In a competitive, skills-short global marketplace, there’s no room for error when it comes to recruiting. Whether you are looking for a Logistics Manager, Procurement Director or a new Head of HR, you need to get the selection process right: first time.
Planning a foolproof recruitment procedure takes time - and carrying it out takes even longer.
With time and effort invested in the process, you want to guarantee a high calibre employee who will remain and grow with your company for a considerable time as a result.
So, where do you begin to ensure a successful outcome?
In part one of this article, I will guide you through the first steps of the selection process to ensure you make the right decisions and take the right action - at the right time. In part two, we will consider the interview and follow up steps you will need to take to result in a successful hire.
But before we dive into the process, there are some things you need to think about before you post your job advert.
Things to Consider First
Before you commit to promoting your vacancy, you need to make sure your house is in order. That means ensuring your employer brand is on point, you have an enticing company culture, and you have the right offer to attract the ideal candidates to your job vacancy.
Are you aware of your employer brand?
All organisations have one, even if they are oblivious of the fact. Your employer brand is the way to differentiate your company and stand out in a competitive marketplace – you can use it to establish your credibility, reflect your company culture and state your values. In short, your employer brand is how the world views your company.
Your company culture forms part of the employer brand and should be a true reflection of your approach to your employees; confirming your philosophy on diversity and inclusion within the workplace, and ensuring candidates will have the right ‘fit’ in terms of the ethos of your workplace.
Also tied into your employer brand is your personal brand. How you present yourself on social media, in public speaking and at external events reflects not only your own ‘brand’ but that of your company too. They should be aligned and show you in an authentic, positive light.
Finally, check your offer.
This is not so much about the remuneration but reflects the package or additional perks included in the job offer. It could consist of benefits such as working from home, flexible hours, the opportunity to work on innovative projects with other departments, healthcare, gym membership, and training to enable a clearly defined career pathway.
Once you have ensured your branding and offer are right, you're ready to start the selection process.
So, here are the initial steps for your selection process to guarantee a successful hire.
Document and Promote the Vacancy
Firstly, it's essential to think about the job advert. In my experience as a recruiter, I have often seen employers roll out a previous job description thinking ‘it will do’.
But in today's competitive environment, it won't. An old job spec with a dry-sounding list of duties is not going to appeal to today's top talent. Candidates are seeking challenges, exciting opportunities, and somewhere they can build their career path.
If the vacancy is for a current executive role, it’s worth spending time going over it to make sure it's still relevant and using this opportunity to update and changes or additional duties, as well as making it sound appealing. Consider whether changes in your operations might warrant adjustments to the requirements, or advances in technology need new skills.
If it’s a new position, invest time in thinking about what you want the job to cover, your ideal employee for the role and details such as salary, location and hours.
In addition to the job role is the person spec. I'm always surprised to hear that some companies don’t add this into the job vacancy paperwork. It's crucial to have a person spec where you can list the essential factors you’re looking for in the candidate, as well as a list of desirable skills.
Be sure not to get carried away with your list though.
Remember that while there will be some qualifications and experience to take into consideration, hiring on attitude rather than aptitude is more likely to result in a successful hire whose ethos is a good match to your organisation’s, and who is likely to remain with your company and grow their career.
When composing the advert, remember that this may be a candidate’s first experience of your company. Your tone of voice and the language you use should be appropriate to the level of the role and not gender-biased.
Additionally, check you have covered all the essential requirements:
To ensure a positive experience, include an engaging introduction to the business and highlight some of the key opportunities you offer.
Exploit a Talent Pipeline
Do you have a talent pipeline in your organisation?
A talent pipeline is crucial in ensuring your business has a ready-made group of suitable candidates who are interested and keen to work for you. Developing a talent pipeline in your organisation will enable you to contact passive candidates quickly.
Passive candidates may include individuals who have applied for vacancies previously with you but were not successful at the time, as well as individuals currently looking for new opportunities.
If you are working with a specialist recruiter, they will already have a talent pipeline in place of active and passive candidates who could be suitable for your role. They may even have someone who is ideal, saving you time and money.
Manage the Candidates
At this stage, you could have several potential candidates who are keen to work for you. Of course, checking CVs and applications can be a lengthy process if not planned well.
A recruiter can help you speed up this process with their contacts (more on this later), so it may be worth considering working with a recruiter if you’re likely to struggle with the timeframe here.
Failure to manage contact time with candidates could mean you will lose valuable applicants to other organisations who are also hiring.
Working alone or with a recruiter, managing your candidates will involve several factors:
Firstly, be clear as a group what you are looking for in a candidate; it’s critical that your requirements are aligned. Additionally, for both application and interview selection, ensure that candidates are evaluated against the same criteria to permit equal opportunity.
Secondly, when scheduling the interviews, make sure everyone involved has filled in their online dairies so you can set out times, not just for the interview, but for scheduled breaks and the selection process afterwards.
Consider if candidates need to travel (especially long distances) for a first interview. Could you Skype or Zoom call them instead? Would you accept a video interview from their recruiter?
When you have made your interview selection, notify the successful interviewees with details of the type of interview (more on this in the next article) and question structure. This allows them to prepare, ensures better time management and will make the interview more meaningful for you both.
Next, remember to allocate an employee to meet and greet candidates at the interview. Note that providing refreshments on arrival and showing them restroom facilties will put candidates at ease, a well as reflecting well on your company as a friendly, considerate place to work.
Finally, check you have booked all the rooms you will need to use for the entire process.
When these factors are all in place, you are ready to think about the interview. We will cover the next steps in part two of this article.
About Martin Veasey Talent Solutions
At Martin Veasey, we have been working with blue-chip and SME businesses for over 35 years, both in the UK and around the world.
We are an independent consultancy company with highly qualified staff, including many degree and Masters educated consultants, with memberships of professional bodies such as the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and the British Psychological Society.
We have unique expertise in hiring for senior roles in Board & Senior, Supply Chain & Logistics, Purchasing & Procurement, Manufacturing & Engineering, Pharmaceutical & Life Sciences, Sales, Human Resources, plus many more.
If you are looking to work with a highly accomplished recruiting partner, you can call us on 01905 381320 or get in contact today.