Having spent almost two decades as a HR professional, both as an employee and now being on the other side of the table-as a Head Hunter, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon that an organisation is considered a ‘preferred employer’ depends on how the recruitment and selection process is dealt with by the management. The organised corporate sector has systems in place, people come and go but the processes remain and that’s what makes those organisations what they are. But when it comes to small and medium sized organisations or for that matter family owned businesses, things are different.
As a recruiter, the challenge is to attract the potential candidates and pitch for such organisations. We succeed, manage to source, willing/some not so willing candidates for such companies and then the vicious circle starts…the position which was so very urgent since yesterday seems to take a back seat…how-so-ever trivial it may seem, ultimately it all boils down to the ‘brand value’ in terms of being attractive to potential talent..
Heading a Consulting Firm for the last 9+ years, I have experienced that an open transparent relationship with a vendor who is partnering in an important process of short listing potential talent is mandatory. It would be a symbiotic process of growth for all concerned if the following suggestions are considered by all those who are directly or indirectly involved in Hiring process be it HR Managers, Line mangers or the Management.
5 Etiquettes for Hiring
- Don’t sleep on CVs
If the position is urgent then of course, one might lose sleep but mostly all position which we get are very urgent. Once the CVs are sent, there is no response…not for days but for weeks at times! HR person is not the only one but the Line Manager/Senior Management takes its own time to go through.
Effect: The longer the time lag, the “good” candidates who are open for change find other options and lose interest while the others who anyways are not really much in demand wait for it patiently. There are those who are not actively seeking change but had been “motivated” to explore the opportunity, get back to their comfort zone and results in polite decline when finally the Employers get back to the position.
- Don’t Forget to return calls/messages
Following up with HR Managers is another challenge when the position goes on a long drive. They seem to run out of new reasons to why there is no development happening, so simple way out is not taking calls from the recruiter. E-mails and texts too are ignored on the pre-text that the person concerned has many more important things to deal with than reverting back on mundane process of recruitment.
Effect: As it is said, “culture flows top down”. HR person can convey nothing if he or she doesn’t get any response from the seniors, so the safest thing is to avoid connecting with recruiters like us. Simple corporate etiquette is ignored and the message that goes out is not a positive one. The recruiter, who is on the job to pitch for an organisation, loses out on the conviction as, he or she has been ‘ignored’ in the process!
- Give Some Budgets
Many a times organisations (SME and Family owned) where a formal organisation structure is missing, are always looking for ‘optimum’ resources. Who does not? But it is the lowest in costs and nearing-best quality, which becomes a pain point for recruiting agencies. The mandate starts with whatever is the ongoing market wage rate but unfortunately at the time of selection the comparison starts with what was the lowest!
Effect: Bad mouthing by a good candidate who invested time and effort for attending interview(s) and then was informed in the last round that his expectations exceed the budget (where there was none defined in the beginning!!). And of course – you pay peanuts, you get monkeys…
- Go for the Kill instead of Baiting and Waiting
An interesting characteristic which I have termed as ‘gold fish in a bowl’ syndrome is too often seen in SME owners. Being an entrepreneur myself, I know what is my firm’s hiring and paying capacity but there are such businessmen out there who aspire for the best talent but cannot practically match the cost of such talent. May be they think that their ‘bowl’ is the world everyone aspires for….Really want to question such aspirations, what is it that your organisation is offering which other firms or your competition is not doling out? Is it your brand, is it your organisation culture or is it something so compelling that the best talent should shun the ‘ocean’ and jump in your ‘bowl’.
Effect: For saving few thousands, the process is re-initiated after waiting for an exceptional candidate to join on a compromised package. As in that notice period, the exceptional candidate finds better opportunity.
- Respect the Schedules for Branding Sake
Everyone is busy and running behind schedules. Candidates scheduled for a time slot don’t reach on time – ‘traffic snarls’ take the top slot for excuses in metro cities- such candidates start on a negative note. Any thoughts on what happens when the Employer, who has called for interview, does not appear for the meeting for hours at times?? ‘Manager is busy in an important review’ is a typical answer; also conveying implicitly to the wanna-be employee that he/she is not important. Gallup Study’s first question of the 12 crucial questions is answered there and then, making the rest 11 irrelevant!
Effect: A candidate sitting and waiting out there may be a probable future employee. Even if the person is desperate for the job, the message carried back is definitely not a positive one. The person’s time is not valued and he/she is not important enough….the foundation gets laid with the first impressions either ways!