28 JUL, 2014
When it comes to hiring new resources, we aim to hire the best. Though there are times, when there is a major disconnect between our actions and our aspirations. It is this disconnect that leads us to faulty hiring, which is an additional cost that eats into to the hiring budget. Despite all the facts, I believe hiring is an emotional process for all hiring managers. As sometimes both logic as well as principles, gets thrown out of the window while pinning-down any position.
Not to say that emotions are not good when it comes to hiring the right candidate, on the contrary, your gut feeling is as important as all the other elements of the hiring process. In fact, I am referring to some of the common mistakes that most hiring managers make on a regular basis such as hiring friends, hiring on impulse, and allowing their preferences or prejudices to get in the way. Hiring managers today, continue making wrong decisions when they give importance to processes that were followed in the past and feel “we followed these processes in the past, and it worked then, and it will work today, as well.”
Many hiring managers make wrong decisions when they give importance to processes followed in the past “we did in the past, and it will work today, also.”
Being a part of the HR team at tavisca®, ranked among the top 100 Best Places To Work For (GPTW) in India for three years in a row, I have learned one indispensable fact, we as recruiters and hiring managers need to understand that the market scenario and business environment is changing drastically. It is completely different from what it was in the past. Our past, hiring criteria may need to be brought up-to-date as some of them may no longer be valid.
I would like to share a few important facts which any recruitment team should keep in mind while recruiting new resources. It is important for us to keep these points in mind as, this impacts on, not only what we do, but also our decisions while hiring new resources.
- Taking into consideration that we live in the era of third-culture-kids, we need to think like them. This means that people nowadays are born in one place, and settle in another place. We as hiring managers should embrace this and not restrict our searches to a specific country or citizenship type if the process permits us to do so. This will help recruitment managers in widening-up the talent funnel while interviewing candidates.
- From my experience, I have always encountered a common practice preferred by most hiring managers is that we as recruiters prefer to get candidates whom we know. If a company wants to have the best candidate for the job, the hiring managers need to focus on keeping this as their primary aim and define clear as well as tangible criteria for hiring new resources. These criteria should be set as the guidelines, against which all candidates can be evaluated in order to remain objective. It is also important to bear in mind that the ideal candidates could come from a different culture and not just company culture – this requires us, as hiring managers to look at people who are “not like us.”
This may create a feeling of discomfort amongst the team as well as the management but, it is very important for the team to think out-of-the- box, to be creative and open-minded to get the best.
- The process of hiring is the back-bone of any function in an organization, as it helps in finding employees who can create world-class processes for organizations. We as recruiters and hiring managers should identify a candidate who is different from the predecessor. Here, I would like to share an important point with respect to selecting candidates on the basis of their merits and performance, and not give into gender bias. In my opinion, it is important for organizations and hiring managers to be flexible towards hiring candidates irrespective of their gender and take a decision based on their merits and performance. Statistics from the census state that more than 30% of female graduates are fit for challenging jobs in the IT sector. Hence, we should make full use of this opportunity to widen our scope of short listing candidates.
- Hiring managers and teams today, mostly use tools available in the market for assessment, but the team hiring should try to find out the common traits of high performers, and use it as a measure for short listing candidates. Now and then, we should challenge our assessment systems and review the same, to ensure its relevance with respect to the need of current market and business environment.
- When we tend to get the best and brightest talent from different backgrounds, cultures and cities, it does create pressure among existing employees and teams to adjust to the new blood. The hiring team along with the HR & Leadership within companies must make it a priority to on-board the new hire and prepare people within the organization for this change. Bringing on-board diverse teams can lead to dynamic environments, and it requires skilled leadership to support team dynamics. Then, there is also the aspect of preparing leadership to manage the best and brightest.
Other aspects which the recruitment team needs to keep in mind are intellectual smartness and emotional intelligence of the candidate, important for any position to manage relationship skills much needed within an organization. This also includes whether the candidate has good work ethics, values and potential for growth.
Lou Adler, CEO of Adler Group, along similar lines has given a very good analysis based on Maslow’s hierarchy. Adler gave the view of defining any hiring process from a top-down approach of Maslow perspective.
According to Adler, most of the time the hiring teams’ consider people who first, have an economic need to apply, and second, those among this group who possess some arbitrary list of skills, experiences and personality traits. Thus, the bottom-up approach to this process is the reason that most companies can’t hire stronger people.
This is many times a self-defeating dilemma for the recruitment team as they find people easily by providing benefits and better salaries. Adler, on the other hand, says we should make an approach where starting from designing a Job description to offering a candidate a position, there should be a top-down approach.
According to Adler, the hiring managers should prepare performance-based job descriptions to replace traditional job descriptions. This will help hiring managers’ focus on the best candidates looking for career growth and achievement, rather than only fulfilling basic economic needs. This is so, because when we find candidates with lower order economic needs, dissatisfaction with the work itself will follow quickly.
Lastly, I would close this article with the thought that hiring the best and brightest candidates goes beyond the actual hiring process. It is easy to go out and locate good talent, but whether we are able to get the best out of the talent pool is a big question of how committed the leadership of the organization is towards this goal. I believe that this process is a company initiative as a whole and not one that is just confined to the talent acquisition team.
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