Do you know what it is that you want before you start recruiting?

You’ve gone to the effort of writing a job description, creating some online adverts or engaging a recruiter to find you someone, but have you really thought through who your business needs? 

"Of course” I hear you cry. “Why would we bother doing all those things if we didn’t know what we needed to recruit for?” 

But I hate to break it to you.  There are many businesses who start the process of recruiting, only to change their mind about what they want half way through the process. 

This year alone I’ve had conversations with: 

• One business who had hired a recruitment consultant to find them a full-time Product Manager experienced in Financial Services for a key hire, who then hired a non-Financial Services Project Manager for 3 days a week

• One business who were interviewing for a software Product Manager, who post-interviews decided what they needed was a Design Manager

Recruitment is not an easy thing, and it doesn’t happen without the time and efforts of quite a few people, so why is so much time and effort being wasted?   

The recruiter needs to gather up all the information about the role, have discussions about salaries, skills, and experience, before they can figure out the best way to fill the role.  They’ve then got to engage a recruiter or publish and pay for some adverts, just to get a shortlist of people to review. 

The manager needs to take time out from the business to give the recruiter the brief, review CVs, and then attend interviews. 

The interviewee of course needs to spend time on their application, tailoring it to the specific role, attend interviews, perhaps even completing tasks or tests.  It’s a time consuming business. 

So when you get to the point of the process where you’re making decisions and then realise that what you’ve been spending your time on isn’t what you should have been doing and you should have been focusing on a completely different type of person for a completely different type of role, then you’ve wasted a whole host of time and money that could have been utilised elsewhere. 

The problem sometimes comes about because you look to replace like with like.  “We just had a Marketing Executive leave so we need to hire a Marketing Executive”, with no consideration for the kind of activity the Marketing Executive was doing, what you hope to achieve within that area of the business, or the areas of the business that were being under-resourced. 

Instead we spend time trying to find ‘Jane part II’ or ‘John mark III’, instead of finding ‘Desired skills No.1' 

It’s often conversations like “Having spoken to Person X I’m not sure we need all their marketing skills as we can cover that elsewhere, but we really utilised the events background the person who’s leaving us had and these people don’t have them” that then trigger the realisation that the person they’re looking for shouldn’t be a carbon copy, but should have a distinct set of skills for the business. 

It doesn’t hurt to ask yourself these questions earlier in the process.  If someone is leaving, ask yourself which of their skills  you really utilised.  Yes they might be a Qualified Product Manager and their job title says Product Manager, but are you really using them to operate as your Project Manager delivering work through the team?  Yes, you might have called them a Project Manager but are they really managing customer accounts and so it’s the account management skills that you’re looking to replace? 

Many people’s job titles can be deceiving, so just stop and ask the business what the skills they need are.  They just might be skills that you don’t often find in people with some job titles. 

Are you recruiting for the right roles? 

Views: 125

Comment by Lena Moss on November 14, 2017 at 1:25am

I agree, we should really know what we need before we start recruiting. You should also partner up with the best background check companies in order to find the best employees. 

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