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Friday, 09 February 2018 09:11

The science behind recruiting A-list employees

The true cost of a bad recruitment decision is higher than you might think. The ripple effects can include decreased team morale, productivity and in some cases, a damaged company reputation and even legal repercussions.

How do you navigate the pitfalls and optimise your recruitment process to achieve the highest return on employee investment?

Attracting the right talent

Be intentional about investing in a talent attraction and model. Then understand what is important to your desired skills base - is it flexible hours, the working environment, benefit structure or remuneration? Formulate your HR strategy to build an environment that creates a highly desirable work destination.

Then fish where the fish are. What information does your skills base consume - are they social media followers, do they steer away from it and consume print media specific to their vocation? Begin to create a communication strategy that positions your company as an employer of choice within that channel.

Look to create ambassadors in your workforce with employees by encouraging them to promote your business amongst peers.

Getting the most out of the interview

Know what resourcing problem you need to solve:

Step one in preparing for the interview is understanding the resource problem you are trying to solve, and how this recruitment decision will support your overall company and resourcing strategy. This will assist you in formulating a list of core skills and attributes that are key to bolstering your strategy. Next, list likely real-life scenarios within the scope of work for which the incumbent would be responsible. From here, formulate case studies that will assist you in identifying the key attributes or experience required. Answers to these case studies will allow you to glean valuable insights into the capability of the applicant and allow you to see whether their approach to situations matches your company’s values and culture.

Use competency-based interviewing questions:

Behavioural interviews can be used to obtain concrete examples of behaviour in a specific circumstance. You can prepare for the interview by studying the duties and responsibilities reflected in the applicant’s CV. Look for evidence of the successful application of these skills by seeking mention of awards, bonuses or nominations within the applicant’s area of expertise. Next, prepare open-ended questions that request proven evidence in areas of key competencies such as leadership, teamwork, conflict resolution, and collaboration.

The correct use of Recruitment and Selection tools

Psychometric Tests – a complementary toolset - not an absolute indicator

Psychometric Assessments can be valuable tools when used in conjunction with a range of recruitment strategies. The use of these assessments in isolation could prove risky due to the subjectivity of results based on a complex range of dynamics such as age, learning, cultural and ethnic background. These tests are however a useful way to inform on culture fit, particularly when key performers within the company have been assessed using the same tool and then used as a benchmark against which to measure team dynamics. Risk can further be mitigated by applying a battery of tests which will allow you to evaluate applicants a little more objectively by increasing the spread of methodologies or logic used to formulate the test. That said, the safest approach to take is to remember that results are only of value when used in conjunction with your findings obtained during the interview, and to support the holistic result of your recruitment process, including background checks.

Background Checks – the silver-bullet if used well

The use of verification agencies to confirm qualifications, credit rating, ID verification and criminal offences is important. The single most effective silver-bullet to be employed during the background check process, however, is obtaining evidence-based references. The aim of the reference should be to support the behavioural evidence identified during the competency-based interviewing process. Common pitfalls include using a mobile number to contact a referee without verifying the referee’s identity, designation and role of authority in the reporting structure of the applicant. When recruiting senior staff a useful tool is adopting a 360-degree approach to reference-taking which would include obtaining a reference from the direct manager, a colleague on the same hierarchical level and a subordinate to gauge performance, interpersonal skills and management style.

Is Recruitment a perfect science? No. Humans are complex beings that are influenced by a myriad of variables such as team dynamics, company politics, and personal circumstances. Adopting savvy recruitment strategies and tools will, however, go a long way towards helping you make informed recruitment decisions. Using professional recruiters from reputable recruitment companies is a good alternative if the science is too baffling and you’d rather the experts handle it.

Phillipa Geard
Phillipa Geard

RecruitMyMom was founded in 2012 by passionate initiator Phillipa Geard, Founder and CEO of RecruitMyMom based in South Africa. Phillipa, a mother of two, was inspired by the talents and abilities of many skilled mothers who are a great asset in business provided they are given the flexibility they require. Rather than lose these skills, RecruitMyMom seeks to find a solution to retaining these skills for forward-thinking companies.

Today the community consists of nearly 50 000 skilled Moms (and other career-flexi workers) seeking meaningful employment opportunities together with thousands of employers. Phillipa is backed by a team of professionals who assist her in the business, all of whom work virtually from home-based offices.

RecruitMyMom was a finalist in the 567 Cape Talk Sage Pastel Small Business Awards in 2013, a winner of the Top 20 Small Business Awards in 2017 and Phillipa Geard was the winner of the NSBC National Woman in Business Champion Award in 2017.

For more information on RecruitMyMom visit: www.recruitmymom.co.za