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Recruitment - The Most Important People-Related Business Decision You'll Ever Make

Hilary Jeanes

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I was interested to see in The Sunday Times Rich List that there were many owners of recruitment consultancies- perhaps I should think about changing career. They are successful and there are so many of them because employers keep making wrong recruitment decisions.

Views wax and wane about whether staying with one employer for a long time is a good thing and whether you can trust people who flit about from job to job at regular or short intervals. Personally I think there is a lot to be said for staying with an organisation if there is a close fit of values, recognition of mutual benefit from employee and employer and there are opportunities for employees to grow and change as the organisation does. But first comes that all important decision for both employee and employer - whether there is a match.

Most people have a story to tell about the interview or recruitment process from hell. Yet it doesn't need to be like that. The key things to successful recruitment in my view are:
  • decide what job you want done;
  • what skills, qualifications and aptitudes and attitudes (the most critical of all) does the successful candidate need to have?
  • identify how you will assess them - is an interview enough to fully explore these? What about inviting candidates in to spend a period of time to see what is involved in the job before making a decision?
  • carefully draw up questions to draw out the interviewees’ relevant experience and strengths;
  • build rapport so that both interviewer and interviewee can relax and get maximum benefit from the hour or so spent together;
  • use the outcomes to decide how close a match the candidate is to what you are seeking;
  • invest in training so that your interviewers learn to make sound judgments, based on evidence;
  • include a probationary period in the contract you offer - and use it to assess whether the fit is right - for both of you;
  • plan the new recruit's induction. Those first impressions are critical for both parties; and, most important of all
  • if in doubt, don't recruit!

Research shows that a bad appointment can cost you up to a year's salary - a bad investment for you and for the employee. Much of this could find its way to the recruitment consultant's pocket! So if you didn't already, now you know how those recruitment consultants find their way onto that Rich List and some ways of minimising your organisation's contribution to it!

Hilary Jeanes is a coach, facilitator and HR consultant. She works with individuals and teams supporting them to achieve improvements in individual and collective performance and to realise their potential. She is passionate about learning and the value of coaching and believes that a good HR function adds enormous value to an organisation.


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