HR Consulting

The Importance of Recruitment


In talking the other day with a new client about their recruitment and selection practices, I was reminded of a conversation I had a while ago with a then potential local client about how they find and select the best people to work in their business.
Their response was along the lines of “We’re really lucky Greg. It turns out that as soon as someone leaves we usually have someone walk into the shop within a day or 2 looking for work. If they look OK, we put them on!”. After congratulating them on their good fortune and offering a couple of suggestions to inject a bit more rigor into their process, I wished them well and went on my way.
No more than a couple of months later I received a desperate phone call from the very same person seeking assistance, as their most recent recruit had turned out to be far from successful!
This experience comes back to me every now and again to reinforce the value of a properly-considered recruitment and selection process. All too often we are so keen to fill the position in an effort to ease the workload that the calm and considered approach goes out the window. Sometimes we can get away with it, but it’s almost inevitable that at some point we will be burnt by such hasty decisions.
Here are some quick tips to help review and as required “tweak” your current practices to the benefit of your business:
  1. Be clear on what you want in terms of skills and experience, but also temperament. What personal attributes does the candidate need to have to not only produce the quality of work that you want, but also “fit in” to and be a positive contributor to your business?
  2. Write it down in a position description! – all very boring I know, but good position descriptions attract the right people and help stop you making hasty decisions (contact us for a complimentary template/guide).
  3. Consider where the best candidates are – It may be that they are reading the local paper, but maybe they are also scanning the internet job sites, professional/trade magazines etc… Maybe they are walking past your office! Think where they might be and go and get them!
  4. Make the offer attractive – Your ad needs to be attractive, your recruitment and interview process needs to be professional and your salary/benefit offering needs to be able to compete with the market standard.
  5. Use structured interviews – typical interviews have been shown to have a predictive power of 0.15, whereas structured interviews have a predictive power of 0.4. Ensure questions are tied to valid selection criteria and ask the same questions of each candidate.
  6. Use candidate assessment tools – There are plenty of good quality tools out there, such as McQuaig WORD Surveys, to help predict candidate behaviour on the job and prevent expensive mistakes. Depending on the nature of the job, skills assessments can also be beneficial. Such tools have been shown to have a predictive power of 0.4-0.5, so using them in conjunction with structured interviews can significantly improve your hiring success rate.
  7. Referee checks – It’s amazing how many don’t do them and ultimately pay the price. Indeed, a survey of SMEs by CPA Australia has indicated as few as 2% of businesses use referee checks as a standard part of their recruitment process. Be sure to get the most out of referee checks by going beyond general chit-chat to really explore the candidate’s suitability for the job you have available.
Recruiting Right – It’s not hard, but it is one of the keys to achieving Success Through People.
Feel free to call us to discuss how we can support the recruitment function in your organisation.