Strong companies and brands are powered by great people. But finding and recruiting the right people for your business is no easy task.

Finding and securing the right people talent is a vital strategic function for any organisation - especially now at the level that is required in this 4IR world in which we operate.

So what steps should be taken to embark on the relentless journey to find, recruit and retain the best talent? What are the trends in the recruitment space and how are the best companies in the world going about it?

Here are my 8 key steps to finding the hiring the best staff for your business:

Build your reputation as an employer of choice

The same way you invest money into your brand to convince potential customers that your value proposition is worth the money you charge for it; business should also focus on building a reputation as an employer of choice if you are to recruit the right kind of talent for the future of your business. Being an employer of choice requires foresight, a sound strategy, an investment into the appropriate employee programs, a career progression strategy and strong, inspiring leadership.

Marriott - clever job ad on Instagram

2. Develop a hiring matrix

The way that most companies hire people is a bit archaic. If in the interview the person is nervous or blushes at the wrong time, talent managers will automatically think they're shy, lack self-confidence and therefore can't be right for the role. Take your personal biases out of the hiring decision and rather develop an objective hiring matrix that will clearly score a candidate on the criteria that matter the most - their energy levels, ability to do the job, evidence of leadership, their problem solving capabilities.

3. Be proactive

In the 1980's, companies put a recruitment ad in the newspaper and hoped that the right candidates would apply for the job. These days, companies do the same thing, but on LinkedIn - this isn't exactly progress. If you want great staff, you need to go out there and track down the people that you most desire - the same way you try recruit clients. Don't wait for people to come to you - go out and get them.

4. Work on your organisation's purpose

We've all read in the Harvard Business Review that millennials choose to work at companies that have a strong purpose-led stance.  If you want to attract passionate people who are professional and serious about what they do - then make sure you are very clear about your purpose as an organisation. It's easy to leave a company for a higher salary, but much harder to walk away from a mission that you were an important part of trying to manifest.

5. Develop a blue ocean strategy for retention

As an example, most businesses are going to recruit women that are probably going to have children, or who already have children. But then those businesses fail to recognise the opportunity to offer female employees on-site daycare facilities in a strategy to retain them and limit their underlying anxiety of having to find alternative arrangements in the absence of such humane thinking. If you want to retain key staff, make it a no-brainer for them to stay with the company. Make sure you make the choice of working with you something that make the life of your staff easier - not more of a pain in the arse.

6. Understand the practical application of your values

Company values are a vital strategic asset of any business, but all too often they are overlooked as a guardrail during the recruitment process. If you don't already have the insight - take time to fully exploring and understand the practical application of your company values when it comes to evaluating the people that you are going to hire. I know of some very big companies here in South Africa who proudly display their values on giant banners in the company foyer and then still manage to hire individuals, in senior positions, who display behaviour exactly the opposite of what they are supposed to be. The only way that is possible is that company values are not part of the hiring process; or the HR personal don't understand the practical use of the brand values when it comes to making their recruitment decisions. Either way - values need an elevated status in the hiring process.

7. Become a leader of choice

There's a meme that does the rounds every now and again that states that 'People don't leave bad jobs, they leave bad managers.' I don't entirely agree. People leave jobs at companies for loads of reasons, but ineffective management and poor leadership at companies are most certainly two of the primary reasons why staff get tired of their jobs and leave. So if you want to retain good staff, the logical thing to do would be to make sure that you develop the quality of your management and leadership. Send them for training, coach them, work with them - help them be better versions of the roles they have been entrusted to perform. Most HR departments simply perform admin roles in a company, but what is required in the future are HR teams that are far more proactive in developing people; especially leadership.

8. Invest time in understanding the position yourself

A job ad really should sell the opportunity to the prospective employee in a way that's easily understandable. Overly complex language, confusing lists of responsibilities and a formal tone of voice isn't going to get you the human being that you are looking for. There is a lot of value in spending time really getting to grips with the position that you are trying to fill before starting to find the right person to do the job for you. Besides the technical aspects of the job - define the kind of personality that would really suit the position.  Immerse yourself in the position and get a good sense of the kind of person that would do the best in it.


Everyone wants to hire good, talented people.

Convincing them to join your team really shouldn't be left to fate or chance. There is very good reason to spend some time working on a strategy to hire the people that you want. In most companies, the staff payroll is the #1 expense in the business. It's certainly worth therefore making sure that your money is well-spend by fine-tuning your hiring process and being proactive as to how you plan to improve that method over time.