2014-06-11

Smart hiring: are you doing it right?

Marcia Zidle

By: Marcia Zidle
Does your hiring process consist of proven practices or just a hodgepodge of activities that get into gear when someone says, “I need more people” or “Sally has left and we need someone to take her place NOW?”

Smart hiring is more than posting requisitions, screening, interviewing and checking references. It is a series of specific procedures that can bring in top candidates or create poor hires. Here are six ways to enhance the entire recruitment process.


1. Select the right sourcing method.While the typical sourcing channels include in-house recruiters, employee referral programs, executive search firms, advertising, temporary staffing agencies, campus recruiting and, of course, the Internet, not all will be appropriate for filling every position. Are you trying to hire dozens of hourly wage jobs or a senior executive? Each will require different hiring methods. One size does not fit all.


2. Map, flow-chart or diagram what you do.First uncover delays and glitches that waste time, interfere with getting the job done right the first time and drive good job seekers away. Then identify areas that can be improved by eliminating, simplifying or combining tasks or that can be streamlined electronically for efficiency.


3. Develop realistic job profiles.Studies have shown that 25 percent of companies don’t take the crucial step of defining what they’re looking for before they begin the hiring process. If competencies (skills, motivations, and behaviors) are not first identified, you will waste precious interview time asking the wrong questions. Because jobs change over time, review the profiles periodically to verify they are still valid.


4. Create partnerships between human resources and hiring managersRemember that both are on the same team. Both are trying to attract and select the best people. Truly understanding the job to be filled requires good communication and cooperation. Jointly develop the job requirements, decide on the screening factors, plan the interviews, assign follow-up responsibilities, and establish selection criteria to make quality decisions.


5. Develop good metrics to make better use of your resources.Are you getting the right people from your sourcing methods? Are you spending your recruitment budget wisely? To find out, you need to evaluate the different sources based on the suitability of the candidates each source provides. Suitability can be measured by the percent of total applicants found to be qualified, the number of qualified applicants relative to the number of available positions, or the turnover rate of new hires overall.


6. Find out what’s working and what’s not.Use ‘mystery candidates’ to experience your entire recruitment process and provide feedback. Do a survey of all new hires during orientation and ask them for their moments of impression. Then, reinforce the positive factors and eliminate the negative ones. Finally, use your exit interviews to identify additional improvement areas.


Management Success Tip:The effectiveness of the recruitment process impacts the effectiveness of the organization. A new hire that does not fit the position will be difficult to develop, will perform poorly and more likely leave resulting in the need to repeat the process. Only when recruitment is approached as a specific process with definable steps and measurable results can it be managed to ensure the hiring of quality people.


Marcia Zidle is a board certified coach and keynote speaker with over 25 years of management, business consulting and international experience in the areas of business transformation, talent management and personal and team leadership. Marcia’s Smart Moves Coaching – Smart Moves Speaking – Smart Moves Resources makes sure you’re on the right track. Leaders at all Levels can find out more by visiting www.leadersatalllevels.com/ or at 972-380-9181 (US).Just compare the value of your top performers to your poorer performers and you can see how quickly an investment in superior recruiting methods pays off.

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