By Jim Gilhooley of MorlanGil HR
As the economic climate improves, employers are again thinking about increasing staff. However, recruiting the wrong person can lead to a wide range of problems and costs for an employer. The average cost of recruiting an individual ranges from £3,000 to £8,500, not accounting for the cost of training. Hiring the wrong person can be expensive.
Some simple hiring smart steps can go a long way to ensure you avoid this and get the right people. For SMEs, getting it right is crucial.
What can you do: improving the effectiveness of recruitment?
There are four key steps:
The key thing and first step SME’s – and some bigger companies – commonly fail to do is to identify exactly what type of person is needed for the job or, to put it another way, what type of contribution they expect a recruit to make. This includes knowledge, skills and experience but also the personal characteristics (e.g. initiative) and motivation a recruit brings. Sounds simple, but have you ever recruited someone you wish you hadn’t? Skills without motivation result in low morale and commitment; motivation without skills can lead to disaster.
The second important thing is to be professional in finding them. This requires going to the appropriate sources of likely recruits and communicating in the right way to attract them. We now live in the online recruitment world where it is easy to advertise jobs and attract applicants. However, there are many other sources which are as, if not more, discerning depending on what type of person is required. If agencies are used, ensure you manage them rather than being driven by them.
The third step is interviewing effectively. Various techniques and approaches increase significantly the interviewers understanding of the candidate’s personal qualities, motivation and skills and chances of successfully determining how they will perform a job.
The fourth step is to employ them properly. There are three parts to this: a bespoke contract of employment covering the key aspects of the employment and managing the key risks to the business; an effective induction process, covering all the basic factual information needed but also important relationships and cultural aspects of working for the organisation; finally, clear and clearly communicated performance goals or targets with review periods during the first year so you know whether they are performing on not.
One engineering company with a 30% turnover in staffing asked me to look at their recruitment and processes to identify how to reduce this. It became apparent that the company did not really follow the steps above and did not approach recruitment systematically.
Their recruitment processes were revamped, including finding recruits through broader sources, raising their recruitment profile locally, training managers in skills-based interviewing, new documentation and reducing the number of people involved in the process from ten to five. Turnover fell, the cost of recruitment was halved and most importantly, the quality of recruits improved.
So with the right process, hiring smart and improving the quality of your recruits is definitely achievable.