We are getting recruitment wrong.
There’s a whole industry dedicated to it, firms pay out huge sums each year on it, but still many feel they are being ripped off or wasting their money. And even experienced recruitment consultants will admit they don’t get it right a significant amount of the time.
Research in Harvard Business Review suggested that as much of 80% of employee turnover is due to businesses making the wrong recruitment decisions.
Recruitment: its an essential business activity, so why are we getting it so wrong?
There is a short answer and a long answer!
The short answer is, “its an art not a science” .
The long answer can be summed up when you consider that the human brain is subject to thinking biases. These interfere with our ability to make objective hiring decisions. Although most of us probably think and believe that we are not biased, unfortunately, these thought patterns go very deep and we are not aware of them.
We tend to hire people we like – not necessarily the best candidate
Probably the most prevalent bias is that managers simply hire people just like them. We see ourselves reflected when we interview a candidate who is from our local area, went to a similar school, knows lots of people in common with us, and likes to do the same things as us at the weekend. Unconsciously, our brain ranks this candidate higher than another who is different from us. While this is great for our social life, in business we need diversity in our teams to create high performance.
How can you get it right?
Your first decision is whether to do it in-house or outsource it. Our experience is that under a certain size, it’s a mistake to outsource this critical process. There are some exceptions to this, for example if you are hiring a very specific skill set. But even then, you should be managing the whole process way more rigorously than most external recruiters are accustomed to.
Bear in mind there is no quick fix for recruitment. It’s common for small organisations to devote a huge amount of their top people’s time to recruitment. After all, without the people, you have nothing. Far from regarding it as a distraction and something that gets in the way of real work, they regard it as the key to their organisation’s success. Its about defining, nurturing and embedding the culture they believe in. Read more about creating a great company culture here.
Your individual recruiting needs will be as different to the next business’ as your business is. A recruiter needs to fill a position and move on. Their needs aren’t aligned with yours. We’ve rarely found candidates through recruiters that we couldn’t have found ourselves. Over time, we have built a recruitment process on four key steps:
Four steps to succesful recruitment
- Understand how to write a great job description and person specification. View these free job description templates for many common roles available on Air.
- Understand how to define your culture and values and include these in a job advert. Use Air’s free job description templates to highlight the most important criteria for a good candidate and help you sift your applicants.
- Know how to write a compelling job advert. Its more difficult than you think, we firmly believe if you can write a good job advert you are can write any marketing copy. Your ad needs to sell your business and enhance your employer brand.
- Become skilled at interviewing processes and train your hiring managers to do the same. Download free job interview templates from Air for many common roles. Include as many people in your team in the process as you can, to help reduce the unconscious biases.
It’s a myth that small businesses can’t do their own recruitment. Even if you don’t have a dedicated HR person or hiring team, you as the leader should be leading it.
Make the most of the powerful tools available. For example, using LinkedIn, its possible to “uberize” your recruitment processes.
The best way to hire is to have a pool of candidates available at all times ready to fill roles in your business as it grows. This is known as a passive candidate pool. Through constantly building your professional network, you can seek opportunities to talk about your company and what is great about working there. When it comes to reaching out to potential hires, you’ve created ready, warm leads, and you’ll have largely sidestepped the need for recruiters.
For more free advice on HR for your business, Air has a blog covering key HR processes such as onboarding, motivating staff, and performance management.