Recruiting Excellence: Improve Your Upfront Processes

January 17th, 2013 by David Rothschild Leave a reply »

hiring manager tipsDo sports coaches hold the key to recruiting excellence? Not according to Dr. Wendell Williams in his latest piece at TLNT.com. Dr. Williams dismisses this commonly accepted principle by showing that, in the world of professional sports, talent scouts do the tedious vetting and groundwork, so that only the most gifted athletes get to meet the coach. You can find the full article here.

Compare this process to that of corporate hiring, with recruiters standing in for talent scouts and line managers for the coaches. The analogy isn’t perfect, because recruiters can’t actually see candidates in action on the playing field. Instead, they rely on resumes and screening interviews. Do line managers want applicants with the best interview performance or the best skills for the job?

In 1978, the DOL published “Uniform Guidelines on Employee Selection Procedures” which Dr. Williams condenses to three main principles for organizations:

  • Base standards for hiring and promotions on job requirements and business necessity.
  • Ensure that hiring tools accurately predict job performance by assessing their validity.
  • Reduce adverse impact wherever possible.

Why don’t those responsible for recruiting keep these three principles top of mind? Perhaps they lack the appropriate knowledge and HR technology, relying on cookie-cutter interview questions instead of job-specific competency assessments to hone in on a candidate. Recruiters without the right  training in job analysis and hiring tools may be able to get through a traditional interview, but rarely produce the best candidates.

In the end, it is the hiring managers who must deal with the consequences of bad hires and subsequent poor performance. True, they have their part in the selection process, but they also rely heavily on HR to narrow the field and provide qualified candidates. Once an employee is on board, managers are often left on their own to handle the difficult situation of insufficient skills and expertise, with the inevitable negative results on their team.

Clearly, the challenge for HR is to do more vetting upfront to avoid burdening line managers with bad hires. Choose the right recruiters, and equip them with the proper training and technology for recruiting excellence. Investigate job try-outs with a combination of tests, simulations and measurements, instead of traditional interviews. With improved screening reducing the number of unqualified hires, you’ll be limiting the number of poor performances with which line managers have to cope.

Recruiters, do more talent scouting, and you’ll be doing your hiring managers/coaches a big favor by sending fully-skilled candidates their way.

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