Events Jul 07, 2016

Following Welcome to the Jungle’s intervention on the topic “Improve your employer brand to recruit the bet talents”, the Partech Shaker decided to pursue the Human Resources theme with the recruitment agency Edgar People. On May, 31st, Stéphanie Florentin, Managing Director at Edgar People provided strategic advice and tips on how to recruit the best talents: what are these talents looking for? How to conduct an interview successfully? Here is a summary of what have been discussed.
How to attract the right candidate?

How to define a talent? “A talent is a rare combination of rare skills” according to Maurine Thevenet and Cécile Dejoux. The recruitment process used to be a one-sided decision made by the HR Director only whereas nowadays, we evolve in a reversed market where the company has to market itself and promote the employer brand as much as the candidate. In this context, start-ups are usually less attractive in terms of financial, structural and security advantages than big companies. Therefore, how can they be competitive and balance these advantages with clear projects, missions and perspectives?

The recruiter has to go beyond prejudices to identify the ideal candidate: he is not necessarily who you think he is. For instance, when Stanford University organised a MOOC on Artificial Intelligence, the organizers realized that the students with the best grades were not from Stanford. Therefore, the ability to think outside the box is crucial when recruiting: it is important to keep an open mind on resumes and focus more on motivation, adaptability and soft skills than on techniques.

Furthermore, the interview has to be rigorously prepared: you will have to determine in advance the parts where acknowledgment is needed and think about relevant questions to ask. At first, you will have to present the company’s needs and work environment. Then and above all, you will have to show interest in what motivates the candidate, what he will have to wake up for. The candidate has to project himself in his work environment and in a good state of mind.

Last but not least, a young talent gives much importance in his continuous training, therefore the company has to ensure he will get one. Online trainings and customizable programmes should be available to him.
How can start-ups compete with big companies?

Even though they are less attractive in terms of advantages compared to big companies, start-ups still hold a strong hand. They can differentiate themselves with an original and top-quality interview and offers that go beyond products and services. Here are a few tips for start-ups:

• Be highly interested in the candidate’s point of view, ask him if he has an opinion or ideas for the company.
• Invite the candidate to have the interview in a friendly place (like a bar or a restaurant). This approach enables the recruiter to see the candidate in an environment conducive to sociability and thus identify his temperament more easily.
• Give feedback on time: it is very important that the recruiter gives transparent feedback right at the end of the interview as well as a rapid answer to face competition.
• Do not sell dreams, only what can be promised. Do not lie about the position you are recruiting the candidate for.
• Be cautious when asking personal questions to the candidate. For instance, it is forbidden to ask him about his family or partner. Moreover, if you wish to contact the candidate’s referees, you will need to ask him for authorization. Besides, this should not be asked until he/she is almost certain to be hired.
• Talking about salary expectations should not come first during the interview and the salary should be subject to compromise. It’s usually a bad sign when a candidate is not willing to compromise but other solutions exist for start-ups: they can ensure the candidate a raise after a trial period or a potential fundraising.
The recruitment process of talents is not just the recruitment of high profile candidates. It should be addressed to everyone, and get the best from each other. However, two types of companies exist: the “traditional” type, where HR is based on skills, and the “new model” type, where hierarchy is called into question and HR department does not even exist. Even though the latter has less to offer, talents tend to turn towards it.

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