Typically, bad recruiting comes down to no real recruiting process, which can be as easy as answering these four questions:
- Do we even need to recruit? – it’s easy to get caught up in “recruiting fever” when your company is growing or give in to complaints from current staff members who claim they need “just one more person.” Recruiting without doing a gap analysis of your current team and the functions they perform may cause you to recruit to your strengths instead of filling gaps. For example, without a gap analysis on your sales team you may recruit for a farmer when you really need a hunter
- Who are we looking for exactly? – this is more than “must have X years of experience” and “technical skills an asset.” What specific skills, experiences, attitudes, results, cognitive abilities and habits must an applicant bring to even get to an interview? A good rule of thumb is an applicant should have at least 80% of the items on your list, including the ones you decide are “must haves” (e.g. experience selling to C-level executives at Fortune 500 companies), to be considered for an interview.
- Who will be a “winner” in this role? – in sales this isn’t “a clone of my top producer.” Specifically, what attitudes, behaviors and techniques would an applicant bring with them that would indicate they will be successful in the role you identified in question 2? For example, “sets goals,” “comfortable with rejection,” or “active listener,” are all winner attributes of a successful salesperson.
- Will this person perform? – a big pain companies have in recruiting is hiring good interviewers who turn out to be mediocre employees. One of the best ways to alleviate this pain is to benchmark an applicant before spending time with them in an interview. Two of the more effective benchmarking tools are Extended DISC and the Devine Inventory.
These four steps aren’t a cure all for recruiting woes; however, by implementing a recruiting system that feeds qualified candidates into your interview process–that’s another post–you will significantly reduce the amount of time, effort and money wasted on bad hires.
Hamish Knox is a Sandler Trainer in Calgary, Alberta.