A company with the right people with the right skills at the helm can achieve wonders. Conversely, poor or uniformed hiring and recruitment decisions at the top most level can cost a company not only financially, but will have a negative bearing on the organization’s reputation with the stakeholders. Keeping this in mind, the likelihood of future problems can be eliminated if best practices are followed for recruitment and selection activities. Successful businesses are only built by establishing a robust recruitment process as hiring mistakes can be extremely costly and time consuming.
The use of best practices in recruitment and selection helps furnish an organization with highly skilled, flexible and motivated employees. The best practices in recruitment and selection processes bring forth systems that are modern, proficient, professional and effective, and ensure that individuals who are recruited demonstrate commitment, ethics, and motivation, eagerness to grow and develop and most importantly have values that match with the organization’s values, vision and mission.
Best Practices in Recruitment and Selection
Despite the universal acknowledgement that hiring good people is a crucial source of competitive advantage, only a few companies excel at one or more of the hiring aspects but only a select few companies have come closer to excelling in this process. Also, the recruitment process comes with a recruitment and hiring cost associated with it. Companies can look at these costs in a more quantifiable way, which can affect the budget directly, than they can look at the advantage of hiring the right person and the benefits that these companies can reap out of it in the long run. As a result, there can be a tendency in companies to opt for a less than thorough recruitment procedure. This can be a false view as firstly, recruitment costs are inconsequential when compared to the cost of employment especially when employment is followed by a period of training. Secondly, the benefits of a successful recruitment, though intangible, can extend for many years. Thus, if we are able to hire the right people along with minimizing the turnover rate, the advances in the company’s performance would be much greater than the these recruitment cost as they will be accounted for over a long duration of time.
However, in today’s situation the recruitment strategies of many companies are in a dismissive state. When top executives of companies were asked about their company’s recruitment strategies they seemed to rely heavily on personal assumptions and vague organizational traditions. Furthermore, lack of specified criteria and inconsistent practices has led to a one-third of the new recruits quitting within three years of joining, thereby increasing recruitment cost.
With respect to the challenges specified, companies need to change their view on hiring and selection by trying to approach this field with a strategic and objective point of view. As described in the study by FernÃ¡ndez-ArÃ¡oz, Groysberg, & Nohria(2009, p. 77), the following seven points can be summarized as the best practices in Recruitment and Selection.
1. Anticipate the Need
However good the situations at firms might be, some of the top talent is bound to leave and companies need to continually asses this situation. They need to conduct a proactive analysis of future needs. Potential pool of talent must be continually evaluated and rigorous periodic forecasts of the company’s needs must be continually developed. However, for the successful implementation of the same, continuous inputs from the HR department into the strategic planning process can prove extremely consequential.
2. Specify the Job
The first step in hiring and recruiting, while specifying the job description, is job analysis. Job analysis gives the management information about the complexity, context, tasks, behavior related to the job, coupled with required activities and behaviors performed in previous roles. A job analysis also specifies whether the potential employee is expected to meet all the important knowledge, skills, abilities and other personal characteristics before selection into the job or whether training’s can be furnished on certain aspects. On the basis of the job analysis, a job description is prepared. A typical job description should comprise of achievements and professional qualifications, intellectual abilities, special aptitudes and skills, interests and motivation, disposition (personality), practical considerations and relevant experiences.
3. Develop the Pool
A pool of candidates can be developed by two methods, namely, internal sourcing and external sourcing of candidates. Internal sourcing is based on a formal means of planning for anticipated vacancies, retirements, mergers, acquisitions and expansion plans in line with employee promotion and succession planning. This should ideally be the first source of information about candidates but is usually never made use of or is not referred to, even if available, in case a need arises. The human resource strategic plan should include and enforce the review of the succession plan whenever a vacancy is available or a need to fill a position surfaces. Apart from reducing the costs of recruitment, internal sourcing through a succession plan identifies and recognizes the employees that the firm has already spent resources to develop for future roles, identifies other suitable employees who could have been missed in the succession plan, and provides for a recruitment plan that is conceived as fair internally.
The objective of external sourcing is to widen the pool of candidates available for a position. It is particularly useful when there are no suitable internal candidates. External sourcing is usually done through recruitment advertising which ensures that the organization attracts suitable candidates for the job. Now, advertising can be a costly affair and should be done in a cost effective way. E-recruiting and employee referral systems can in this way, be cost effective ways of developing external sourcing. E-recruiting involves collection, storage and retrieval of information concerning employees (or potential employees) electronically for purposes of making decisions or controlling actions. Thus, e-recruiting can provide an organization with the means to quickly collect data, store and receive information and use this information whenever needed for the purpose of external sourcing. As businesses are driven by people, referrals can be immensely effective and economical in developing external sourcing. To develop a good system of referrals, the management needs to communicate the defined and identified requirements of the job, establish connections between referrals and recognition and also set referral goals for its employees.
4. Assess the Candidates
An effective assessment procedure not only brings in a good candidate but can also improve the company’s bottom line and market value. Once a pool of candidates is formed, well-trained, motivated and high-caliber interviewers should be used to assess these candidates for their suitability to the position. The objective of this step apart from evaluating the candidates is also selling the position and organization to highly attractive candidates along with building consensus in the organization regarding the suitability of the candidate. Due to the criticality of this step, a good interviewing procedure should employ rigorous behavioral event interviews, detailed reference checking, and the inclusion of top stakeholders for the position i.e. relevant managers, HR personnel etc.
5. Close the Deal
In spite of finding the right person for the job, many times firms fail to close the deal as highly valued candidates are in abundance of offers. This might happen in spite of a good compensation and remuneration package. Candidates need to feel secure in the new environment and a show of commitment from the management regarding the candidate’s interest might happen to be the difference maker in the candidate’s decision. The candidate would also expect a true and real picture of the job so that he/she knows what is at hand. An introduction and a discussion with the line manager apart from the HR will help affirm view of the organization and the job role in the candidate’s mind. Encompassing all the above in an efficient and effective manner will help close the deal with mutual benefits for both the candidates and the organization.
6. Integrate the Newcomer
Systematic integration of the new employees leads to lower turnover as the recruits report greater commitment and job satisfaction. Successful firms look to orient the new recruits on various fronts such as their own departments as well as to the other facets of the organization. A good induction program enables the new employees to utilize all previous knowledge in relevance to the new job role. Detailed orientation programs with specific milestones and regular progress report is practice followed by many top organizations as a part of their integration programs. Furthermore, if top performers are assigned as mentors in addition to the above programs, the development and satisfaction level of a new recruit can be elevated.
7. Audit and Review
The chances of hiring ill fits and committing mistakes can never be ruled out in spite of a good recruiting and integration program. If ineptitude is shown by a new employee, good practice firms usually let them go within the period of the first year.