicating with potential employees. It used to be that creating magazines, large-scale research studies and whitepapers made professional service firms monumental thought leaders in their industry. Now, everyone is creating content to distinguish themselves, which means you have to rise above an even noisier field to get employees attention.
A recent study by Lauren Rivera of the Kellogg School of Management shows that most top-tier service companies hire based on a candidate’s affluent background, not on skill set. There are two reasons for this. First, top-tier service firms hire from universities that are more likely to have students from affluent backgrounds. Second, managers are more often to hire people that are from their socio-economic class.
This bias offers you an incredible opportunity because that means that there is a large pool of very qualified candidates that are untapped by the top-tier firms. These qualified candidates are ambitious and have something to prove, and if you hire them, can be very beneficial for your company. A good first step for hiring is to go where the top-tier companies don’t go and to hire the qualified employees that other service firms are blind to due to their biases.
If you want to hire someone, you need to be able to communicate with them first. You have a finite budget with seemingly infinite channels and you can’t invest everywhere. It is no surprise that the majority of recent graduates get the majority of their information about potential employers from job fairs, employer websites, social media and job boards. The majority of your communication budget should be directed there. In addition, consider supplementing your efforts with YouTube videos. It is a cost-effective medium that reaches a majority of the millennials, on whom you will rely on to make the base of your workforce.
While it does vary by country, the majority of millennials value work-life balance when looking for a new job. This does not mean they desire a position where they clock in at nine and are out the door by five. For millennials, work-life balance is about being respected and having their opinions heard. They wish to be challenged intellectually and they need to know that the work they do matters. It’s about being able to blend their passions and their personal lives with their work lives in a compelling way. It is the employer’s responsibility to provide that respect, as well as opportunities for employees to enhance their skills and progress professionally. If you are able to convey that you can provide this sort of environment, you will greatly increase your chances of getting the best candidates.
These are just a few potential ideas on how to revitalize your hiring practices. All of these concepts are spelled out in more detail in our new e-book, Talent Attraction in the Professional Services Industry, which is available for download. Next, you should consider bringing in a hiring services professional to help you improve your hiring practices. Universum Global is a hiring service provider with the experience to help you meet your hiring needs. Contact us today to discuss how we can help you.