There are a number of strategies that can be applied at this time to increase the effectiveness of your recruitment and selection success. These include the following:
Understand job impact – be sure to take time to re-examine the duties and responsibilities of each job and ensure that the job still supports your organization’s key objectives. This is especially important if you have recently completed any restructuring or downsizing.
Apply a consistent search process – the increased number of candidates in a tough market is also leading to more aggressive competition. In this kind of situation, you may also be confronted with more complaints about process. Be sure that your strategy and process is consistent so that each candidate is treated fairly and treated the same. This is not the time for a discrimination lawsuit.
Involve the right people – while human resources might provide initial services, the reporting managers must be involved in making the final decision. These managers know these positions the best and recognize the skills and abilities of good candidates.
Train your interviewers – most managers are not engaged in interviewing frequently enough and therefore must be involved in preparing the questions. They must understand that the questions must not contravene human rights and must be trained in how to ask behavioural descriptive questions that are specific and job related.
Avoid little side notes – in the case of a human rights complaint for discrimination in hiring, you may be required to submit all of your interview notes. Therefore, little comments on your interview sheets such as, “the old guy with the missing teeth” just won’t do.
Select the best person for the job – sometimes organizations tend to favour internal candidates, yet, in times of change, this might not always be the best choice. External candidates can bring new ideas to your organization and this may be what is needed to move forward in today’s fast changing world.
Utilize assessment instruments – apply a communication and leadership style assessment tool for all of your final candidates. These tools help to identify and confirm the outstanding candidates, and can offer ideas that allow the interviewers to probe deeper into the candidate credentials.
Conduct comprehensive references – it is getting harder and harder to get references out of former employers due to the risk of a lawsuit. As well at the senior level, many candidates do not wish their current employer to know they are job hunting. At the same time, a comprehensive reference is required. Don’t hire anyone until their credentials can be confirmed.
Ensure market based compensation – it has probably been some time since you have checked out salaries in the general marketplace. While the abundance of candidates may cause salaries to decline, there are many professions out there that are in short supply and are considered, “hot jobs” where salaries are inflated. Remember, “You get what you pay” for applies with candidates as well.
Provide immediate orientation – the first ninety days in any job is critical. Ensure the new employee has a buddy who will help to acquaint them with the organization. If the role is a new CEO, ensure that someone from the board or other key stakeholder works with the individual for at least six months. It’s been statistically proven that new CEOs often only last eighteen months… make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
Creating a consistent recruitment strategy and preparing interview questions is not easy. If you haven’t had experience with this before or you haven’t conducted a search for some time, you may well end up with the wrong candidate. Recruitment mistakes are costly. Call us for help.
Paul Croteau, managing partner, is known as one of Manitoba’s leading executive search professionals. His more than 25 years of experience in the recruitment of senior management and executive leadership professionals are the foundation to his solid reputation for developing a deep understanding of his clients’ needs, enabling him to provide exceptional service and successfully meet the complex challenge of matching the right leader to his clients’ business needs.