Five Steps to Make Your Recruiting Process Easier

Whilst reading or watching an interview with a successful entrepreneur or business guru, how many times have you come across the phrase "people are our most valuable asset"?

Do you groan when you hear this? Well, stop! Some statements that sound cliched are true, and this is one of them.

We've written before that most companies need to work on attracting better candidates, improve their interview process and stop making costly recruitment mistakes. So read on for five things that you're probably not doing now but should be.

ONE: A.B.R. (Always Be Recruiting)

Most companies will think about recruitment when they need someone to fill a gap in an existing team or to fill a new role that has been created. This brings a huge amount of urgency to the task of finding a key person. Instead, make life easy on yourself and plan ahead. Use jobseeker sites, LinkedIn or other networks to identify people with the skills you might need and build your shortlist in advance. Tip: an experienced niche recruiter will already have talent pools that you can dip into!

TWO: Don't Be Shy

Once you have a list of people you like the look of, make contact. You might not have an opening right now, but if you build relationships in advance then you will hopefully have a shortlist of likely candidates when an opening does arise. So make a start: get a dialogue going and, if they're interested, update them on what's going on with your business. Nurture the relationship and get to know them as best you can. Done right, this process will make sure that you will have a potential talent pool that you can draw on when you need to interview for a role.

THREE: Have a Personality, Create a Buzz (and Get Creative)

Are you passionate about your business? Is working for you great? That needs to come across. Top candidates expect to be challenged but also expect a fun environment. This isn't some sort of 'touchy-feely' trend; plenty of research has shown that a playful work environment increases innovation and productivity; Google are among the top companies that have spearheaded this culture shift. So take pictures and videos that show this human element, and get them out to your network.

One idea is to make a 'fly on the wall' mini documentary with your current team, showing an average working day; it's surprisingly cheap to shoot and make your own promotional video these days.

Another is to encourage members of your team to run their own blogs - and on company time rather than their own. Get out of the mindset that allowing your people some extra-curricular activity at work isn't productive, because it is. Then promote and distribute what they write to your network.

The point is that you want to give people a way of sizing up your workplace - think beyond the role to the culture and atmosphere.

FOUR: Be Recommended

You already have a network in place: your existing team. So make use of it! Make sure you know what makes your employees tick, and make sure that they love working for you. Don't shy away from getting candid feedback from your staff, and really listen - don't take it personally. Work on building the best working environment you can, and you'll not only increase productivity, you'll turn your current team into brand ambassadors.

People always talk about where they work; make your employees happy and then let it be known that you could be hiring and you might just get some great applicants via your current team - and it's well documented that hires via a referral network settle in faster and are a better fit in general.

FIVE: Don't Just Talk, Listen Too

The key to social interaction is that it's a two-way process. This is just as true online as it is offline. Few people can get away with just 'broadcasting' (pumping messages out to their channels). A far better strategy is to listen to and engage people; see what makes them tick, join in their conversations, and don't be afraid to take it offline either. Follow up online chats or emails with a phone call.

Build relationships and you'll be remembered; and being remembered could just bring those fantastic candidates to your door and improve your bottom line.