Recruiting for your own business? Don’t make these mistakes!
As recruiters, we excel at accurately sourcing, qualifying and matching high calibre candidates to our Clients’ needs – It’s what we do!
Yet, ironically, one of the biggest challenges facing recruitment business owners is the attraction and selection of top talent for their own businesses. Why does it seem so difficult to do for our own businesses, what we are so successful at doing for others?
Ask yourself these questions ….
1. Am I ‘Mirror Recruiting’? – Many interviewers recruit in their own image and will be automatically attracted to those candidates that are like themselves. This can lead to a biased view of the candidate … For example – ‘He is like me, and I like him! Now I’m not saying that hiring lots of ‘Mini Me’s is a bad thing, but you do need a blend of talent in your Business and let’s face it…We all have weaknesses so if you recruit in your own image you multiply your strengths… but also your weaknesses as an organisation.
2. Am I ‘Magpie Recruiting’? – Most interviewers will be naturally attracted to well dressed, showy, shiny candidates that look good and can throw out a few smart – sounding phrases or power points. If we favour ‘presentation’ over ‘performance’ this can lead to the recruitment of candidates that look good, but perform (mostly) poorly. We are only identifying their ability to ‘talk about doing’ and we all know that the ‘doing’, especially consistently and successfully, is harder than that.
3. Am I Cherry Picking? – We always want to have the luxury of hundreds of good choices when recruiting for our businesses but the reality is usually far different. When we are desperate to make one (or a number of hires) for our Business, sometimes the pressure to get ‘bums on seats’ can prevent us from being as critical as we might like during the selection process. This is sometimes also known as ‘Globalising’ – When interviewing a candidate we globalise/highlight their few strengths and then ignore the weaknesses that we observe. If we then continue to ignore the weaknesses and take this person on, they usually resurface again once the person has been in the Business for a three or four months and this can lead to resignation/firing/costly re-training.
These are 3 of the most common reasons why recruitment can go wrong… So what can we do if we identify that we are Magpies/Cherry Pickers/Mirror recruiters?
Here are a few simple tips:
1. Competency Based Interviewing – Use competency based interviewing to ensure that they can give you evidential answers to questions about their ability and performance. Also, ensure that you score their answer to each question based on the evidence that they give. Leave all ‘gut feelings’ about the candidate at the door when interviewing. By all means do take these into account once the interview is over, but providing you don’t ‘fudge’ the scores based on your gut feeling you may surprise yourself when the candidates that you ‘felt’ were amazing, actually lacked any kind of tangible evidence of performance and the candidates that you didn’t ‘warm’ to in interview actually turn out to be high scorers in a competency based assessment. What ultimate decision you then come to is up to you, but when using this interview technique, the numbers never lie!
2. ‘On the Job’ Experience – Ask candidates to perform ‘on the job’ tasks that will demonstrate their ability and consistency. ‘Doing’ rather than ‘talking about doing’ gives you a much more realistic interpretation of their potential. Maybe even suggest that they come and do a half day work trial and see them in action…. This acts as a great commitment test on their part too!
3. Use a third party – Using a third party (who are qualified and trained to assess and select potential employees for businesses) can give you a great non-biased perspective of potential employees. You can then always do the final stage to get a good ‘feel’ for their business fit, but let them do the scientific assessment of them first. If you cannot afford to use a third party, you can use managers/trusted employees from the business, providing that you can identify that their methods are not any of the 3 above.
4. Get Training – Good attraction/selection/on-boarding training can be invaluable to your business! Hiring mistakes are costly – It can cost up to 3 times the annual salary for the role if you hire badly. Selection training for your business can be provided for a fraction of that cost in comparison.
By Jo Gregory – Training and Performance Manager