Article: Hiring talent: How to get the best in the worst of times


Hiring talent: How to get the best in the worst of times

Hiring talent is not an easy job and it becomes tougher when the times are hard. Read on to how what are the best practices that the hiring team can follow during recruitment.
Hiring talent: How to get the best in the worst of times

Research by Harvard Business Review reveals that most global organizations will run into staffing issues in emerging markets. Moreover, recruiters will also face difficulty in finding talented younger managers that would replace baby boom retirees. These troubles could worsen as the research found that current hiring practices are unsystematic at best and ineffectual at worst. The problem doesn’t end there as companies that find the right people have difficulty in retaining them. 

Through a combination of established research about the nexus between hiring and long-term corporate performance, this article offers insight into the most efficient way to hire top-level managers. This end-to-end set of best practices would assist the hiring team to get the best in the worst of times. These steps cover the entire spectrum of the recruitment process: right from anticipating the need for hiring, specifying the job, curating a pool of talent, assessing the lined-up candidates, closing the offer, inducting the new hire, and assessing the efficacy of the recruitment process.

Foresee the need for hiring

Creating a database is a repository of data from various hiring pipelines such as employee-referral programs, consultancies, and external-recruiting yields besides figures on anticipated attrition and budgeted positions in the operating plan to predict the annual need for employees throughout the organization. In this way, the organization will be able to correctly anticipate more than 90% of its talent needs which would help in reducing recruiting costs and enable a smoother employee transition. 

Have the most accurate job specification

Most companies depend on a leadership competency model to delineate the attributes they desire in their new hires. The core elements of the model are generic leadership skills as well a high emotional quotient such as courage, humility, and perseverance.  So, the job description must specify a combination of these traits, industry experience, a proven track record and the required job skills in the most accurate manner. 

Sourcing the candidates

The most efficient strategy for curating a pool of candidates is to get the people recommend the best ones they know. Instead of wasting your time in calling too many irrelevant candidates, talk to people who can suggest high-quality candidates on the fly. The best prospects can also be sourced from customers, board members, suppliers, professional service providers, consultancies and the like.

Assessing line up candidates

Interviewers usually judge first impressions and spend the rest of the interview on confirming those assessments. Psychologists call this confirmation bias, where based on the slightest interaction, people make an unconscious judgment in a way that confirms one’s beliefs or hypotheses. Similarly, case interviews and brain teasers are equally worthless as performance on these questions can be improved through practice which makes them an inadequate measure to assess candidates.

The best predictor of a person’s performance on job is a work sample test. This test requires giving candidates a sample work, similar to the job’s requisition, and then assessing their performance at it. Research reveals that a combination of general cognitive ability test and an assessment of conscientiousness is a better way to evaluate a candidate. 

Closing the offer

 It is important to smoothly close the offer once you have picked the best candidate but top employers don’t just invest in one candidate, they keep several worthy ones in pipeline. If you are ambitious and prefer only the best candidates, at least one out of five might turn down your offer. That’s why successful firms make it a policy to play the odds, and keep their options open by banking on other talented candidates. They interview at least five to ten candidates for one job and keep the shortlists in consideration. So, before you close the offer remember to have more choices as it would prepare you for any eventuality. 

Inducting the new hire

Firms must take steps to ensure that new employees are integrated into the culture and norms of the company. In general, companies that structurally induct new hires enjoy higher retention, as the recruits show greater commitment and job satisfaction. Leading edge firms have a holistic induction plan to orient newcomers into the firm. Some organizations have a buddy or a mentor assigned to the new hire who serves as a guide in the new organization. In the first few months, the boss and HR manager must regularly check with each new recruit, to see if everything is going well or if they are facing any problems. 

Assess the efficacy of recruiting process

Mathematical models can be applied to assess the overall effectiveness of the recruiting process and look for improvement areas. These models help to quantify the profit in investing on more candidates, assessing the quality of hire, areas where operating costs of recruiting practices could be reduced or ways to get more relevant profiles during screening. The most important discovery from the use of these models is improving the quality of assessments and the possibility of getting a candidate to accept a lower compensation package. 

A well-crafted recruiting and integration process will reduce, but can never eliminate, the possibility of hiring mistakes when the times are hard. But companies can adopt smart and systematic techniques to have a great talent management and recruiting process. 

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Topics: C-Suite, Talent Acquisition, #Hiring

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