Recruiting: How to Approach It

Like many human resource processes, preparation will increase the chance of recruitment success.  We discussed the tangible and intangible investment that is made when we add a new team member in the last post and clearly the cost of recruiting is sizable.  Given the commitment of resources necessary to add a new team member, it is not hard to recognize that a small investment on the front end of the process makes a lot of sense.  There are five critical decision areas that need to be addressed as part of the planning process:

  • Analyze the job
  • Update job description
  • Determine candidate characteristics
  • Assign a pay level
  • Devise communication methods

Analyze the Job

Before starting the recruitment process, it is important to assess how the job might have changed since the last time the job description was updated or the last person was hired in that classification.  Potential changes include tasks and responsibilities, workflow, new technologies, or flexible arrangements.  Leaders in the organization, the immediate supervisor, and even coworkers should be involved in this updating process to ensure that the most important up-to-date information is available for updating the job description.

Update Job Description

Every job in an organization should have a detailed job description that covers overall purpose, individual tasks and responsibilities, and required background or experience.  The description should indicate the relationship of the job to the organization and team, most critical skills, and most important tasks.  Before advertising, the job description should be updated and approved so that it can be made available to screeners, interviewing staff, and candidates.

Determine Candidate Characteristics

As we all have experienced, a candidate can have all the necessary skills and abilities and not possess the “right fit” for the organization.  As part of the planning process, the personal characteristics of the ideal candidate should be identified: experiences, competencies, education, training, specific skills, knowledge, and aptitudes.  In addition, behavioral and personality characteristics should be considered.  The behavioral characteristics should be linked to the organization’s culture as well as the team.

Assign a Pay Level

Market supply and demand, current internal pay levels, and the ability of the organization to pay should be factored into the pay range calculation.  Although it is tempting to assume that all candidates can be compensated the same, it is important to have a compensation philosophy that allows your organization to be responsive to the market and type of candidate you desire.

Devise Communication Methods

When leaders fail to attract the kind of applicants they desire, two of the most common causes are a lack of communication related to the opportunity and miscommunication of requirements and expectations.  The lack of communication is related to not distributing information on the opportunity to the right outlets commonly viewed by the desired candidate type.  Miscommunication occurs when the opportunity is not described in a manner that the desired candidate type desires to pursue the position due to a lack of details, misspecification, or failure to use the correct occupational language.

All five factors should be considered before beginning the hiring process.  Some research has shown that an organization’s success rate can improve by as much as 40 percent if these guidelines are followed.

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