Recruitment, one of the principle functions of HR, has become such a sophisticated and involved process that it is now handled mostly by specialist people who know the questions to ask and the qualifications that matter to the role. Whole businesses have proliferated, worth millions, which do nothing more than offer specialist recruitment services. The reason it is such a weighty topic is obvious – having the right people work for you will make the difference between success and failure.
There have been numerous articles written on recruiting in HR publications across Europe, and even more on the internet. Besides from some notable exceptions, few have impressed me. An overreliance on buzzwords and corporate phrasing (“Reach out and pick a dynamic candidate who’s core competency gives them an attitude of thinking outside the box, enabling them to synergise rapidly with your business ecosystem!”) might be good for grabbing the reader’s attention, but such articles do nothing to advance the readers actual knowledge of the topic. One of the problems is that a lot of these articles are simply stealthy advertisements with email addresses or clickbacks to recruitment agencies, so exist to sell the process as opposed to inform about it.
As someone has done a fair bit of recruiting, let me try to inform, or at least illustrate the enormous amount of variables involved that make recruitment such a massive task.
Photo: Negative Space
There is perhaps no other decision faced by Human Resources professionals, that comes with such great responsibility, and yet so much uncertainty at the same time, than hiring a new person. There are endless resources with good advice on how to manage the entire process from advertising to appointing the candidates, and recruitment over the years has become its own industry, from agencies to thought-leaders, apps and software, to certification and training organisations.
And even though the industry is booming, particularly in the current labour market context, the majority of tools and methods we apply to attract and hire employees have proven to be not efficient in predicting future work performance, employee engagement and organisational success. As so much depends on finding and holding on to the right people, I venture it is time to spend some time on reflecting about our recruitment habits and re-consider some of the tools and approaches we deploy.
Modern technology has made travel easier than it ever has been. I can buy an airline ticket today and be in Australia by tomorrow. When I was interviewed for a job in Germany I boarded an aeroplane in my native Britain, flew to Berlin, spent several hours with the team I would be working with, and then flew back home again, all in a single day. Before I made this trip I had several initial interviews remotely via Skype. When I was offered employment I gave serious consideration to working here, staying here during the the week, and then flying back to the UK for the weekend, such is the ease of travel that being able to cross several hundred miles and a few countries every week is simple and easy.
Photo: spring Messe Management GmbH
With the warmer weather the conference season is also upon us. If you are like us, you are also looking forward to the events of the HRM conference calendar of 2018. Where is the most useful place to learn about the latest HR industry trends, get inspired by opinion leaders and network with like-minded professionals? The Zukunft Personal events, of course! On this blog we talk a lot about Zukunft Personal Europe, the international flagship conference and expo of the Messe Management events, but did you know that the organiser team pulls together several other top HR gatherings as well?
Employer review sites have made an incredible progress from a platform catering to disillusioned employees and turned-away jobseekers, where they could vent their frustration and disappointment. The last years have seen these sites, and their member base growing in confidence and maturing into a reliable source of labour market insight for both job hunters and HR managers, even supply chains and researchers.
Samuel Thomas Johnson was a young boy when he wrote a letter to the CEO of LEGO telling them that working at the company was his dream job, and what does he need to do to be hired by them. He received an encouraging answer with a list of qualifications a design engineer may need to be hired by LEGO. 15 years later as a young graduate he pursued the company and landed his dream job, working on projects like Ninjago and the smash hit the LEGO movie.
Illustration: Studio Fee Overbeeke
When you ask CEO’s and CHRO’s what their key priorities are for the coming year, talent management always is one of the issues high on the list. Talent management is an easy and safe choice. Nobody will argue that talent management is not important. Supervisory Boards love to talk about succession and talent management. Talent management is generally seen as something long-term. When you hear terms as “strategic”, “long-term”, “future” and “investment”, you must be careful. For talent management this means: it is important, but not urgent. For the CEO, it means: I have ticked the box, but now HR can deal with it. Of course, I will visit the final session of the senior management program, of course, I will personally mentor one or two high potentials, but please, do not bother me too much about talent management, I have more urgent matters on my plate. A big challenge for organisations is to make talent management urgent, and to make it a priority of today, not of the future.
I would like to start this post by asking you to take a moment to think about a number of experiences you had recently, along the next paragraphs:
Think back for a moment: when was the last time you experienced great customer service? Did you buy something online, or went to an actual shop? Did you receive all the information you needed, on time, to make the right decision? Were you able even online to ask questions and be directed to the product that is right for you?
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Start-ups are no longer considered just hip, they also serve as a model for many established companies. Particularly when it comes to the innovative capability and speed of the founders, there are many established enterpreneurs who would like to take a leaf out of their book. But how can employers pick up the innovations of new entrepreneurs or anchor their thinking in their own cultures and in the minds of their staff? We spoke to Max von der Ahé, founder of the coworking space, betahaus who has been working around the world for many years at the interface between established businesses on the one hand and start-ups and freelancers on the other. >>MORE>>
Interview series with candidate experience pioneer Gerry Crispin (part 3 – future of the candidate experience)
This week our little journey through time, talking about the past and present of candidate experience, ends with future prospects on the topic. In the final interview Wolfgang Brickwedde (ICR), co-organizer of the theme day “candidate experience” at the HRM Expo | Zukunft Personal, is asking Gerry Crispin, one of the “founding fathers” of Candidate Experience Awards (CEA) whether candidates can expect a land of milk and honey due to professional candidate experience.
HR practitioner, blogger, author and general networker Gerry Crispin is convinced there will be no paradise for candidates. “This is one of those things where the future is already here. It is just not evenly distributed and only a small number of companies are so focused on the candidate experience that it is an integrated part of their recruiting process”, Crispin explains. Those organisations should gain acknowledgement for their effort by sharing their stories. The main challenge is to get more companies to start thinking about the benefits of improving their recruitment process and to find a way that will work for them. >>MORE>>