It is surprising how often hiring managers unwittingly sabotage their own recruitment processes and the best interests of their organisation.
Most managers fully agree with the statement that the most important asset of any business is its people. Any other assets that it subsequently acquires, whether goodwill, property, IP, plant or inventory, are only ever as a result of an individual’s thoughts or endeavours. New recruits are the only means to drive the business. Machinery, technology, new products and stores are all important, but ultimately someone has got to identify and select them.
Most managers would also agree that the supply of highly competent and suitable candidates is limited and finding them can be both time consuming and tricky.
So why do so many organisations get it so wrong? Perhaps the most frequent reason is failing to understand that recruitment is a two-way process. The Company wishes to find the right person but the candidate also wants to find the right Company. The Company will, usually, give a lot of thought to the type of individual and skills they are looking for but all too rarely think about how they are being perceived by the type of individual they wish to recruit.
It never ceases to surprise us that, having spent a considerable amount of time and money to find suitable candidates, a company can so quickly undermine all their good work.
Common examples include:-
- Failing To Prepare - Just as you are judging them, the candidates are judging whether to place their career in your hands. Vague or poorly thought through answers to relevant questions will quickly undermine confidence. Candidates need clear answers to clear questions with regard to the job and how it fits into your organisation. Vague answers will raise doubts as to what the job is really about.
- Cancelled or Delayed Appointments - The decision to join your Company will be a major decision in the life of the candidate and they will expect that you give it the same importance. Cancelling or delaying interviews raises concerns that the recruitment comes way down your list of priorities. If you do have to delay an appointment, a personal telephone call explaining the reason why will go some way to reassuring the candidate that the interview is as important to you as it is to them.
- Failing To Create The Right Impression - Without a detailed understanding of you and your organisation, candidates will look for clues. In the absence of a relationship history, small things are magnified and take on much greater significance than they might with established colleagues. Poorly prepared documents, poorly handled phone calls or delays in sending out information, can quickly undermine confidence that this is an organisation they want to join.
- Failing To Sell The Job - The best candidates will usually have choices, even if it’s simply staying where they are. Considerable thought should be given to what the job and your company will do for the individual and it's not all about the package. While an attractive package is clearly important, so too is the opportunity for personal growth and development. Just as the candidate is selling to you so you need to be selling to the candidate.
Probably one of the most important responsibilities of any organisation is the recruitment of good people. Recognising that the best people have choices and need to be convinced is as important as you deciding who is right for you. Getting this right is the first step to avoid undermining your own recruitment processes.