Tools for Building Excellence in Recruiting

by | March 10, 2009

Recruiting is often regarded as a transaction oriented function that merely responds (hopefully in a satisfactory manner) to other departments' requisitions and requirements.

It's enough for some recruiters to hire people within reasonable periods of time and within budget who meet most of the required qualifications. However, effective recruitment requires much more than that in order to have a truly significant impact on organizational competitiveness.

It may take a bit of work to determine how best to measure the following factors in your organization, but they are certainly marks of distinction for identifying excellence in recruitment. They also create a positive impact on the organization's productivity, profitability, and overall competitiveness.

"Excellent" recruiters:

  • Recognize the importance of public relations and do everything they can to create a favorable impression with every applicant. This includes basic interpersonal skills as well as specific behaviors demonstrated during the candidate's consideration process such as keeping to scheduled interview times, allowing undivided attention during interviews, providing timely and meaningful feedback or other desired information regarding the position/department/company. (Organizational outcome: a more positive reputation in the marketplace, reduced potential for negative impressions regarding your company, and improved ability to attract potential applicants, customers, etc.)

  • Prescreen candidates appropriately, rather than merely forwarding resumes. This will minimize the amount of time that line hiring managers waste when interviewing people who don't meet their specifications or are not a good fit for the position, department, compensation, etc. (Organizational outcome: improved productivity and efficiency and lower cost of wasted time and resources.)

  • Maximize the "hit ratio" of offers accepted by candidates by researching candidate interests and requirements and matching them with available job opportunities and compensation parameters before presenting them for interviews. (Organizational outcome: improved productivity and efficiency, lower cost of wasted time and resources, and reduced potential for negative impressions/reputation, which could otherwise occur as a result of wasting applicants' time pursuing them for positions that do not match their interests or requirements.)

  • Reduce the potential for turnover by helping to identify the "best fit" for each position (rather than just trying to fill a requisition quickly) to minimize the likelihood that an individual will not work out or will not be satisfied in the organization. (Organizational outcome: improved productivity and profitability.)

  • Demonstrate courage and integrity required to confront any manager who may be trying to get by with a "lowball offer," selecting a candidate for inappropriate reasons, asking irrelevant or illegal questions during interviews, not responding in a timely manner regarding interview setups or feedback, or is otherwise demonstrating undesirable behavior during the hiring process. (Organizational outcome: improved recruitment effectiveness, reduced potential for employment practices complaints/ liability, and enhanced integrity and demonstration of positive values.)

  • Minimize the "ramp up time" required by new employees to get up to speed and become productive by following up to ensure appropriate orientation occurs. This includes making sure that each new employee receives a job description, performance goals, and other critical departmental/organizational information, gets introduced to others they need to know to conduct their job responsibilities effectively, and confirms that they are adequately prepared to contribute to the organization. (Organizational outcome: improved productivity and efficiency and lower cost of "lost time" resulting from position vacancies and new employee acclimation.)

  • Know the organization's goals and objectives, anticipate related future staffing needs, maintain a vigilant watch for key candidates who would be beneficial in meeting organizational objectives. Present these desirable candidates for managers to interview on an "exploratory basis" even when specific job requisitions have not been presented, knowing that very often managers will create requisitions when they see talent that they need. (Organizational outcome: enhanced competitiveness through identifying and obtaining key talent in the marketplace and preventing competitors from obtaining talent for their organizations.)
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Remember, the key to effective recruitment is the ability to obtain the best talent AND to keep it away from competitors, thereby increasing your organizational competitiveness and reducing theirs.

For additional research, one good web site for resources regarding HR/Recruiting Metrics on the Web is the Society for Human Resource Management at www.shrm.org (go to the HR Magazine section). Other Human Resource professional associations, web sites, and publications will also be helpful in identifying specifics for what to measure and what methods are best to measure each factor.

Filed Under: Job Search


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