The Importance of Sound Recruitment


There is a caption which is frequently posted on the internet – If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur.  Inevitably popular amongst consultants and advisers it also has significant parallels to recruiting and retaining the right, as opposed to the wrong, employees.

This is especially true with key roles within a business – senior managers and directors who shape and influence the strategic direction and operational management of a company, people who are responsible for corporate governance and risk management and others at all levels who are client-facing.   Such individuals are without exception crucial to the survival of a business during tough times and to enable it to flourish during the better times, and their selection should be treated with respect.

The costs of getting it wrong can be substantial from missed business opportunities to the significant cost of management time invested in an unsuccessful recruitment campaign and then unpicking the consequences.

It is easy in challenging economic times, or when the market picks up and more people are contemplating a move, to imagine it is easy to find good people and to treat the recruitment process as a low priority.  The reality is that it is often hard to attract strong candidates whatever the state of the market as many people either choose to stick with what they know and avoid any risk associated with a move or become increasingly selective about what will tempt them away.

The most effective approach to recruitment is to treat it with the same importance as any other major business decision and to accept that it will take time and it will involve cost.

How to Recruit Effectively

  • The first step is to ensure the potential appointment fits with the business plan, and if it doesn’t to review the business plan or drop the recruitment!  Opportunistic decisions are great but when it involves the recruitment of key personnel they need to be considered with caution.
  • With the business plan in mind, put together a comprehensive job description – what will this person do, what are the principle responsibilities and priorities - and then the person specification – what skills, experience and behaviour is needed to fulfill the requirements of the role.  The order is crucial – needs of the business, responsibilities of the role and then the person who is likely to fit.  Do not, ever, start with the last one first or you will most likely end up with the wrong person.
  • Having determined the requirements of the role and person specification the next step is to identify where to find some decent candidates.  Nearly all recruitment is now done on the internet on generalist or specialist sites, or increasingly through targeted search.  Many companies also make effective use of careers pages on their own website.
  • Make it easy for people to apply and treat people with respect at all stages of the process. Ensure each applicant receives a reply and provide constructive feedback when asked.  Even if they are not right for this particular vacancy, they should exit the process with a good impression of your business.  All of them are potential referrers of other employees or prospective customers.
  • Be flexible and alert to transferable potential. There is rarely a ‘perfect’ candidate, but a talented internal or external recruiter should be able to identify other extremely capable people with the clear potential to transfer quickly to a new environment and bring additional skills and experience.


What to Expect from a Professional External Recruiter

If you do not have the resources in-house to run your own recruitment campaign or there is the need for a confidential approach, secure the services of a quality external recruiter who will demonstrate that they can understand the needs of your business, that they are sufficiently skilled and experienced to put together a full job and person specification and know how best to promote your opportunity and generate a quality response.  They will lead the targeted search and manage the advert response which should include getting back to every single candidate to let them know if they have been shortlisted, they will conduct face to face interviews, advise you on the shortlist and provide comprehensive interview notes on those you wish to see.

Identifying the right recruiter and building strong, professional relationships greatly enhances the process.

Quote from Caryn Musker


Dedicate as much time and commitment to recruitment as you would to other major business decisions

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