According to the Business Dictionary, “Recruitment is the process of finding and hiring the best qualified candidates (from within or outside of an organization) for a job opening, in a timely and cost effective manner. “ The cost of a poor recruitment is immeasurable: fees, salary, time, business loss, time to refill, motivation effect on remaining team….. It costs between 50 to 175% of the position’s annual salary for staff replacements according to the Corporate Advisory Board of Washington D.C. , and if the business is a small or a start-up, hiring the wrong person may bring down the entire company. So how to ensure a successful recruitment?
Recruitment has come a long way in the last 40 years. We have moved from running adverts to source candidates in specific newspapers and industry specific magazines/reviews, to sourcing via social media, specialized job boards, and globally. One thing that has remained the same is the need to source and select the right candidate for each job.
Methods for improving interview evaluations have evolved too. Once the first evaluation is made based on the CV and application: education, language, career path, the next step is to interview. However, we now have multiple forms of doing this: pre-selection video interviews, skype or webex interviews, and of course the old fashioned but eminently most successful method of the face to face interview! Interviewing techniques have also become more thorough. It is not sufficient to simply check out the career history and evaluate if there have been some outstanding moments or iffy ones…. In order to obtain a really in-depth evaluation, we should ideally apply the CBI or Competency Based Interviewing technique. Which means identifying which competencies a position requires and then asking the candidate for specific examples of when he/she achieved this during his/her career. This technique already greatly improves the value of the outputs of each interview, thereby significantly reducing the risk of a poor and costly recruitment.
Added to this we can apply psychometric testing and there are multiple tools available on the market. However, in my experience the most effective method to really assess the competencies of your future employee is to run a case study.
According to WikiJob “A case study interview is a miniature simulation of typical client engagement, centered on a business problem that a client has likely contended with” . Designing a case study for a specific position, allowing the candidate a set period of time to prepare and then actually seeing how he/she approaches the delivery of the solution found, assessing how he/she got to the solution, and seeing and hearing how the solution is defended during a question and answer period is often quite an eye opener and has definitely seriously helped in the final decision making process for me and my clients. We usually recommend a second, unprepared case study, to assess behavioral or soft skills to be given to the applicant just prior to delivery of the prepared case study.
In many recruitment processes, my list of preferred candidates has significantly changed, following a case study presentation. It is quite different to simply prepare for an interview, or to really address a business issue, find a solution, and present to a panel of assessors.
In this light, it is interesting to note that in a recent survey we conducted amongst our clients 93% select their employees based on face-to-face interviews, 60% use the CBI technique, and 66% apply the case studies method with assessment centers coming in at 37%. This leaves quite a big gap for improvement to reduce the risk of a costly mis-hire! This information is confirmed by the same survey where the same client database state that only 25% feel they are sourcing and recruiting the right people today to industry Best Practice level….. . So is your recruitment process at industry Best Practice level?