September 12, 2013

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

Image courtesy of cooldesign /
One of the most important components of an effective recruitment strategy is your recruitment plan.  Many times organizations attempt to fill a position without having thought through their plan and as a result, the process takes longer than they anticipated, they end up hiring someone that is not a right fit for the job or for the company and at the end of the day, they have wasted time and money and have to start over.  A recruitment plan can stop all of this from happening.

So what’s in the plan you ask?  7 easy steps – that’s it.  Let’s take a quick run through them:

Step 1.  Identify the Job Opening.  Once you have an identified job opening, that is a good time to consider what skills and abilities you really need in the position, in the department and in the company overall.  Update the job description and the job posting so that applicants can clearly see what you are looking for.  The more they can see themselves in the job, the better quality of applicant you will get.

Step 2:  Source Candidates.  Post your job everywhere – use online job boards, LinkedIn and other social media outlets, your own website careers page, and of course, tell your other employees.  An employee referral program is an excellent way to find future employees.

Image courtesy of Sicha Pongjivanich /
Step 3:  Screen & Shortlist.  Set clear criteria for what you are looking for and review resumes for those people who meet your criteria.  Have a 10 minute screening phone call with those people so that you can narrow down the number of interviews you hold.  The screening call is great to find out if someone is worth more of your time at an interview and it is also a great way to sell the applicant on your company.  Encourage them to look at your website and to review the job description so that they are really clear on what you are looking for.

Step 4:  The Interview.  Interviews can be as formal or informal as you like, however, remember that your applicant should be the one doing all the talking so plan ahead and have a list of questions you want to ask.  This will ensure that you find out as much as possible about the applicant by the end of the interview.   Make sure you leave time at the end of the interview for them to ask questions of you – those questions are really telling as to their motivation for applying for the job.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /
Step 5:  Reference Checking.  This is a step not to be skipped.  Many organizations don’t bother with reference checking however it is a great way to validate your thinking.  Are you right in thinking that the applicant will be great at customer service?  Did they really run the project or were they just helping out from the sidelines?  Reference checking is the best opportunity you have to make sure that you are on point with your hiring decision.

Step 6:  Job Offer.  Ideally, throughout the recruitment process you have been selling your organization as a great place to work.  This makes the job offer process a lot simpler as the candidate will have already decided they want the job and is dying for you to make the offer.  The best way to manage the job offer is to negotiate a win/win solution so that you are both happy with the result.  This ensures that everyone starts off on the right foot.

Step 7.  On-boarding.  Your recruitment plan does not end with the acceptance of a job offer.  A new employee’s first 90 days on the job are the most important.  You want them to fall in love with the work, with the company and with you so that they stop job searching and commit to staying.  Retention is the best outcome you can ask for from a good recruitment plan!

So there you go.  A 7 step recruitment plan that ensures that you have a good job that attracts the right kind of candidates so that when they accept your job offer you are both thrilled to start the working relationship!  Here is a handy onepage flow chart outlining the steps to your plan.

Enjoy the planning process, dedicate the time and the rewards will be plentiful!

September 06, 2013

Top 3 Costly Mistakes When Hiring!

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles,  /
Engaged HR is often hired to help organizations navigate their way through the recruitment and hiring process.  Through this experience, we have learned the good, the bad and the ugly ways to hire staff.  Here are some of the lessons learned!

1.  Rushing it never pays off.  Many organizations rush through the hiring process in an attempt to get someone into a position as quickly as possible. Tight deadlines on accepting applications, lack of strategy when structuring hiring panels, skipping reference checks have all proven to cost employers time and money and result in bad hires.  Taking time with each of the critical components of the hiring process will ensure you hire someone who is the best fit with your organization in the long run. As you head towards critical business periods, be careful that you aren't short cutting the process and as a result, short changing yourself of a successful hire.

2.  Lack of clarity creates confusion.  Before you post your position and ask for resumes, be sure that you are clear what position you are hiring for, and what skills are most needed to do a good job.  Take a moment and reflect on whether the position is really needed, is described properly to ensure you attract the right kind of candidates, and above all, is the position you actually are hiring for.  Many times I have sat in interviews with a client only to have them ask about skills that aren't relevant to the position.  When I ask why, it is because they really want someone to do an entirely different job than the one they are hiring for.

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3.  Settling is costly.  If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.  This is so true when it comes to recruitment.  You are better to implement some different strategies and to get creative with your attraction strategy than to settle for the best you could find at the moment that you looked.  A wrong hire always costs you money.

We have all been guilty of these errors in our recruitment and hiring processes.  The best thing to do when it happens is to learn from it and look for ways to never repeat it!

Download this one page summary of the critical components of the hiring process, provided by Engaged HR.   

Email for more information and to talk about how Engaged HR can assist you to avoid these mistakes!