Effective Recruitment

Finding the Best People For Your Team 

Recruiting the best people for your team.

© iStockphoto/peepo

In theory, recruitment should be simple, and many managers perform the same routine: they write a job description, put an ad in the newspaper or online, wait for the résumés to arrive, and then hire the person they like the best.

It all sounds so simple. But there's usually more to the process just "picking the best." How will you know if a candidate is likely to get on with the rest of the team, or with your organization's culture? What if a candidate doesn't accurately describe their skills, and so, in reality, is incapable of doing the job? And how can you make sure that the best people apply for a position?

Recruitment mistakes waste time, money, and organizational resources, and they can really hold a team back. This is why learning how to recruit effectively is such a smart move for managers. Indeed, recruiting is one of the most important jobs that a manager does, and its one of the main ways in which good managers differentiate themselves from bad ones.

Why Effective Recruitment Matters

There are many reasons why it's worth the extra time and effort to recruit effectively. For example:

  • The right people in the right roles will be more productive – They'll also be less likely to leave the organization. High staff turnover is a serious problem for you, as their manager, as well as for your team and your organization.
  • A poor hiring decision may cause stress and conflict within your team – If your new recruit has personality issues or isn't a "team player," this may lower productivity for everyone.
  • You'll save time and resources – Just think about the last time you or your organization made a hiring mistake. The person hired took time, money, and energy away from the team and the company for months, or even years. Plus, if you make a hiring mistake, you'll have to go through the recruitment process all over again!

So, it pays to put real effort into getting the hiring decision right.

The Open Position

Before you start looking for a new candidate, follow these steps:

  • Speak with your human resources department – If your organization already has a recruitment procedure, make sure you follow it. Your human resources department can also provide advice and support during the recruitment process.
  • Examine the type of role   you want to fill – For instance, do you need a full-time team member, or would a part-time person be better? Is the role suited for contract   or freelance   work? (Freelancers are often easier to manage than permanent staff.)
  • Create a complete job description   – It's important to be as detailed as possible when writing this. An accurate job description will help you find the right candidate, and will communicate your expectations for the new role. (If you already have a job description for the role, this may be a good time to review it and update it.)
  • Determine performance criteria – For an existing position, look at existing criteria, and any past advertisements your organization has used. If it's a new position, you'll likely have to create everything yourself. If you're the manager who will oversee the new recruit, what will be the person's responsibilities be, and what results would you like to see in the first month, first six months, and first year?
  • Talk to the person currently in the position, if possible, or, if it's a new position, then talk to team members who are doing similar work. Make sure that the job description is accurate, and that performance criteria actually reflect the reality of the role.
  • Gather information about your corporate mission and culture – Why is this important? Suppose your corporate culture is very rigid and strict. Recruits who come from organizations that are more relaxed or creative might not be happy with such a big change. So you'll need to address issues like these during the recruitment process.

Remember, the more information you and the candidates have access to, the likelier you are to find the right person for the job. So make sure that all relevant information is available.

Recruitment Methods

There are now more options than ever for recruiting new staff. For instance:

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