Blog Article

What does your recruitment process say about you?

Posted by David Smith

David Smith

Companies advertise and sell products.  They spend millions of pounds each year ensuring that these products are desirable to consumers and can be bought with the minimum amount of fuss.   It’s therefore odd that many companies do not give the same kind of attention to the transactions involved in attracting and recruiting the talented individuals who will be tasked with taking these products to market. 

If people really are the most important asset isn’t it about time all companies developed streamlined recruitment processes that show the business looking its best?  If there’s no passion at the start of the relationship what will the connection be like in the months and years to come!?

Companies often tell us that they’re struggling to attract the talent they need.  In some cases it’s certain technical roles but sometimes  it’s considered to be more of a general problem.  Given our work in the reward benchmarking space it’s common for the query to involve an assessment of their pay and benefits provision.  In some cases it’s a tug of war between the HR team and line managers.  HR have a pay policy to maintain, line managers feel constrained by the ranges set and ultimately want to hire the best people available.  But is reward a red herring?  A convenient side show that might be concealing the main issue?  Yes, organisations are giving more focus to their benefits (tangible and intangible) on their recruitment sites and even quoting the ‘Total Remuneration’ figure in job adverts, but if people don’t leave organisations for pay then they certainly don’t join them solely based on the advertised salary rates either.

There needs to be a connection between potential employee and company right from the off.  Like any new bond, an individual will form a ‘gut feeling’ or build an emotional sense based on previous experience or reflection.  We all have core values, expectations and perceptions that lie under the surface but influence our decisions in a conscious or unconscious way.  If a company doesn’t meet our expectations of how a modern, effective, fair and responsive process should be, we’re switched off right from the start.  But it goes further than this.  If a recruitment process is truly about spending time getting to know each other then I’m afraid you’ll have to dig deeper than the CV or application form.  The traits, motives and behaviours that drive us all provide the employer with an essential guide to how successful the fit will ultimately be.  Understanding this tells the candidate that you’re interested in knowing about what drives them as well as providing some additional rigor to the interview and assessment process.

It doesn’t feel like there’s an excuse for neglecting this part of the business anymore.  Technological advancements are such that processes can be streamlined simply and efficiently.  With most job applications appearing online, companies should ensure their recruitment pages have a strong message about the company and its culture.  They should also ensure that the salary and benefits policy is laid out in a clear and engaging way and that the application process is straight-forward and ensures all applicants are responded to.  Finally, with people costs such a significant part of the budget, the business case for assessing what drives individuals within the recruitment process is clear.  Failing to understand people and their fit with the role at a deeper level could cost the company thousands of pounds in wasted effort down the line.


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