People will always be your most important investment. Finding them your most important skill.

And contrary to popular belief it’s not rocket science!

It’s easy to write a book about the do’s and don’ts of recruitment. There are hundreds of important factors. However there are
just a few deal breakers, and they are the ones too often ignored or misinterpreted …. in my humble opinion.

An opinion perhaps justified as I’ve been doing it for what seems like a hundred years. At least 30 anyway!

So the following is not intended as a tutorial. Just a few pointers that will establish a foundation for a good result.

  • Be honest

    We define TACTless communication as The Avoidance of Constructive Truth, and it is never more relevant than during the recruitment process. Don’t complain if you avoid sensitivities and they return to bite you 3 months down the track. You know what you want (if you don’t you shouldn’t be looking), so make sure that at least that you are looking for the right product.

  • Write a good ad

    Simple? No it’s not. Again be forthright and honest. It doesn’t have to be Shakespearean, and it doesn’t have to be a small book. And please avoid the must haves. A competent manager really doesn’t have to have “at least 3 years experience in operating SAP” or “4 years experience in the retail automotive spare parts arena”. Every must have you include has the ability to knock out someone who may be 95% of what you are looking for. And 95% is as good as you’re going to get.

  • Look for the right person

    As opposed to the right skill set. Skills can be acquired, personalities can’t be changed. Of course your successful candidate must have relevant skills. But the genius you are looking for may well be incapable of engagement, effective communication, persuasion, intuition, and good decision making.

  • Do the work

    Don’t rely on technology or your brilliant ad to do it for you. We are constantly reminded by commercial and operations managers that their HR technology presents them with the smartest unacceptable applicants. Yes it can be time consuming, but if you are prepared to keep an open mind, and attract a larger number of applicants not filtered by your much considered ad words or expensive computer programs, you will be pleasantly surprised.

  • Talk, discuss, communicate, DON’T interrogate

    Spend just a little time putting your applicant at ease, regardless of their seniority, and you’ll learn more about them in an hour than 4 hours of searing questions designed to catch them out and expose their weaknesses. Of course those weaknesses need exposing, but not before you establish whether she or he is going to be a good fit for your business, your people, your clients and suppliers.

  • Sell your dream

    And your circumstance. It’s a 2 way street. They have to be right for you and you for them. You may not want the next Bill Gates. You may want security, reliability, maturity, or instead prefer initiative, infectious enthusiasm, and aggression. Either way they have to understand what’s on offer, and buy into what you need. Don’t end up with a square peg in a round hole.

At the end of every recruitment process there is another person on your payroll who will in some way be responsible for the success of your objectives and your business. And if they are successful the time taken in getting them on board will be the cheapest investment you will make. Of course get it wrong and it could well be the most expensive. We’ve all been there!

I’m sure there will be many managers and recruiters with justifiably different attitudes and opinions to ours. But they have stood us in good stead for many years, and if we can assist with information or an exchange of ideas we are always up for a healthy debate.

Please don’t hesitate to call or make contact.

Kevin Daly

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