I have a fair bit to say on the subject so let’s get amongst it.
• Clearly define the role you are recruiting for – It should be utterly clear to all internal stakeholders and the candidate what the role does for the business, the key purpose/duties and the measurables/deliverables.
In other words, if you can’t write and then provide a full job description and get full buy-in from the team surrounding the role, then don’t hire. Allocate the duties elsewhere instead.
This will save you from hiring a person who then finds half a role, or a team that doesn’t understand why they are in the business, leading to a disengaged candidate who will move on.
• Make a checklist and stick to it – For your position, agree on the qualities/skills/experience your candidate MUST bring in order to earn a place in your team.
Unless the person offers 90% or more of those things, don’t hire.
• Phone-screen first – Formulate four or five skill-related questions and call the candidates whose CVs interest you before committing to a meeting.
This will weed out people who just don’t feel right or don’t have the guns before you commit to spending an hour-plus interviewing.
• Get a team to meet the candidate – It’s become very clear that companies who involve three or four stakeholders in their recruitment process recruit more effectively.
Also, unless everyone agrees, don’t hire! However, while it’s essential you involve everyone you also have to…
• Keep it timely! – Your recruitment process from initial meeting to signed contract should take three weeks max – three weeks, people!!
The gnashing of teeth I hear when clients lose that great person because they were waiting for Bob to come back from China and meet John for the third time…
Come on, make a decision! Remember that recruitment is a courting process, and the late comer goes home alone.
Or something like that.
• Get the money right, or recruit with an open mind – Research the market and ensure you meet or exceed market salaries for your position.
Alternatively, meet the right candidates and negotiate in good faith on the basis of their commercial knowledge and contacts.
• Keep a talent pool – Remember the great person you met a year ago who didn’t have quite enough experience? Well they’ve got it now, and they are dead keen to work for you.
You should be in a position to reach back two or three years to great people you’ve met, as well as the shortlisted candidates who didn’t make it to interview stage for whatever reason.
• Have a superb checking process – The one time I made a horrific hire was absolutely due to shortcutting my process.
Your process should include two reference checks from prior managers, and third party tests such as those provided by companies like Personnel Profile Specialists, who provide full and thorough background checks including driver/legal, qualifications and medical history.
If your chosen person doesn’t come through with flying colours, then don’t hire.
So there you have it – be relentless in the pursuit of greatness and remember, a good vacancy is better than a bad hire.
Have fun out there in 2019!
Jeremy Wilson is Managing Director of Build People, a search recruitment business with contacts across hardware, consumer goods, electronics and FMCG. Call 021 732 788 or visit www.buildpeople.co.nz for more information.