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Are UK businesses risking a compromise culture with recruitment?

Recruitment company Hiring Hub has found that 90 per cent of decision makers responsible for hiring at their businesses have admitted to employing the wrong person.
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Simon Swan, co-founder and CEO of Hiring Hub, suggested it reflected a “culture of compromise” where time and market pressures have meant companies were not appointing individuals who were best suited to the role. 

He feels HR professionals and business owners have begun to “compromise on recruitment quality almost as a matter of routine”. 

The top three negative consequences of hiring the wrong employee were the need to invest further in developing new recruits (54 per cent mentioned this as an issue), an impact on company performance, and line managers needing to spend more time supporting new recruits.

Hiring Hub conducted the study of 200 HR professionals and business owners responsible for the hiring processes within their organisations, to question their approach to recruitment.

Swan said a vicious circle had developed where UK businesses “waste the little time they do have in finding a candidate they then have to replace – or dedicate more time line-managing in the long run”.

The study indicated that over a third of those hiring were feeling the pressure more so in 2015 than a year ago and were compromising more on candidates as a result.

Allocation of time was considered a particular point of concern, as over half said they spent more time vetting CVs and briefing recruitment agencies than interviewing candidates – working out at over eight million hours of time spent recruiting for roles.

The areas employers tended to compromise most on were qualifications or skills (37 per cent agreed on this) and personality, attitude or cultural fit (36 per cent) – which has often been cited as an area of particular importance to small businesses. Some 35 per cent mentioned relevant past experience as an area that ended up being compromised on, while a fifth mentioned salary or benefits.

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Swan said the approach to recruitment and talent sourcing needed to be reworked as the current process for many UK businesses is “convoluted, inefficient and unsustainable”. Those taking the survey agreed, with two thirds feeling their businesses would benefit from more time invested into the interview process – a trouble many fast-growth companies are all too aware of.

The respondents did though, mention the quality of the candidate pool as the biggest reason for why compromising was likely to occur, though a quarter said the recruitment processes needed review and 30 per cent admitted they were unable to compete on salary.

Swan suggested making sure a scheduled and frequent review of any recruitment agency partners is in place, and setting out clearly defined parameters for all aspects of recruitment, from agency costs to time invested in the process. 

Image: Shutterstock

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