Around 2007, when I was just a kid, Monster.com came up with a quirky advertisement that seemed hilarious at the time. They showed how fatal it could be to hire a dancer as an aircraft marshal. During my post-graduation, recruitment seemed like the most obnoxious of all HR practices; everybody dreaded becoming a hiring executive and I was no different! But today as a Human Resources professional, I feel differently. I learned eventually, that if you are an aspiring HR professional (or a budding entrepreneur), hiring is inevitable. It is the most crucial HR initiative that can make or break an organization. The whole hue and cry about recruitment will fade if it is done right.
But this is how most of us have been doing it:
#1 Hating it:
Let’s face it, recruitment is not the most interesting HR activity; it’s cumbersome, monotonous and frustrating even. But if we loathe something, how can we give it our hundred percent? The best thing is to understand its value and make peace with it.
#2 Having no backup plan:
In recruitment, having a plan is no big deal. But not having a backup plan is huge! The job market today is extremely dynamic and unpredictable, and so are good candidates. Closing a position is not the end of recruitment; it’s important to ensure that the candidate joins, and it’s inevitable to have a pipeline of potential candidates.
#3 Being shortsighted:
Hiring is not just about keywords or closing positions; it is about finding someone with the right attitude that matches the organization culture. Hiring a candidate without knowing the business, its culture, or without evaluating the values that he or she fosters, is like shooting a bullet in the dark that might ricochet!
Gaining in depth knowledge of the business and the position concerned is a key success factor for all recruitment initiatives. Additionally, looking for candidates with similar designations can hardly be productive. For example, when hiring a sales executive, looking for someone who has the potential to sell will be more effective, rather than someone whose current designation says “sales executive”. This strategy is beneficial for closing positions that require softer skills.
#4 Ignoring signs:
All candidates display verbal and non-verbal signs during all steps of a recruitment process and when we interact with them. It could be typos in a resume, not answering our calls or calling frequently and following up too much, their posture during interviews, or not knowing which mode of communication (phone, email, text, WhatsApp) to use for conveying important information.
Evaluating candidates only during interviews can be tricky. If we begin our study of the individual right from screening the resume till the person joins, our efforts will add more value to the entire recruitment process.
#5 Losing zeal:
Recruitment is similar to sales in some ways. If you lack the confidence, the enthusiasm and the persistence to achieve results, you’re done! Sure, it is difficult to get the right people at the right time and at the right place; but we can make it better by using a few techniques and a lot of motivation. For me the motivation is to know that with every good hire, the organization grows a little.
#6 Lacking professionalism:
Recruitment is a two-way street; while we evaluate candidates, they assess us too. Hiring executives carry an essence of the brand they belong to, and candidates often draw conclusions about the organization from their behaviour.
Things that can put off candidates are having less knowledge about the role or the company than candidates, reaching out to them at an inappropriate time and in an abrupt manner, or keeping them in the dark and leaving them hanging. It is extremely essential to portray a positive and professional image of oneself and the organization one belongs to.
#7 Negotiating too much:
In an attempt to close positions, hiring executives often invest a great deal of effort in negotiating offers with candidates. In my experience, replacing negotiation skills with influencing skills gives better results; like talking about the great learning opportunities, work environment, and flexibility that the organization has to offer, or the non-monetary benefits a person is entitled to.
If the candidate still insists on a better package, sometimes it is better to let go because it means that he/she is inclined towards money and might accept the next best offer soon after joining your organization.
It’s about time that hiring executives change their outlook and strategy towards recruitment and it’s about time that people start looking at recruiters positively, because the economy’s growing fast and we have a big role to play in finding the requisite skills and talent more than ever. So pull up your socks fellow recruiters!
About the author
Vinisha Nagarkar completed her Bachelor in Arts (Psychology) from Fergusson College, Pune, and pursued Masters in Personnel Management from MIT School of Management thereafter. She gained exposure to the field of Training & Development while assisting an accomplished Corporate Trainer. Currently, at PeopleWiz, she works as a senior research analyst, specializing is in the area of qualitative research for HR and organization design.