June 21, 2021

Hirewell Featured in Crain's Chicago Business' Recruiting Roundtable


This week, Hirewell’s Managing Partner and Co-Found, Matt Massucci, was featured in Crain’s Chicago Business’ Recruiting Roundtable discussing how growing companies can attract, hire and retain the best talent to keep their organizations moving forward.  The topics included increasing diversity in the workforce, hiring millennials, employment branding and the role of technology in recruiting.

Why is it important for a company to establish an employment brand?

There’s a tremendous amount of information available today to candidates about any prospective company and its culture. Savvy job seekers do extensive research and decide to pursue a company based on that research, without even talking to anyone. With the job market as tight as it is, a growing company should do everything it can to ensure it doesn’t miss out on the best prospective employees. That starts with a strong emphasis on building the brand, and using employees and external partners as “brand ambassadors.”

How can a company recruit and hire with a small HR staff that’s already overwhelmed?

Build a culture where everyone’s aware of your hiring plans and makes an effort to attract great talent. Combine a strong employee referral program with the use of search firms or an outsourced recruiting solution. This relieves stress from your internal HR department and allows them to focus on employee relations, talent development and other activities.

What’s your most effective method for finding top talent?

Leveraging existing employees and their network of friends and former coworkers has consistently been our best method—both internally and when managing the recruiting efforts for our clients. It accounts for 30 to 40 percent of all hires, and it’s the best indicator of long term success.

What’s the best way to attract a more diverse workforce?

Define the mission or definition of a diverse workforce and how it will contribute to your organization’s success. Articulate it to everyone in your organization, and include it in job descriptions and employment marketing materials. Encourage recruiters and hiring managers to promote the message to applicants and candidates. Feature diversity efforts on your organization’s careers and LinkedIn pages, and promote them via social media. A strong employee referral program can also help diversify your workforce. We help companies attract diversity by developing relationships with local and national diverse organizations and by continuing to stay in tune with best practices in this area.

What recruiting and staffing tactics resonate with particular generations, such as millennials?

Our philosophy is to adjust recruiting tactics based on the individual person. Every person has their own interests and desires in a new job. Adding a personal touch wherever possible to the recruiting process ensures a great experience for the job seeker, and a much higher chance of hiring high potential performers. Ask top candidates what tactics or benefits would sway them to choose one company over another, and then try to incorporate their responses into the process.

How can benefits be used as a recruitment strategy?

Every prospective job seeker cares about benefits. If you’ve got a great benefits plan, publicize it. A few creative benefits can go a long way toward attracting talent and bolstering company culture. Things like flex time, opportunities for community service or working remotely, and company sponsored sport teams or fitness classes are all low cost options that can help with recruiting and increase employee satisfaction.

How can prospective candidates evaluate an organization against others in an industry?

Start with research on the internet; there are plenty of places to look. Look at employees on LinkedIn and compare their backgrounds as well as how long they’ve been with the company. Talk to former employees, clients, vendors and others about their experience with the organization. Review the company’s annual reports, press releases and social media accounts to get insight into its goals and values. Glassdoor is another avenue to get information, but take the reviews with a grain of salt. Every company has disgruntled employees; one or two anonymous internet posts shouldn’t sway your decision too much. Identify your motivators, incentives and happiness must haves ahead of time so you know what to look for as you do your comparisons. Once you define the things that inspire you to do your best work, you can start to look for those things at the companies where you’re considering applying.

What skillsets are in the highest demand in Chicago?

Technology and engineering have been in high demand for years and we don’t see that changing. Digital marketing continues to be one of the most in demand areas, as companies look to develop in house expertise versus relying on outside advertising and marketing agencies. Recruiters and talent acquisition experts are also among the most in demand roles. Ironically, finding strong recruiters has been one of the harder things for us.

What hiring trends do you see for 2017?

We expect interest in recruitment process outsourcing to continue. Midsized and large organizations, especially, will continue to rely on contingent staffing and consultants. And, as benefits costs rise, staffing companies will experience increased demand since they reduce the number of fulltime employees a company needs.This content originally appeared in Crain’s Staffing and Recruiting RoundtableRead the full discussion.

We’re here to help you learn more ways you can attract, retain and engage top talent.

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