Reminders of key principles for effective recruitment
Peter Cappelli (HBR, May-June 2019) has written a really helpful overview of how newer methods of hiring have lost some of the positive qualities of more traditional methods.
A summary of his main points can be found in Revisiting the positive qualities of more traditional methods of recruitment.
1. More external vs internal sourcing with the possible consequence of:
Current methods of recruitment involve making greater use of recruitment or head-hunting agencies which may result for example in:
2. Attracting more "passive" rather than "active" applicants - with potentially different levels of motivation for applying for the job (higher pay vs greater challenge?)
- Not developing or retaining internal staff
- Having to pay more and spend more time to attract and then develop external staff
3. Creating a large funnel of candidates vs. encouraging a smaller number of ‘better fit’ candidates. This will take up more time and cost to whittle down. In addition, a long list is not necessarily a high quality one.
Recommended good practices include:
1. Take time to clearly define the post that you wish to fill
This way, candidates will self-select to exclude themselves from the recruitment process, or to continue with it as appropriate.
Some organisations are creating online tests with visible scores, or gamification programmes. These help candidates to better understand the nature of the work and the potential match with their interests and capabilities .
2. Understand the limits of internal referrals
Some companies encourage their staff to make internal referrals, and may even have some form of reward for doing so. However there is a risk that this can result in a reduction in the diversity of the workforce, as people may refer people who are like them.
Suggestions that may help internal referrals be more effective:
3. Measure the results of your recruitment / interview processes
- Have the internal referrer help with on-boarding the new member(s) of staff
- If you pay people for making referrals, do so about 6 months after the new person is in place
Measurement of any process is good practice: it helps you to identify what is working well, and what could be improved.
Possible approaches include:
4. Enhance your interview skills
- Monitoring turn-over and attendance level of those recruited through different routes
- Looking at results from your Performance Review process
- Getting qualitative feedback from the managers of new hires on their degree of satisfaction with their recruits
There is no doubt that competency-based questions are the most effective way to find out whether the interviewee has the experience, attitude and capability to match the job.
However, it takes time and skill to formulate these questions, and to ensure that all your interviewers are using the same questions consistently across all candidates.
As Cappelli says: "Just winging it and asking whatever comes to mind is next to useless."
This is something that we could help you with through our courses on Recruitment and Interview Skills.