What Is Recruitment?

Posted in Articles on July 8th, 2010

Recruitment is the process of identifying individuals who can bring value to your company and attracting them to join the company as an employee.  Sounds simple, but the devil is in the details.  Let’s explore some of those details.

Recruitment is built on a Strong Foundation

Recruitment has a number of foundational components.  Each building block is important and cannot be ignored without diminishing the intended results.  The first building block of successful recruiting is to identify why your company is hiring.  Although it might seem logical, vacancy is not the reason.  Think honestly about the importance of this position to your company. You and your recruiter will need to articulate the goals and objectives necessary to the role to ensure growth and success of your company.  Once this building block is clear, your recruiter can help you and your company find an individual who can meet your company’s needs.

The second foundation block is to hone in on what kind of individual are you looking for and why.  The person you seek must fit within the existing culture of your company, even if that culture needs changing.

The third building block of recruiting is to articulate what the individual in the role will be expected to do.  This requires a clear and specific description of the scope of the role, the responsibilities, and related authority.

After the third block of your foundation is set, it’s time to move to step four. You will want to be sure your potential hire has the background and skills required to succeed in the role.  It is important to consider relevant and necessary education and work experience as well a related technical skills and ability.

The fifth building block is to craft a detailed list of the expected accomplishments of the individual in order to quantify success in the role.  These accomplishments must be specific and concrete and measured in discrete time frames over a twelve to eighteen month period.

Once this many layered foundation is built, it’s finally time to determine how the position will be compensated in terms of salary, bonus, and other incentive compensation.  If you decide to utilize industry compensation studies, be sure the data is relevant and comparable to your company.

Identifying Specific Individuals

Line managers should not want to interview numerous candidates.  In fact, they should expect to interview no more than five individuals, all of whom will tightly fit the requirements of the role based on the foundational components.

A recruiter must look at both direct and indirect competitors and functions that are related to the role being recruited.  Then the recruiter should identify individuals in those companies and functions who can act as sources.  Sources are individuals who are likely to know of someone appropriate for the role being recruited.  Relying on and seeking the knowledge and expertise of others is a sign of a skilled recruiter and paramount to identifying individuals who meet the requirements of the role and are clearly qualified for the job.

Bring Value to Your Company

As the recruiter speaks to potential candidates, they will gather quantifiable and anecdotal information about each individual.  This information is important for assessing any candidates’ ability to bring value to the company.  It allows the recruiter to ask questions that might not be otherwise asked when interviewing candidates.  Further, when a candidate is mentioned by a number of sources, the recruiter has the ability to gather more detailed information about a candidate and why they might be particularly promising for the role.

Attracting Them to Join the Company

When the recruiter contacts promising candidates, it may be received with caution. In order to mitigate this, the recruiter must be able to discuss all the foundational blocks of the role and articulate the position’s importance within your company.  Although compensation needs to be competitive, keep in mind that good people rarely change jobs for money. People change jobs for unique opportunity, and other personal and professional reasons.  It is the job of the recruiter to learn and understand a candidate’s motivation for change and make it clear to you.

Once the recruiter makes contact with a candidate they begin marketing the company and the opportunity.  Everything they say and do affects a candidate’s decision to remain in the recruiting process.    Both recruiter and the company must remember that there are few secrets in any industry. If the candidate begins to feel that either the recruiter or the company is not being open and forthright, the process will end. Because of this, it is important to be honest about both the positive and negative aspects and of the position and the company.

The recruiter should prepare a report on each candidate in order to provide the full details of a candidate’s professional career and qualifications.  It should also include the recruiter’s recommendation for the candidate, backed up with the reasons why they clearly and specifically meet the requirements of the position.  With a sufficiently detailed report, you will not have to ask basic informational questions about the steps in a candidate’s career during the interview. A successful report does the background check for the company and allows them to focus on substantial issues about the role and how the candidate would address and manage those issues.

Interviewing Candidates

Candidate interviewing, by the company, must be done carefully and professionally.  It is just as important that the company present well, as it is for the candidate.  The candidate should know how many people they will interview with and what their involvement in the recruiting process will be. In addition, information must flow both ways.  The company must answer any question the candidate has, regardless of how uncomfortable or vulnerable it makes them.  Similarly, the company should expect the candidate to do the same.

Making an Offer

Making an offer is often the most delicate part of the process.  If the company has a view about what the compensation will be, share that with the candidate up front and early in the recruiting process.  If all the individuals identified back out of the process due to compensation, then something is wrong; and it is not with the candidates.

When making an offer, be clear, be specific, be complete, and be fast.  Once the offer is on the table, give the candidate time to consider and ask any questions. Do not be surprised if they wish to meet with the hiring manager again.

Ensuring Success

Once an offer is accepted, present the candidate a plan for in-bounding or on-boarding them into the company.  This plan should include who they need to meet, what they need to know, problems and issues they should be aware of, and an understanding of the dynamics of the team they are joining.  Remember, most new hires fail in the first ninety days.  Protect the investment your company has made by bringing new people in correctly.

When done properly, recruiting can be a powerful strategic tool.  It can change a company and its culture.  Successful recruitment is difficult, but when done well, it can be amazing.

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