Sunday, April 14, 2024

BARBADOS EMPLOYERS’ CONFEDERATION: Recruiting techniques

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RECRUITMENT CAN BE A DAUNTING TASK, there are many highly skilled and competent individuals in the market, all hungry for opportunity and willing to do whatever it takes to be part of your team.

A recent recruitment initiative I was able to garner over 50 applicants for one post. This left the hiring manager disillusioned and she kept procrastinating on the recruitment simply because she didn’t have the desire to sift through so many skilled and qualified candidates, and she did not possess the techniques to shortlist candidates.

So how then do you successfully recruit? What techniques are necessary for navigating through this exercise? Believe it or not, the first technique is to adequately prepare for the recruitment, and while this may sound odd, think about it like this: preparation goes a long way in any area you are undertaking. If you know what you want, the type of individual, the skills necessary, the personality necessary; then you are in a better position to reject candidates who do not fit the mould. If you are unsure of what is required, then you become stuck in the realm of being vague and when asked to elaborate on the role, you do not have any idea as to the type of person you require, because you still have not determined what your vision is, or who will help you to get there.

Further, having an idea of what you want makes shortlisting that much easier. Do you need someone with a sales background, or someone with a specialised licence or designation? That will automatically allow first round elimination of all candidates who do not possess what you have deemed a critical job requirement. You must also ensure that you determine what is a legitimate need, versus what is a “nice to have”.

Dispel the notion of hitting the ground running as a criteria when looking for a candidate; this is a myth. All persons will have a learning curve, because each organisation is different, and each role a slightly modified version of itself. People often become so focused on hiring persons with the skills only, and forget the importance of attitude, personality and cultural fit. Is your organisation laid back and casual? Then the ideal employee cannot be someone who is rigid and uptight. There will always be conflict. Do not overlook a slightly less qualified individual for someone with all the right letters behind their name. Training can provide necessary skills, however, you cannot change a person’s attitudes or character.

A recent trend in recruitment has been having persons within your organisation who are solely tasked with talent recruitment. What is talent recruitment? This is basically having a dedicated resource who is responsible for finding, courting and acquiring the best new employees for your organisation. These persons scour universities, recruitment agencies as well as focus on the talent in other organisations, and develop strategies to “lure” them to work for your organisation. By having a resource dedicated and trained to seek out the right talent, it eliminates the need to review hundreds of resumés or interview several candidates to find the right fit.

The final key to successful recruitment lies in due diligence, and this is the single most important step in the process. Many times, we fall down in this area, and the results can be costly or destructive. What is meant by due diligence? This is the follow-up, after a successful interview. It is imperative that one completes extensive reference checks at this point, not just the references listed by the candidate, but persons who would have worked with them at their previous, not current jobs. This allows you to get a more holistic view of the individual. Also, for certain positions with the organisation – supervisory level and above – it is advised to have the candidates complete a psychometric test to ensure their suitability to the role.

Now some will say that this type of testing can be expensive. However, the tests can highlight the suitability of the candidate to perform the role as required by the organisation. It can assist, depending on the type of test, in strategies for communicating with, and managing the individual. The proper execution of this step can help the company avoid hiring someone who is ill fitted to the job and the organisation. However, what is noteworthy and critical here, is that the hiring manager must have a clear understanding of the organisation’s culture, what he or she expects from the role, as well as their management style, inclusive of how they communicate, in order for them to make a good decision, based on the results of the test.

Hiring right is not as difficult as one might think, and most of the work is in preparation. Once you are clear on what your overall vision is for the role and the individual best suited for the role, the other areas fall into place.

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