An Interview with Karen Davis of Prosek Partners (Part II)

September 30th, 2019

Best Practices in Talent Acquisition

Talent acquisition is one of the most vital functions of an HR department, and it can be a very tricky thing to get right. Bottom line, the success of any organization depends on having the right people in the right seats, and recruiting, hiring, and onboarding (not to mention training), is key to that. Stellar hiring means HR must know inside and out the needs of each department, along with its culture and norms. Only then can they hire for not only skills and experience, but culture fit as well. The talent acquisition process is a huge undertaking.

Karen Niovitch Davis, CHRO at Prosek Partners, knows all about that.

“I’m not sure folks recognize how much work it takes to identify just one new employee and set them up for success by designing a robust onboarding process. We do as much as we can up front to best to ensure someone’s integration and success,” she says.

In the six years she has been with the marketing and communications firm, it has grown from 50 employees with $10 million in revenue, to 175 and counting with $45 million in revenue. Part of the reason for the firm’s growth and success, says Davis, is the CEO’s commitment to HR.

“Jennifer Prosek is a CHRO in a CEO’s body,” she says. “She understands this is not a PR business, it’s a talent business. She has made HR one of the most important parts of the business because she gets it. Human Resources is the heartbeat of Prosek.”

Part of that commitment to HR is the mindset of focusing continually on talent acquisition.

“We are constantly looking for best-in-class professionals, and even if we don’t have an immediate need for someone, we hire them anyway,” says Davis. “We never want to miss the boat on talent.”

That’s because Davis knows it’s a job seeker’s market out there. Recruiters and hiring managers must realize that top candidates may be fielding multiple offers. Not only that, but studies have shown that with everyone having easy access to job search apps like Indeed and LinkedIn, every employee in the office could well be searching for greener pastures on their lunch breaks.

In this cutthroat hiring market, here are some best practices to help you hire the top talent your company needs.

Make sure your employer brand is strong. Negative reviews on sites like Glassdoor can derail even the most staunch hiring practices. Job seekers read up on companies before interviews, and they are not likely to accept a job if a company has consistently bad reviews. Also, don’t just focus on the defense, go on the offense as well. Look at your company culture, survey your employees, and listen to what they say.

Write clear job descriptions. Hiring the right person for the job starts with outlining exactly what the job is, and what it isn’t. If you haven’t looked at your stock job descriptions for a while, go over them again with a critical eye.

Do a market analysis. Are you competitive in terms of salary, benefits and perks? Investigate what your competitors are offering and make sure your offer will measure up. If it’s not in the cards to offer higher salaries than your competition, get creative with perks that don’t cost much, like flexible work hours, work-at-home days, and extra vacation.

Follow through. Don’t ghost candidates that don’t make the final cut. Follow through with a personal email explaining why the candidate wasn’t chosen. It’s part of brand building, and it’s the right thing to do.

It’s hard to overstate the importance of making good hires every time. If your process is a little rusty, it’s time to polish it up. Given that talent acquisition is one of the HR department’s most vital functions, it’s imperative to get it right – every time – in today’s competitive arena.

Like what you were reading? We’ve got a lot more to share!Click here to check out other HROI articles and interviews.

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