The thick scent of anticipation in the air, the smartly dressed individuals with their resumes in hand, the discussions behind closed doors, and finally the sigh of relief when it’s all done and dusted. Interviews can be quite taxing; for the interviewer and the interviewee. It uses up a considerable amount of resources and time. The Human Resources professionals who are usually tasked with this job, do not have it easy. All the planning and energy invested would have been for nothing if they hired the wrong candidate and would have to repeat the process all over again. Recruiting the best candidate can be challenging but it’s not impossible. All you need is a good strategy and you’re good to go. It is company-specific and you need to figure out what works best for you. The recruitment process is broadly divided into five stages. Here are a couple of tips to make your recruitment and selection strategy foolproof. But first, let us define recruitment.
WHAT IS RECRUITMENT?
Recruitment is the process of attracting and hiring the right candidate to fill a new opening or vacancy in the organization. It can become tedious and time-consuming if you don’t employ the right strategy. Here are the five stages in the recruitment process.
Job description: This is crucial to attract potential candidates when you advertise the job opening. You need to mention all the relevant details so that the applicants can analyse if they are suitable for the job and apply accordingly. It needs to be done in a professional manner because it gives the candidates a chance to judge the company’s calibre. You can attract the top-notch talent if you do it the right way. The following is the list of details that need to be mentioned when drafting the job description.
- Organization name and the job title
- Job description
- Working environment
- Any other information worth mentioning
Job specification: This focuses on the kind of candidate the company is in search of. It includes the following requirements.
- Skill set
- Trainings/ certifications
- Physical, mental and behavioural specifications
Keep in mind that these are the basic guidelines and you can modify it to make it more company-specific to align with your goals and objectives. Hopefully, this will give the applicants an idea of what the job entails and whether or not they are qualified to apply. Be prepared to receive spam resumes or wildcards hoping to be considered for the post. The value of the job needs to be analysed and the salary decided before you begin the hunt for the perfect candidate.
The next step is to come up with a foolproof strategy on how to go about the hiring process. Strategizing can make a lot of difference to the end result. You need to analyse all possible options and decide on one that best suits your company. Recruiting without planning is setting yourself up for failure. The following points should be considered while deciding on the recruitment strategy.
- The sequence of activities to be followed
- The type of recruitment
- Whether to ‘make’ or ‘buy’ employees ( you can either hire unskilled candidates and train them or hire skilled professionals)
- The geographical area to consider while recruiting candidates
- The recruitment sources to rely on
- Analyse the previous strategies and their loopholes
- Look into technological advancements that make recruitment easier. Example- ATS ( Applicant Tracking System)
SEARCHING FOR EMPLOYEES
Strategizing is followed by advertising about the job opening and attracting qualified candidates to apply. Organizations usually start searching for candidates in advance to prevent chaos at the very last minute but not so much so that they are unable to retain the selected candidates. There are a lot of sources to choose from. The recruitment sources are broadly categorized into two groups.
Internal sources:This involves searching for candidates within the organization. It is beneficial in the sense that the employee is familiar with the culture and objectives of the organization. It is time-saving and reduces the recruitment costs. Some of the internal sources include:
- Current employees through promotion or demotion, depending on their performance. Such a system boosts employee morale and productivity when there is scope for promotion.
- Former employees
- Retired employees when there is an urgent need on a time-dependent project.
- Employee referrals
- Previous applicants
External sources:This involves hiring employees from outside the organization. There are a variety of sources to choose from and it is a faster process. Here, the candidates are exempt from favouritism which employees usually go through when internally recruited. External sources include the following:
- Social media platforms
- Job portals
- Placement agencies
- Job fairs
- Campus placements
- Company’s career site
SCREENING THE CANDIDATES
When you have a bunch of applicants, you can’t expect to interview every single one of them. That’s where the process of screening comes in. You need to sort through the resumes and cover letters effectively and efficiently. According to a survey of recruiters, 52% feel that the most challenging part of recruitment is selecting the right candidates from a large pool of applicants. Don’t be disheartened! It may seem like a lot of work to go through all the resumes and make sure that that you are selecting the right candidates, but it is the job of the applicant to make sure that their resume stands out! Screen the applications based on the minimum qualifications, skills/certifications and experience relevant to the job role. Trust me when I say that you’ll be able to pick out the good resumes in a jiffy once you’ve gone through enough of them.
The shortlisted candidates proceed to the interview stage. There may be multiple interviews depending on the size and needs of the hiring team.
Telephonic or video interviews
Some companies conduct telephonic or video interviews to screen the candidates. It is a great opportunity for the candidate and the hiring team to interact and impress each other. After all, first impressions are the most lasting. It gives the interviewer a chance to ascertain if the skills mentioned in the resume are true and if it is satisfactory for the job role. It helps the interviewer to eliminate irrelevant profiles and further narrow down the selected pool of candidates.
Personal interviews last longer and are stress-inducing for the candidates. The success of the interview depends on how prepared you are. There are different ways to conduct an interview and it depends on the designation and the employers. It is advised that the interviewer/ interviewers familiarize themselves with the candidate’s resume and note down the points on which they would require clarification. This gives a sense of direction and purpose to the interview. Sometimes, a psychometric test is conducted to determine if the candidate is the right fit for the job and the company. This is the final step in the recruitment and selection process and is usually conducted by the top management. The candidates should be selected based on their knowledge and expertise in the relevant field and the process should be free from any kind of bias. The interview can be tailored to meet the specifications of the job. For example, if the job is a stressful one, a separate stress round can be conducted to test the candidate’s suitability.
OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT AND EVALUATION
Once the candidate is selected, the next step is to verify the professional references and make sure that all the employment details are in order. If everything pans out, the candidate should be intimated and the offer letter sent through email or post. The offer letter should contain all the details like the start date, compensation, working conditions, working hours, etc. This does not mean that acceptance is guaranteed but in most cases it is, considering the fact that the candidate has shown interest by going through with the entire process. Once the candidate has accepted the employment offer, it is the Human Resources personnel’s duty to help the candidate make a smooth transition into the company and to retain him/her. You need to keep in touch with the candidate through emails or calls until the day they start working in your organization. It is the HR’s role to deal with all the paperwork and to make the new employee feels welcome in the company.
Considering the amount of time and resources spent in the recruitment process, it only makes sense that you evaluate it at the end of the day. Try as we might to come up with a foolproof plan, it is not humanly possible. There are bound to be errors that were overlooked. Evaluation helps us identify those errors or find alternate ways and optimize the process. Advancement in technology is making it easier to handle this process. Recruitment is an intricate process and you need to spend some time to master it!
Human Resources professionals need not pull out their hair every time they are required to recruit a new employee to the organization. Sure, it is a lengthy process but you can breeze through it if you have a good strategy and use the necessary tools. The world is your oyster. Happy hunting! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below!