Four Recruitment Essentials

Managers need to be comfortable wearing many hats. One of these hats is that of recruiter. With the economy picking up and unemployment falling, it’s not surprising that managers are reporting that people are now more willing to change jobs. This may mean that you may lose some vital members of your team. The knee jerk reaction is to recruit anyone just to “fill the hole”. But this is an expensive mistake. Whilst there is no such thing as the perfect recruitment process, there are four things you should do to minimise the risk of hiring the wrong person (and all the time, cost and frustration that this creates!)

Analyse the job. Before you can decide what type of person you are looking to recruit you need to fully understand the job you will be asking them to do. What are the key competencies that are needed for successful performance in the role? Your aim is to define what “good” looks like in terms of skills, competencies and attributes. To do this it can be helpful to talk with existing staff who are already doing the job well. Without this vital information you are poorly equipped to advertise the position let alone run an effective selection interview.

Don’t over-sell the benefits. Whilst you will want to portray the job and the company in a good light, if you attract people with unrealistic expectations of what the job/your company offers then they are unlikely to stay long. You need to produce advertising materials that give potential applicants an honest account of what the job will entail. Such material allows candidates to judge for themselves whether the job you are recruiting for and your organisation could be right for them. By attracting the right candidates you are more likely to find the right person, making the recruitment process easier. Also, by pointing out the less attractive parts of the job at the application stage, successful candidates are less likely to respond negatively when faced with these once they are doing the job.

Assess against the required competencies. Faced with a number of applicants, you need to find a way to identify whether they have, or do not have, the required competencies. Situational questions and situational judgment tests (psychometric testing) testing can all be used to identify whether applicants are likely to show the right behaviours when in the job. Skills testing can allow you to check out current abilities (such as numeracy skills).

Make the experience a positive one. Whether or not you offer a candidate the job, their experience of your recruitment process should be positive. The best recruitment practices are those that keep candidates informed at every stage of their application. Set yourself guidelines on responding quickly to applicants and ensure that the tone of every communication you send them is both encouraging and supportive. It’s particularly important to be sympathetic and tactful when rejecting failed applicants. It is also recommended that you give failed candidates some feedback, so they take something away that will help them in the future even if they have not been successful in landing the job you are recruiting for. Recruitment training can be helpful if you want to build your confidence in this area.