Don’t settle for a bad hire

Our research shows that half of new recruits in the last two years have failed to fully meet the original job spec for the role and one in five didn’t meet it at all. This begs the question, what’s going wrong with recruitment?

One of the common complaints with the current recruitment process is that it simply takes too long. Almost half of line managers with hiring responsibility we spoke to said this was the case. Two-thirds of them said recruiting new staff is ‘a hassle’. It’s no wonder then that business are settling for candidates who don’t quite fit the bill, but this can have major ramifications further down the line.

A wrong hire can damage the culture of a small organisation and have a far greater impact than it would do in a larger organisation with established HR processes and support. A lot of the issues start at the outset of the recruitment process. It’s a familiar story – you have a vacancy, the team’s struggling to get through their workload and line managers are under pressure to find someone to fill the role.

Often, the brief to HR or a recruiter can be rushed, leading to inadequate candidates coming to interview. More often than not, the best of a bad bunch is hired and it soon becomes clear that they’re not right for the job, so they either leave or their colleagues do so out of sheer frustration. And so the hiring cycle repeats itself.

SMEs can help ease a lot of recruitment pressures and frustrations by becoming more active in the processes they use to hire talent. After all, no one knows the skills and qualities needed for a role better than the existing team. However, this ‘inside knowledge’ can get lost in translation as job briefs get passed through an organisation, out of the team, up to HR and over to a recruiter. 

If line managers take control of the initial candidate search they can set a clear blueprint for the candidate they’re after and recruiters and HRs can see exactly the kinds of candidates the search has found and that they are interested in. Once this is done, it’s easy to engage a recruitment expert in the rest of the process and use their expertise to build a relationship with the candidate, as well as gain their interest in the role.

There are clear benefits to involving the line manager early on in the recruitment process and putting them in the driving seat, but it’s important to recognise the role of HR professionals and recruiters too. You should be able to rely on them for bringing structure and standardisation to the hiring process and ensuring that all core competencies and soft skills are covered off in the candidate search. They can also help avoid line managers hiring a ‘mini-me’ which is often the case when a hire needs to be made.

Jamie Carlisle is founder and CEO of Talent Party.

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