How having an HR department helps you attract great talent

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As business leaders we know the importance of having the right people. We can sell the best products in the world, or offer the most compelling service, but without the right people to develop, sell, deliver or support them, it’s easy for everything to go pear-shaped.

That’s why so many of us are unwilling to hand over recruitment to anyone else in the company. Our gut feeling tells us that if we’re not managing absolutely every aspect of recruitment, we’ll miss the right candidates, or take on the wrong ones.

However, the truth is that even for smaller organisations, involving in-house HR specialists can make a huge difference to how successfully we attract and retain great talent. Here are some of the reasons why:

Get jobs filled faster

Do you really have time to craft compelling job descriptions, check out the right job boards, get them advertised, review CVs, and contact potential candidates to schedule initial conversations? Probably not. Working in partnership with your HR team, means you can have your input, but let them take care of the logistics. Not only do you save time, but you’ll be less likely to miss a good candidate because you didn’t have time to read the CV, schedule the interview, or get back to them quickly enough.

Track down hidden talent

For more senior roles especially, the best candidates are rarely the ones actively looking– although they may be open to a move if the right opportunity comes along. In the past, finding this kind of talent meant using a head hunter, and paying a hefty fee for the privilege. The explosion of social media means that with a little hard work and some digital expertise, reaching out to these potential candidates is something your HR team can excel at. They’ll not only be able to widen your talent pool, but find out enough about potential candidates before they even get in touch, so can create a compelling reason for them to consider a role with you.

Make more of who you have

Obviously, great talent doesn’t need to come from outside your organisation. In fact,

with nearly half the UK workforce saying they will be looking for new jobs in 2016, it make sense to develop a career culture, where employees see the opportunity to take on new challenges and develop their careers within the company. Tracking skills and experience using an HR system can make it simpler to identify potential candidates. Evaluating HR software so that your HR department have the best tool to work is also important. Regular performance reviews and career interviews with the HR team will ensure you really have your finger on the pulse of their ambitions and potential.

Get staff on board quickly

Attracting great talent is not just about recruitment. Once your new staff join, it’s important to get them engaged and up to speed as quickly as possible. A study published in the Academy of Management Journal suggest that the first 90 days is critical. Providing the right level of support during this time led to new hires working harder and having a more positive attitude to their jobs.

HR has a valuable role to play in orchestrating the on-boarding process, organising initial training and making sure that busy line managers find time to provide the support that’s needed.

Create a place where everyone wants to work

Research shows that candidates are increasingly looking for companies that share their values and provide opportunities for them to grow. With sites like Glassdoor often the first point of call for candidates researching employees, it’s critical that you get the employee value proposition right.

With your support, HR can help create an irresistible workplace, that make is easier to attract – and retain – employees that share your vision and commitment. Better engaged employees, gives you stronger brand ambassadors, which in turn will help you attract more and better talent.

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