BY PERMINUS WAINAINA
In mid-February this year, I received an email from one company director requesting us to recruit for them. His staff did not return to work, and others are currently serving their notice, while the most recent ones he hired the month before are poor performers.
Such unfortunate events are common, which is a pity because most companies do not understand how recruitment works. I realized that the most significant gap was in their recruitment process – it resulted in a waste of time replacing employees and getting bad hires who cost the team morale and productivity, ultimately costing the company money.
Hiring and retention of employees take work. And the stakes are (generally) high for everyone involved so much that getting it right is crucial. Here are some of the mistakes companies’ make, including this client, and how to fix them;
- You don’t have your house in order
I saw two job adverts from different organizations with the same descriptions. This is unfortunate as companies need to tailor their job descriptions to the role and organizational culture instead of copying from the internet. Getting it right at the beginning is crucial as it impacts the rest of the recruitment process.
There is more to be gained by being clear on the; why are you hiring for the position? Do you know the skills required, qualifications, and years of experience needed for the role? Have you defined the daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities, salary, and other benefits?
Once you sort out all that, you can develop the job description and the key performance indicators to ensure you get quality applications for a position.
- Hiring family and friends
I often advise my clients against this because they may need to be more qualified, they may expect extra freedom, you might find it hard to fire them, or there will be little innovation regarding ideas. This is not to say that that happens all the time, but the probability is always high.
To avoid being caught up in such dilemma, consider having clear structures. An HR policy, or hiring them temporarily to gain experience and eventually recommending them to some of your friends or networks would the best thing to do. The other alternative is promoting internally or using a recruiting firm to ensure a fair recruitment process.
- Focusing on qualifications and experience rather than skills
Have you ever met a candidate with the qualifications and experience you are looking for, who does well during the interview but, when hired, it dawns on you that they are non-performers? When you fail to test their skills, this can happen.
Ask questions that will give you a picture of candidates’soft skills and be ready to assess their hard skills, even if it means giving them case studies. Conduct a psychometric test to ensure you get the right fit.
- Not paying salaries according to the market rate
At a networking event, I met Nick, a sales manager at a manufacturing company. He talked much about how he kept losing salespeople. He admitted that he paid the team on a commission basis, where one gets a certain percentage from what he/she brings to the company. His competitors, though, pay employees a retainer, plus commissions.
He should have realized that paying employees lower than the market rate would mean that employees would always be looking for other opportunities. The other mistake is when job titles and job descriptions don’t match. You could hire a sales executive who may have the duties of a sales manager and vice versa without the proper compensation.
Paying attention to the employee’s responsibilities, job title, and market research to compare how you are doing is crucial to getting the right talent.
- Rushing the process or taking too long
I know a company that reached out to a candidate six months after the interview. After confirming the unavailability of qualified candidates, they realized they needed to fill the position quickly. When they did, they found out that the candidate lied on their CV because they failed to do reference checks. Rushing the recruitment process has its dangers. You can miss on the strengths and weaknesses of the employee, while taking too long can lead to good candidates losing interest. Instead, get your house in order, set a reasonable timeline to secure the best talent, and go through the process without rushing or taking too much time.
The goal is to get the right person for the job and your company; I hope these tips come in handy.