In any recruitment situation, the answer should always be ‘to respond’. Recruitment mistakes are largely made when we ‘react’, which usually means we panic and pounce on the recruitment process in haste. My advice would always be to ‘respond’, which means we should plan and prepare the recruitment process to ensure we are proactive in our path to making a successful recruitment choice.

It is very easy to react in a recruitment situation, for example if we receive a resignation from a team member. The natural reaction is to ring the HR department, ring local recruiters, put an advert out there, schedule interviews asap, make an offer in time for the new recruit to have a handover from the previous employer. However, in reality this quick fire decision making can be truly disruptive and costly.

To respond to this situation we need to gather information to learn more about the role (which is now a vacancy); what the role looks like here and now and how it needs to look in the future to ensure it is appropriately aligned to the team, depart-ment and company objectives. When the person, who is potentially leaving the business, was first recruited I am sure their role looked quite different to the position they are now leaving behind, because the truth is positions do change. Jobs change due to the needs of the business, the needs of the customer, the needs of the economy and dare we say it the needs of the employee too. Therefore, we need to take stock of the role that is NOW available to truly understand what skills and experi-ence we need to fill the current vacancy i.e. we need to carry out job analysis.

Here are a few of my favourite job analysis techniques, because they are efficient in time and money;

  • Exit interviews – learn from ex-employees their thoughts on the good, bad & ugly parts of the current role and listen to their ideas as to how the role could be changed, developed or improved
  • Succession planning – review comments from current employees during their appraisals and performance reviews to understand how the role fits in, its importance, its impact
  • Business review – consider whether you actually do need to replace/recruit into this role or can tasks be devolved to others
  • Skills & Experience – look at the skill set which is available to you internally already, find out where the gaps are to ap-preciate what experience you need for the future to strengthen that role and team
  • Supply & demand – assess your manning levels ‘the supply’ against the volume of customer orders, ‘the demand’ to forecast headcount accordingly
  • Consultations – discuss with other employees their thoughts on the vacancy and the shape it needs to take, they are likely to be living and breathing this role more closely and so could be able to pass on valuable nuggets of information to focus recruitment attention
  • Job descriptions & person specifications - write up to date documents to ensure it is clear as to who, what, where and when needs to be recruited (more on these critical items to follow).

Any type of planning, in any type of business process, takes time and effort but in the long run it is worth it to ensure a positive impact on business when a candidate becomes an employee.

“….to respond” is the answer to all your recruitment efforts.

Article by Hayley Ramm of Supportiv Recruitment Support Services.

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