3 Key Recruitment Lessons from the Front Line

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about recruitment done right, in terms of treating all applicants with dignity and respect. It costs little but is priceless externally in terms of building brand and trust, and internally to build and display the right culture.

There are a couple of other critical lessons that are sometimes missed yet are essential when it comes to recruiting.

1.  Employ the right person, not the best.

  • Working with a recent client, we ran recruitment ads, completed phone interviews, then a series of face to face interviews. When we got to the end of the process with the last two candidates, there were plenty of reasons for hiring one, the other or both. The outcome was that the management team got together to thrash out the pros and cons. The result was a mutual agreement to hire neither.
  • We tweaked the ad, then ran the process again with a renewed clarity of what we were all looking for. The result was three excellent candidates; we employed a sales manager and two sales consultants. A month later, the team is singing. Boom – we got the right result.
  • Lesson # 1: Compromise at your peril

2.  Hire slowly, fire quickly.

  • A different organisation had employed someone in their administration and despite having a thorough recruitment and onboarding process, started to have some concerns early in the probationary period.
  • A number of conversations to try to improve the situation proved futile, so they took action and terminated the individual after only 3 weeks. I know of plenty of other organisations who would have persevered and hoped for the best. The reality is that ignoring the tell-tale signs can prove extremely costly.
  • Lesson # 2: Good leaders call it early.

3. Hire for attitude not for skills.

  • Another project saw a client looking for two people in a similar position. We received over 300 applications, phone interviewed 10, interviewed 5 face to face and put 3 high quality candidates forward to senior management.
  • The result was that they took all 3 candidates even though originally there were only two roles. With current government subsidies and a good pipeline they knew the risk was worth it.
  • Lesson # 3: Back yourself and your team.

The cost of failure in recruiting is huge, we’ve all felt it but it can be confronting to cost it out.

On the other side, when good people follow smart process, they can deliver the right people to your business; this becomes like a multiplier effect on your entire organisation including your bottom line.

Reach out if you are keen to chat about your sales recruitment.

Charlie Pidcock

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