4 Things to Remember When You're Recruiting Goal-Oriented Talent…

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Work-life balance, remote work opportunities and unlimited PTO: When any of us picture young talent and what we think they’re looking for in a new job, these are the usual perks that come to mind. But recruiters looking to attract today’s top talent have it all wrong.

Related: Your New Employees Will Want These 6 Things When They Come on Board

This year, 2017’s, highly skilled graduates are most assuredly hitting the job market, but it isn’t flashy perks they’re after.

In fact, according to a recent report from Accenture, of 1,000 U.S. graduates surveyed this year, 97 percent said they planned to pursue additional training to further their careers. Given this emphasis on future goals and professional growth, many employers need to refocus their recruiting efforts in order to attract new grads.

Let’s look at how employers can attract young talent by focusing on goals in their recruiting efforts:

1. Define goals for each role.

Goal-setting shouldn’t be reserved for current employees. Potential candidates want to know how they fit into a company — now and in the future — before they even apply for a job. This means that your recruitment needs to focus on more than just acquiring new hires. 

The emphasis should be on planning out candidates’ future with the company before your recruiter ever meets them.

While this may seem challenging, it’s actually beneficial for improving quality of hire, as well. Pre-defining goals helps employers and recruiters better understand who will fit the position for the long haul.

Start by sharing, in the job posting itself, the desired future outcome for that position and how success will be measured. Here’s a sample job posting to help recruiters get started on posting jobs with clearly defined goals.

Also, consider posting an organizational chart on your company’s career page. Show how each employee has his or her their own set of specific goals and how the company can help everyone achieve those goals through transparency and accountability.

Related: 4 Ways to Make Your New Employee a Raving Fan 

2. Show short- and long-term goals.

Posting only a position’s big hairy audacious goals (BHAGs) can be overwhelming. However, breaking down those BHAGs for candidates gives them a clear idea of how “their” position’s goals contribute to those at the company-wide level. 

Give candidates a 360-degree view of how “their” job role will impact the organization by showing both short-term and long-term company plans.

For example, if the company hopes to reach a certain sales goal by the end of the year, share that total along with a breakdown of each sales rep’s quarterly goals. Helping candidates visualize how their performance would contribute to the overall team’s success will help them value their role in reaching their personal goals.

During pre-screening, prepare questions that reveal candidates’ own goals. Ask for a list of their long-term career aspirations and how they envision reaching each one. Where do they see themselves in five years? What is their dream job?

Be specific, and present an example of a real-life, short-term goal for the position. Give each candidate the opportunity to explain how he or she would approach, collaborate (if needed) and complete the goal.  

3. Connect individual goals for a role to the overall mission.

Along with being goal-driven, today’s crop of young talent is looking to make a difference in the world. Most companies already share a mission statement and values on their career site and/or job posting. However, most don’t connect these things back to overall goals.

Tie goals back to that mission by enlisting the help of current employees in similar roles. Start by asking them to share how their own goals align with the company mission.

Companies can share these goals by creating an interactive matrix on their website. The matrix will allow candidates to select current employees and see exactly what they do, what their goals are and how their roles impact the company’s larger goals.

Ask each department or team member to make a list of their daily tasks and/or goals. Have them explain, in their own words, why those goals are crucial for the betterment of the company and its clients/customers. Individuals may have their own ideas of how they realize the mission and values each day, which will make each response unique and true to their specific role.

4. Emphasize autonomy,

Recruiting isn’t just about finding someone with the right skills and experiences anymore. Small companies need candidates who are self-leaders.

However, autonomy isn’t just a skill. It’s part of a company’s culture and the manner in which its leadership is structured. Autonomy can also point to how co-workers interact throughout the day. This means that an individual job won’t be the right fit for just anyone.

Draw in candidates who present the best fit for a more independent culture by specifically defining what successful employees look like in this environment. Explain the amount of autonomy needed for this position and link videos of employees speaking first-hand about how they manage their workload effectively.

Related: The Top Thing Employees Want From Their Bosses, and It’s Not a Promotion

One of the best ways to give candidates a true glimpse of company culture and values is through employee testimonials. Ask team members to share what their workday looks like, why it fits their personality and workstyle and how much they interact with co-workers throughout the day.



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