How to recruit industry leaders

1. Create a talent seeking mindset. Company executives should constantly be seeking top talent, not only when a position is open and not only within the marine industry. Keep an eye out for mentions of top performers within industry publications, for example.

2. Consider all search options. Decide whether you have the time, energy and expertise to conduct the search internally or whether you’d be more successful hiring a professional recruiter.

3. Conduct a detailed needs analysis. Everyone involved in the hiring decision should meet to decide the characteristics of the candidate being sought.

4. Write a compelling job description. This will serve as the recruiting script as presentations are made to prospective candidates. This will also be used for internet job board postings and print advertisements. Try to avoid words like “must have” and “requirements include.” Instead, tell a story about the opening using words that sell the position and the region where the position is based.

5. Research your competitors. Visit their web sites and read their press releases, for example, and then create a target list of companies from which candidates might come. Think out of the box. Ask yourself whether there are other industries from which you may want to source talent.

6. Advertise the opening. Place the position on internet job boards, both general and industry-specific (careerboat.com, monster.com, hotjobs.com, careerbuilder.com, nmma.org/jobmart/, proboat.com, etc.), and within targeted print media.

7. Create a review process. This should include assigning responsibility for candidate screening, scheduling of interviews, administering of behavioral profiles, background checks, education verification, etc. Have the professional courtesy to respond to all applicants.

8. Study candidates’ qualifications. Collect the following info:
• Does the candidate meet the technical qualifications for the position?
• In each job the candidate has held, what were they most proud of? What kind of results did they generate for their previous employers?
• What are their strengths and weaknesses?
• What’s the candidate’s three- to seven-year vision for their career?
• What is their motivation to make a career change?
• What are their compensation expectations?
• What, if any, relocation needs do they have? (This is the No. 1 reason people do or don’t consider a career change. This should be addressed early on in the process.)

9. Ensure a good match. Thirty percent of good hiring decisions concern the candidate’s qualifications and 70 percent depends on making the right “chemistry” match. Develop a process for determining whether candidates are a good fit. Try to identify synergies between your company culture and the candidate. Oftentimes these are things that happen outside the work place. (Behavior profiling, hobbies, personal interests and life motivation).

10. Narrow your list. to 3-5 of the strongest candidates and compile a candidate profile, including:
• Biography (1 page snapshot of the candidate)
• Resume
• References (Conduct a minimum of two conversations with the candidate’s professional references)

11. Conduct interviews. Whether face-to-face or on the phone, remember to continue to sell your company and the opportunity as you qualify the candidate.

12. Consider a second interview. For those who are most promising, you may want to conduct a second interview, to which you should consider inviting their spouse. This is another chance to “sell” the opportunity – and don’t forget to sell the area. If the spouse isn’t on board, it isn’t going to happen.

13. Make a fair and competitive offer. Try to get it right the first time. Set a timeline for when you’ll need a response. Be prepared for a counter-offer.

14. Create a schedule. Once an agreement is reached, confirm the start date and stay in touch regularly (approximately once a week) with the new hire between the acceptance date and the start date.

15. Continue to evaluate. Set a time table for reviews of new hires to ensure a good match for both parties. The first one should be relatively soon after start date.

Source: Brooks Marine Group, Inc. (www.brooksmarinegroup.com), a management recruiting firm serving the recreational marine industry. In addition to its retained search and recruiting operations, Brooks Marine Group operates the on-line job board and employment site, www.careerboat.com.

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