Recruitment: an Employers’ Perspective (Part Two)

Are you looking to change your HR department processes or recruitment practices? This is how your your whole company is managed, the policies & methodology used should be up-to-date; nowadays in the modern working world, continuing to use outdated policies & procedures is no longer an option anymore. One constant thing in business is change, it is happening continually.

If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
-Automotive tycoon Henry Ford from Ford Motors.

How satisfied are you with your company’s current processes?

How has your employee turnover been for this year, above average? Read on to find out how to reduce this figure & ensure any outdated procedures are redesigned to ensure personnel-satisfaction is the best it can be.

Ask some staff members that recently joined your company; during the recruitment process was there room for improvement?

The recruitment process is a two way one; is not just about companies filling the necessary positions with suitable employees; it should also be for candidates to decide whether the company is also where they see themselves working.

Consider this: both successful & unsuccessful applicants experience at each stage of the hiring process will impact on their view & consequently the reputation of your company. This could be not only from the outlook of a potential employee, but as a potential future client as well.

Assess the level of communication with the potential candidate:

• Does your HR department use a standard response template?
• Who is responsible for contacting applicants, is this job delegated mainly to one staff member of more?
• How quickly are applications reviewed & replied to- is the time-frame satisfactory?

Other crucial aspects to contemplate:

Above all else, fairness & equality need to be maintained throughout the entire hiring process. Not only for compliance with the relevant employment legislation, but for ethics as well! How does your company’s processes compare alongside these standards? Someone within your company will need to be educated in the area of qualification structures regarding different jurisdictions to ensure you acquire the best fit for your vacancies.

The interview

So after you have found some suitable potential candidates, the next stage is the Interview!
What preparation do you normally complete prior to the interview? You & everyone involved in the interview need to be fully organised before the interviewee arrives in the building.

As Benjamin Franklin once said
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

Stage 1: Interview preparation

Save time & resources by only inviting genuine suitable candidates to attend interviews.
You should identify your company’s values, what are you wanting to promote?

– Flexibility.
– Conflict resolution ability.
– Cross cultural mindfulness.
– Good communication.
– Highly motivated & driven.

What questions are you going to ask the applicant?

Your questions should be personalised to take the following points into consideration:

Use of open questions is important; remember you want to gather as much information about this candidate as possible. Using what/where/how/when style of open questioning, with more probing questions to follow can be very effective. Most applicants will be nervous, so your first question should try to make them feel comfortable, ease them into it!

See below some examples of generic questions that can gage a lot about your candidate based on their responses:

• What area are you currently working on to improve?
• Why do you want to change from your previous place of work?
• Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
• What experience do you have with problem resolution? Sustain your answer using an example.
• What do you consider your greatest achievement in your professional career?

Remember you have one chance to make the right first impression for the applicant as well, portraying a professional & amicable image is just as important as finding out about the applicant.

Stage 2: During the interview

Focus the interviews on collecting as much information as possible, not the decision making at this stage.

Some interview points of interest from different continents:

The UK has a very structured interview process, and panel interviews are not so commonplace.
In the US, almost all employers follow a very structured recruitment procedure; all applicants are asked exactly the same questions to keep variables to a minimum.

Within Europe it is common for the HR Manager to be one of the interviewers which is less expected in other continents.
Will you be interviewing applicants from different backgrounds and nationalities? This is almost a given in today’s modern job market where working overseas is so easy to do. It also important to consider cultural differences as well:
In UK direct eye contact is seen as confident & displays honesty whereas in South East Asian countries, direct eye contact is considered to be aggressive & rude.

Essential interview points:

1. Look at the interview room layout & what impression you want to give off. A formal approach would be to sit opposite each other, while a more informal approach could be sitting side to side.
2. Ensure there are no interruptions during the interview, inform others in the company when an interview is going to be taking place. Remove all phones and unnecessary distractions.
3. Prepare to answer the candidates’ questions about the company; they should be given the opportunity to ask.
4. Give the applicant the opportunity to respond in their own time.
5. Ensure the candidate cannot see your notes.
6. Adapt your body language to make sure you are portraying a friendly attitude. Be aware of any negative body language you may be displaying e.g. crossing your arms can give the perception of being closed off.

Take note of the following:

• What time did the candidate arrive; did they arrive 5 minutes before interview? This is indicative of good time management.
• Candidate appearance: are they dressed in appropriate business attire?
• Sound communication & language skills: you should be confident, welcoming, open minded & positive.
• Train yourself to be able to understand & note the body language of the applicant e.g. a high pitched voice may indicate high level of nerves.
• At the end of the interview, you should summarise what will happen next & the approximate timeframes expected to proceed to the next stage where possible.

This article is a follow on from Recruitment – an Employers’ Perspective Part One where we demonstrated all the key aspects within the recruitment process to ensure initial success when posting a job advert.

By Pamela Miller