Expert Perspective from Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board
With American workers changing jobs and companies many times over in the course of their working lives, recruiting is a mission critical job for every company. It may seem that in these days of widespread unemployment recruiting is as simple as hanging out the help wanted sign. But the truth is that with many people out of work the job of identifying and hiring the best and the right person for a job can be more, not less challenging. Many ccompanies find that posting open positions can bring hundreds of resumes and wading through these can be both time consuming and fraught with challenges. Additionally, there is no guarantee that the perfect candidate can be found in that mountain of paper.
So with recruiting becoming more and more important and with significant associated cost of employee turnover and replacement, what can a company do to effectively manage this process?
In her October 27, 2010 article for the New York Times, Hiring Employees, With Help or Without, Adriana Gardella tells in a case study format about the recruitment process used by the president of Fisk Products, “… a company of 30 employees… to make the high-quality hires [needed] to continue building his business — without the benefit of a human resources manager.” In this case the company used a recruiter and enlisted the help of another small business owner to make the hiring decision.
The challenges of wading through stacks of resumes, scheduling and conducting multiple interviews and negotiating employment agreements without an HR staff is certainly a good reason to call in a professional. But whether a professional recruiter is used or not, it is the individual who is hired that will determine success or failure of the effort.
Grahall believes that the most successful results occur when the company believes the candidate is the best fit for the company and the job, and the candidate believes that the company and the job are the best fit for him or her. You can call this “matching”, multi-dimensional recruiting or even “a two way street” but it is clear that when both the company and the candidate are thrilled, the outcome will be mutually rewarding.
To secure this advantageous outcome a company needs to know what and who they are looking for, not just for today but for the future. The best place to start is with the company’s business strategy. If you choose to hire a professional to assist you in recruitment, that person should be deeply familiar with your company’s business strategy and goals. Be prepared to spend a significant amount of time with the recruiter answering questions and evaluating options before any resumes or candidates are presented.
The most important question asked might be “Is this job really necessary?” Perhaps yes, but don’t be afraid to question the status quo. Is it really a full time job? How does it relate to our business strategy? Does this position deliver competitive advantage? Could it be outsourced?
Once those questions are resolved then look to the requirements of the job. What skills, experience and background are necessary or desirable? What personality traits, predilections and personal circumstances could improve or impair a candidate’s performance?
Once you know what you want and what you need, then make sure your assessment tools and interviews factor in all those aspects. Make sure that candidates understand your business strategy, people strategy, corporate culture, position requirements, opportunities, and challenges.
Your business strategy should dictate the criticality of the position. At Grahall we strive to understand how job positions impact the execution of business strategy. Those positions that move the organization toward its goals are considered mission critical or “competitive advantage” positions. With competitive advantage positions we look for the best candidates and more often than not, spend more than the market’s average in compensation dollars. For those position that do not create competitive advantage, we may look to secure their services at or near the market average.
In today’s market it is more difficult to identify employees who stay from those who will quickly past though the organization. And it is important to remember that not all employees need to be long term employees. It is more appropriate to consider whether job candidates can and will make a meaningful contribution during their tenure.
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