There is a large amount of money spent every year by organisations on recruiting and selecting the most appropriate staff for positions that arise. Organisations can, however, waste money in a number of areas if the successful candidate is unsuitable or leaves after a few weeks or months:
- Recruitment costs; for example the cost of adverts
- Induction training – the time and effort invested in training can be large. In the contact centre industry, for example, there is often high turnover of staff with new starters staying only a few weeks before deciding the role is not for them
- The costs of having to subsequently re-advertise the role and go through the whole process again.
What is often overlooked is the impact on staff who have been in the company for a longer period and who see a succession of new colleague join and then leave. The rapid turnover of new staff can clearly have a negative impact on morale within the work environment.
The steps involved in recruiting and selecting new staff are often standard across organisations, but there are a number of factors to consider along the way.
- The recruiting manager should draw up a job description and person specification for the vacant role if the documents are not already available. These are generally standard company-wide documents that specify the duties that the appointee will carry out and the skills and competencies that applicants should have. For example, in a sales role, it will be beneficial for applicants to have developed some negotiation and customer presentation skills. The Human Resource Manager will be able to check these documents or help draw them up
- If a job grading system is in place, the role should go through the relevant process. The job grading process will identify the salary band that the role falls into and the benefits package that comes with it
- The recruiting manager should decide whether the role will be permanent or temporary. In the UK, a number of new starters are recruited on temporary contracts. This brings with it the advantage that, if the successful applicant does not fit into the role, the company can let them go. However, the disadvantage is that new starters on temporary contracts will often continue to look for a permanent role elsewhere and could leave early in their employment
- The organisation may have standard processes for managers to follow to attract candidates. If the company does not have a standard policy, a cost analysis should be undertaken to decide if it will be more effective to advertise the role and through which channels, or to use an agency or specialist recruitment firm. (Using employment agencies or recruitment companies can have the benefit that they will undertake part of the selection process; such as, application and CV screening, initial candidate interviews and testing. The downside is that the agency needs to be very clear on the kind of person that the company is looking for and the kind of workplace environment that they will be joining. Often too little time is invested to make sure the agency or recruitment company is clear on these points. There are a number of ways around this including, for companies who recruit regularly, having a dedicated relationship manager at the agency)
- Once applications have been received for the role, the selection process should be clear and a timetable drawn up. There are a number of methods a company can use at the selection stage. These include identifying whether the candidate has the required skills and experience from their application or CV, face-to-face interviews, assessment centres and completion of case studies or presentations. Many companies like to conduct initial telephone interviews to draw up a short list of candidates.
- Whatever selection process is used, managers involved should be fully accredited and act in a consistent manner. For example, if the selection process consists of criteria-based interviews (where candidates give examples of how they meet the various requirements of the role), all managers concerned should be trained to ask questions in a consistent manner and on how to rate the answers that candidates give. Senior managers or a Human Resource Manager may wish to audit the process to ensure there is consistency of application.
- When the successful applicant has been identified, appropriate references should be sought. In addition, feedback should be given to those candidates who attended interviews or other selection events and were unsuccessful.
Some best practice tips include ensuring that the immediate team leader or supervisor of the new member of staff is included in the selection process. Another is completing a cost analysis on how much it actually cost to recruit the successful candidate and retaining this for future reference and comparison.
Additionally, with really large-scale recruitment campaigns, having a member of the agency or recruitment company work on site is often beneficial so that they develop a better understanding of what exactly is required for the roles they are recruiting for.