Friday, October 15th, 2010
LAST issue we considered why people leave jobs. This time round we assume that you do indeed have a vacancy (or an apparent vacancy) and are at the beginning of the recruitment process.
The first thing to do is to ask: Why are we recruiting?
It may be that someone is leaving, it may be that the business is growing, it may be that head office has restructured and you have to meet new staffing arrangements, it could be that increased regulatory pressures mean you need
another person or persons.
In any event you should ask yourself what has changed since the last time you recruited. If someone is leaving, ask yourself if anything had gone wrong with the role. That might lead you on to asking yourself what’s right with the role and what’s wrong with it. In particular, think about how things have changed in the business and in the market generally since the last person was appointed.
It can be very useful to get the continuing team involved at this stage. Ask them if they think a new colleague should do what the leaver has been doing or whether there are other needs. This both gives you valuable information and
it helps ensure the team buys into any staff developments that occur as a result of the recruitment you’re planning.
If you have already carried out an exit interview, which we mentioned last time – where someone (not always the direct manager, maybe someone from HR or from another department) asks the leaver why he or she is going, whether they thought anything was inherently wrong with the job, whether they thought managers could have done things better – then you should have some of this type of information already.
Put the two together and you may find weaknesses you have to address or, for that matter, particular strengths that you hadn’t realised but which you would then be able to build upon.
Either way, it is important to address the issues. Split them into things you have clear control of, or influence over, and those things which are a result of outside influences over which you have no control.
Explain that the outside influenced stuff is difficult but that you are at least aware of theconcerns.
But if, for example, it comes out that the chef’s a bully you can and indeed must address that. Armed with the information from your general analysis you can get down to the active recruitment process.
First of all you have to decide whether there is a need to recruit at all. As we’ve already noted, things may have changed a great deal since the last person was appointed. And the information from exit interviews and staff consultation may tell you that the leaver’s duties could be reassigned to continuing employees.
But if we assume that you are indeed going to recruit the first thing to do is to decide whether it’s Like for Like or Time
If the leaver has been doing critical, relatively unchanging work that you simply cannot do without, it may be a case of looking for someone you can slot in to the position to do exactly the same thing – Like for Like, in other words.
But that will only be true in a proportion of cases. In many other situations you may well identify that it’s Time for Change – either a change in the type of job, or a change in the type of person, or a bit of both.
In which case you should draw up two things – a job brief and a person profile.
The job brief is the more straightforward of the two, it should list key tasks, duties, responsibilities, how the job fits in your structure, how the person will be measured in the job, the salary and other conditions etc. The person profile in a sense paints a picture of the ideal candidate. Here you should list all the things that would be good in a person who got the job. Those would include experience, skills, aptitude, attitude and perhaps circumstances (the post may include a real requirement for flexibility in working hours, for example).
While the job brief is effectively a functional list with few, if any, areas of grey, the person profile is different.
We don’t live in an ideal world and when you do come to interview people you may well find that no candidate ticks all the boxes but instead that one will resemble your dream candidate in some ways while another meets your criteria in different ways. So it’s important that you should list your wants under two headings Essentials and Desirables.
The words more or less speak for themselves. Essentials are nonnegotiable must-haves. Desirables are things that will help but aren’t deal breakers.
For example for a senior manager or an important part of the kitchen team in a five star establishment you may absolutely require a certain period of experience as an essential.
On the other hand you might view five-star experience as desirable but not essential. When you are drawing up the briefs it can be useful to take advice from your peers or from professionals or experts. That could include managers in other departments in a big company or it could mean talking to fellow business people in your local trade group if you are an owner operator.
You may be dealing with a recruitment agency or indeed with the Job Centre. It can be very useful to talk to them early, to find out what they have learned in the past about similar posts.