SECTION: PEOPLE

305091210 Recruitment Insights

Published: 05.09.2012 |
Last Updated: 22.01.2015
carmichael
carmichael
Damian Ringwood

  Damian has led numerous high profile recruitment searches. He previously held senior positions with Ernst & Young, London, Prospectus Strategy Consultants and BearingPoint and the Smurfit Group He holds a first class Masters in Business Strategy and BSc. in Management from...

The recruitment process is something that appears straightforward but often gets derailed or ends in failure. To avoid the pitfalls it is important to start with the “end game” in mind. In other words, a clear but holistic definition of what successful candidates will bring and the target cost of this person to the organisation.  Everything works back from here as this will guide the specification, the selection process and the candidate evaluation.  In chronological order the principal steps are outlined below and the main areas for attention highlighted:

1. Recruitment needs
• Ensure the need to recruit is unmistakable and urgent
o To be successful recruitment must be a priority and a “must do” activity
o Momentum and purpose are critical to an effective recruitment process
• Be specific
o The more specific the requirement the greater the probability for success
o Vagueness leaves a vacuum and lack of focus and direction. The” buyer” is too open as a result  to being influenced by the “seller”

2. Developing the job description and person specification
• Context 
• Describe the organisation and the context of the role for candidates. Remember it should be a two-way process.
•  Job Description 
• Be thorough with duties and leave scope for additional duties
• Person Specification 
• Spend most time on the person specification as this forms the basis for the evaluation criteria:
     • Be clear on the “must haves” -v-“desirable”
     • Skills & Competencies
     • Experience and track record
     • Behaviours & attitude
     • Values
     • Align the key elements with the evaluation criteria for interviewing

3. Deciding on the selection process
• Decision Making 
• Specify those involved in the process and their role 
• Be clear on how the decision is made and who decides
• Inputs
• Develop the process based on the inputs required to making the decision
• Define how many interviews (and with whom) will be required to provide sufficient evidence to inform the decision
• Be clear on the role of references and whether there is a need for psychometric profiling to “get under the skin” of candidates and at what point this is requires (typically after 1st round interviews but before when at 2nd round stage)

4. Conducting interviews
• Have a clear set of evaluation criteria and a simple scoring system. This should  be agreed in      advance and questions targeted at assessing the criteria.
• Ask “would I want to work with this person?” Assuming a candidate meets the requirements there is a fundamental question as to “chemistry”. This either works or it doesn’t!
• What is my “gut feel” saying about the candidates? This is an intuition that we have all developed and should not be ignored. Typically if there is a nagging doubt it rarely goes away and is usually confirmed at a later stage.
• What additional information do I need to make a decision? For example, “do I really understand the make-up of the person”? Do I need some assessments to “get under the skin”?

5. Reference Checks
• Recent and Relevant referees should be sought to understand how the preferred candidate has performed. Any doubts that have emerged should be checked and always ask if the referee would recommend the person for this specific role and if they would hire/ work with them again.

6. Making the offer
• Manage expectations. This should be done throughout the process so there are no surprises at the end for either party. It is critical that candidates have the full picture so they can internalise or get used to the proposition. Equally, an open approach encourages candidates to reveal any issues, conflicts or difficulties which could complicate the process at the later stages.
• Manage the relationship. The recruitment should be used as the basis for building a sustainable and trusted relationship with the preferred candidate. In this regards how the process is conducted is just as important as what is decided upon. Again this works both ways and often candidates can give a strong indication of how they would behave in the organisation through how they conduct any negotiations. Professionalism and a drive to reach a mutually acceptable should be sought in preference to getting bogged down in detail and missing the bigger picture. The” how” is critical from both sides so there is not a “bad taste” and goodwill and trust can be maintained.

Of course the “end game” is then just the beginning! It is however critical to create the right atmosphere and relationship by which the candidate will feel comfortable on joining. This relationship starts right back at the first contact point and there should be the basis of a sustainable rapport where both parties know each other and clear and agreed expectations are evident. Following the insights outlined above under the six headings should provide a valuable guide as to the critical aspects that matter in this important undertaking.

