Recruitment requires discipline

( Published in Vancouver Sun )

As a human resources adviser with years of consulting experience, I have observed many instances of companies’ implementing ineffective and often costly hiring policies. In such instances, positions were filled without management fully understanding the positions they were hiring for. In addition, they did not consider the medium-and long-term plans for the company when evaluating an applicant’s resume or skill set.

Research over the past 10 years has shown that well executed human resources programs significantly contribute to a company’s bottom line. Well planned and well implemented processes contribute to a company’s continuing growth and prosperity.

Why is this the case? Because HR programs invest in people. This is especially important with an educated and highly trained workforce, such as B.C.’s. Well executed HR programs foster loyalty and identification with company culture. The resources invested in a new worker do not pay dividends if that worker leaves the position within a year of being hired.

Take time to ensure a good match is made from the outset, based on both experience and an applicant’s skill set. The potential employee should easily meet the position’s baseline requirements but also have the skills and aptitude to grow with the position. That way, a company not only meets its immediate needs, it is also likelier employees will have the competencies needed to grow with the company.

A well executed recruiting process involves:

- A job description that outlines the job requirements. Without a job description, there is a greater likelihood that new staff won’t have all the skills and competencies required.

- Having a longer-term vision of the job description that includes possible new responsibilities, to ensure applicants have the potential or interest to fill these future requirements.

- Well designed job interview questions based on the job description

- Preferably, more than one interviewer, to provide a range of input

- Knowledge among interviewers about the types of questions they can and can’t legally ask

- Casting a wide net and narrowing down to the best fit, rather than selecting from one or two resumes that land on a manager’s desk.

Recruiting, like other human resources processes, requires rigour and discipline to provide consistently good results. The upfront investment of time and effort into a company’s recruiting policy will have long-term benefits, such as higher productivity and retention of its workforce.

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