TalentTip #3

Select the strongest Talent in six simple steps


Well, hello there TalentSeekers!

I'm Ian, one of the founders of HelloTalent. In today's TalentTips, we are going to discuss a couple of different ways you can find the stand out Talent in your recruitment process.

Small disclaimer, I don’t have any formal qualifications in Human Resources, but I do have a heap of real experience from the School of Life and from my time as a General Manager, building large and complex teams of people.

I have worked in your sector and have created loyal teams of happy people with a considerably low staff attrition rate. So, you might say I am more of a walker of the walk than a talker of the talk. I'm hoping that some of the things I've learnt, seen, tried, experienced and heard of, can help you.

So, let’s start discovering Talent!

Here are six of my favourite ways to find golden Talent, amongst all the noise out there, during the recruitment process.


Invite your entire TalentPool into the second round

Save your time from reading 100 resumes and send every applicant who applies a nice email congratulating them into making the second round of the interview process. This builds their confidence and increases the likelihood they will truly engage with your process.

As part of your email, ask them to complete a 1-2-page questionnaire, asking them questions that tell you a little more about them and some questions that tell you how much research they have done on your business. People who really want to work for you have usually spent time learning more about you.

Questions around philosophy and pedagogy could be especially important in the Early Childhood Sector in singling out those who are going to be the right fit for your organisation.

This simple step will also do three important things for you:

  1. If they don't reply, they were not truly interested in working for you and investing time in them would have been frivolous.
  2. Those that do reply, fantastic. Now you have a few genuine applicants to review at a fraction of the original time and money resource expenditure. Quickly review their answers, scanning for things that are important to you.
  3. Did they take the time to research your business, or are they just applying for a job with everyone? Taking time to analyse the degree with which an applicant understands your business is a great way to understanding those that are passionate about your organisation and the role you are offering.

This process will take you a fraction of the time and cut out those who may not be sincere in their desire to work for you. Which is a polite way of saying ‘time wasters’.

Tip: Maybe use SurveyMonkey or something similar where applicants can click on a link and complete the application. This increases the likelihood of responses and makes exporting the answers in a uniform format nice and simple for you.


Conduct a Group Interview

This process is excellent for entry-level positions, customer-focused roles or a position where you know there are going to be a high volume of applicants.

Yeah, I know they are challenging for the applicants but so much better for your time and when done right and can quickly identify the stronger talent or ‘front runners’ worthy of a more in-depth conversation.

This stage works well with the previous of replying with their questionnaire. The applicants that reply with an appropriate application form, can be automatically offered an opportunity to attend a group interview. This will show you those confident in their talent and abilities pretty quickly as those who can’t walk the walk tend not to have the confidence to front up to a Group Interview setting in my experience.

Typically, in a group interview, I allow every applicant to stand up and do a sixty-second introduction, followed by a group problem solving or personality activity and then finish off with a 2-3-minute one-on-one, allowing the candidate to ask me any questions.

Keep an eye out for an upcoming blog where we cover the group interview in more detail and provide some guides on activities and questions we find useful.


Conduct Peer Interviews

How many times have you gone through the recruitment process and picked what you thought was the best talent, to quickly be told by some of your team, that the new recruit is not right? Disappointing and frustrating we know!

Sometimes we neglect to think about who they will be working with not just the role at hand, and if you have a key team member who you respect, value and consider part of your long-term strategy, shouldn't that person be central to helping us identify the right candidate? Afterall they will most likely spend more time working with them than us. So, it’s essential that feel part of the process and their opinion matters.

It is also a great way to mitigate any potential teething problems with new personalities as the existing employee has been involved in, and feels some ownership over, the ultimate decision. They will feel empowered in their own role and valued in your organisation. You can discuss how it will play out with them beforehand and ensure that Job Descriptions and Responsibilities are clearing mapped out for all involved before commencing to further encourage a smooth on-boarding process into the team.

Some suggested ways to involve your key team member would be to have them take your candidates on a tour of your service before or after their interview; have them sit in on the second interview or get a panel of your team to do the first stage interview or group interview, and you can do the final stage of interviews to confirm their suitability.


Staff Referrals

As mentioned above, your key team members are the perfect people to help you find new talent.

Here’s why:

  1. They already know your business, its philosophy and your expectations.
  2. They won't bring anyone in that will make their job harder.
  3. They will want to get someone that has similar abilities and traits as them as they ultimately want to continue loving their job with you.

Something to consider is rewarding staff for successful staff referrals. It does work, but you need to have very clear expectations, and I would only approve after they have successfully completed their probation.


Video Interviews vs Phone Interviews

It’s a pet hate of mine, phone interviews. Typically you play a long game of phone tennis and then often get someone when they are not ready for the chat. With video interviews, you schedule a mutually suitable time and candidates usually prepare for it, making the process so much more worthwhile.

Besides, if you are recruiting from Gen Y or Z, they are used to talking via FaceTime or Zoom so you can meet them and talk to them at the same time.

One thing COVID has taught all of us is chatting via Zoom etc. is the new normal, so why not use this to your advantage. Personally, once I meet someone, I know within the first 2-minutes if this is someone I want to get to know or someone I want to hire.

Why block out time in your day for a face-to-face interview and feel obliged to use the full 30 or 60 minutes, when you can do this at a click of a button?

To save you even more time, HelloTalent has partnered with SparkHire, which enables our talent to record video responses to pre-planned questions selected by our TalentSeekers using their smartphone. Once they are happy with their response they hit send to return it to us where our TalentSeekers can then review and collaborate on feedback in a time that suits them.

It’s a side-by-side video comparison of questions from key candidates in your own time. Never has it been easier to identify the strongest candidate and you can review as many times as you like or share with your team to get a general consensus.


Background Checks

Oh my! The number of times I have personally messed up with this, along with the number of stories I have heard, this is a MUST DO because some candidates are very good at telling you what you want to hear only to find out, it might not be the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

You must follow up to make sure you hear the feedback that supports your decision to hire this candidate. Whether you are checking qualifications, work history, recent offences or false references, I cannot encourage you strongly enough to do this before you give your valuable time for the final interview.

We are all time poor and under pressure to get things done, but the small amount of time you investment upfront will always be better than the time potentially lost down the line if you get it wrong. Sometimes things don’t work out for whatever reason, we understand that, but it’s best to cover all bases as much as you can to prevent any potential fallout from hiring the wrong person.

HelloTalent has another solution here for you too. We have partnered with a leading Australian compliance company to help make the process of checking qualifications, references and employment history faster, easier and more effective. We are supporting you to make the right choice for the best talent by taking this sometimes daunting and even awkward… part of the process for you. If you’re a kind and empathic individual, we know you don’t want to put people under pressure to answer questions about their past employee. We get it. We can do it for you.

Thanks for reading and hopefully at least one of these tips has inspired you to improve your recruitment process.