Recruitment Best Practices

February 3, 2011

Investments in acquiring talent are critical to organizational success.

Processes for Successful Recruitment

In any organization, making the right staffing decisions will be critical to success.  Employees are vital to getting work completed but also represent a significant cost.  Similarly, the recruiting, interviewing, and hiring phases carry substantial costs which are necessary to attract, screen, interview, and hire the most talented candidates who fit with the organization for the long term.

Successful Recruitment Begins with a Plan

Many organizations begin the recruitment process with a generic job posting, subjective screening process, unstructured interviews, and limited discussion regarding ideal employee experience, skill set, or technical aptitude.  Similarly to organizations operations, the recruitment process follows the same function; ‘A failure to plan is a plan to fail’!

The recruitment process, from the job posting or organization presentation through to the hiring phase should consist of multiple, pre defined and structured stages to ensure the selected candidates are best suited for the organization.  A well formulated recruitment strategy should consist of the following stages and exhibit these characteristics:

1)      Organization Presentation and/or Job Posting:

  • Throughout the Organization Presentation and the job posting, it is important to be transparent about the organization, job expectations, standards and work to be performed, required experience and qualifications, application procedures, and terms of employment (criminal check, certification, visas, etc) so that candidates know exactly what is expected.  Additionally, this will reduce the volume of applications received from candidates who do not meet one or more of the job requirements and reduce the time necessary by an employee to screen each submission.

2)        Application Screening:

  • Once the ideal experiences and qualifications have been defined, each resume and cover letter should be compared against these by Human Resources or an experienced Senior Manager to find the best candidates.  At Trindent, Principals and Human Resources collaborate and discuss the candidates and advance only the most qualified and talented candidates to the interview short list.

3)      Structured Interviews:

  • Depending on the organization, vacant position, and industry, the structured interview can take on many different forms.  For most positions, the structured interview would include both a qualitative and quantitative aspect and encompass a case, technical component, or industry specific questions to get a better understanding of the candidate’s previous work experiences, skill set, and ability to think creatively on their feet.  It is imperative that the interviews be structured and conducted in a similar manner to ensure candidates are being evaluated on a similar platform which eliminates the opportunity for subjectivity from candidate to candidate.  Additionally, different interviewers should be utilized throughout the interview stage to ensure alignment in their decisions and allow for different perspectives.

4)      Formal Offer Extension and Hiring Stage:

  • Once a candidate has been selected for the final offer stages, rigorous reference checks, background checks to are necessary to eliminate the potential for any lies or fraud on their resumes, transcripts or test scores, or credentials.  The last step is extending the offer and encouraging the candidate to join your organization.  Often, compensation and motivation become the two deciding factors in the candidate’s final decision.  It is important that the hiring Manager answer any remaining questions or concerns the candidate may have to alleviate their uncertainty or doubt.

Many organizations ask, ‘Why is it so tough to pick winners, leaders, and employees that will thrive in our organization’?  The simple answer; talented individuals are rare.  The majority of Executives and Senior Leaders are distinguished by their soft skills which are extremely tough to assess through limited interaction in the recruitment process.  However, by utilizing a multi stage recruitment approach, the interviewers are able to interact with the candidates typically in different settings and on multiple occasions which allows them the opportunity to truly evaluate the organizational fit and both their hard and soft skills.

Conclusions

A successful recruiting process ensures the most qualified candidates are selected and offered employment.  Additionally, it means lower organization turnover as selected employees have been exposed to the organization, expectations, job details, and several colleagues over the course of the recruitment process.  Developing a recruitment strategy and executing accordingly will reduce costs associated with the recruitment process and the need to enter into regular recruitment due to employee turnover.