 

 

My Top Tips
Top Tips
1
Develop the process with the end game in mind
2
Be open and create a trust based relationship with candidates
3
Be clear as to how the selection decision is made and by whom
4
Remember how you conduct the process is as important as what decisions are taken
SECTION 2: PEOPLE

305091210 Recruitment Insights

Published: 05.09.2012 |
Last Updated: 22.01.2015
carmichael
carmichael
Damian Ringwood

  Damian has led numerous high profile recruitment searches. He previously held senior positions with Ernst & Young, London, Prospectus Strategy Consultants and BearingPoint and the Smurfit Group He holds a first class Masters in Business Strategy and BSc. in Management from...

My Top Tips
My Top Tips
My Top Tips
1
Develop the process with the end game in mind
2
Be open and create a trust based relationship with candidates
3
Be clear as to how the selection decision is made and by whom
4
Remember how you conduct the process is as important as what decisions are taken

The recruitment process is something that appears straightforward but often gets derailed or ends in failure. To avoid the pitfalls it is important to start with the “end game” in mind. In other words, a clear but holistic definition of what successful candidates will bring and the target cost of this person to the organisation.  Everything works back from here as this will guide the specification, the selection process and the candidate evaluation.  In chronological order the principal steps are outlined below and the main areas for attention highlighted:

1. Recruitment needs
• Ensure the need to recruit is unmistakable and urgent
o To be successful recruitment must be a priority and a “must do” activity
o Momentum and purpose are critical to an effective recruitment process
• Be specific
o The more specific the requirement the greater the probability for success
o Vagueness leaves a vacuum and lack of focus and direction. The” buyer” is too open as a result  to being influenced by the “seller”

2. Developing the job description and person specification
• Context 
• Describe the organisation and the context of the role for candidates. Remember it should be a two-way process.
•  Job Description 
• Be thorough with duties and leave scope for additional duties
• Person Specification 
• Spend most time on the person specification as this forms the basis for the evaluation criteria:
     • Be clear on the “must haves” -v-“desirable”
     • Skills & Competencies
     • Experience and track record
     • Behaviours & attitude
     • Values
     • Align the key elements with the evaluation criteria for interviewing

3. Deciding on the selection process
• Decision Making 
• Specify those involved in the process and their role 
• Be clear on how the decision is made and who decides
• Inputs
• Develop the process based on the inputs required to making the decision
• Define how many interviews (and with whom) will be required to provide sufficient evidence to inform the decision
• Be clear on the role of references and whether there is a need for psychometric profiling to “get under the skin” of candidates and at what point this is requires (typically after 1st round interviews but before when at 2nd round stage)

4. Conducting interviews
• Have a clear set of evaluation criteria and a simple scoring system. This should  be agreed in      advance and questions targeted at assessing the criteria.
• Ask “would I want to work with this person?” Assuming a candidate meets the requirements there is a fundamental question as to “chemistry”. This either works or it doesn’t!
• What is my “gut feel” saying about the candidates? This is an intuition that we have all developed and should not be ignored. Typically if there is a nagging doubt it rarely goes away and is usually confirmed at a later stage.
• What additional information do I need to make a decision? For example, “do I really understand the make-up of the person”? Do I need some assessments to “get under the skin”?

5. Reference Checks
• Recent and Relevant referees should be sought to understand how the preferred candidate has performed. Any doubts that have emerged should be checked and always ask if the referee would recommend the person for this specific role and if they would hire/ work with them again.

6. Making the offer
• Manage expectations. This should be done throughout the process so there are no surprises at the end for either party. It is critical that candidates have the full picture so they can internalise or get used to the proposition. Equally, an open approach encourages candidates to reveal any issues, conflicts or difficulties which could complicate the process at the later stages.
• Manage the relationship. The recruitment should be used as the basis for building a sustainable and trusted relationship with the preferred candidate. In this regards how the process is conducted is just as important as what is decided upon. Again this works both ways and often candidates can give a strong indication of how they would behave in the organisation through how they conduct any negotiations. Professionalism and a drive to reach a mutually acceptable should be sought in preference to getting bogged down in detail and missing the bigger picture. The” how” is critical from both sides so there is not a “bad taste” and goodwill and trust can be maintained.

Of course the “end game” is then just the beginning! It is however critical to create the right atmosphere and relationship by which the candidate will feel comfortable on joining. This relationship starts right back at the first contact point and there should be the basis of a sustainable rapport where both parties know each other and clear and agreed expectations are evident. Following the insights outlined above under the six headings should provide a valuable guide as to the critical aspects that matter in this important undertaking.