We all get nervous about job interviews. Even the most confident amongst us may feel slight anxiety about putting ourselves in the limelight, centre-stage, with a potential audience of several people. Our working lives, skills and experience are put under the spotlight and we may need to answer questions where we are unsure of the required answer. It is a stressful process, even if you don’t consider the pressure about making sure you get offered the job.
We tend to forget, though, that it is also a nerve-wracking process for the person who is conducting the interview. We are trying to show off the Company in its best light, to be sure of enticing the right applicant. In all likelihood, we are anxious about making the “wrong” decision and offering the job to someone who then cannot do the job, or is a troublemaker of some kind. Additionally, we know the cost of the whole process, and the additional cost if it all goes wrong.
Why do we leave such an important decision to chance?
Given the importance of getting the right person in to fill a vacancy, we should be making sure that the interview process is the very best it can be. We then have a better chance of making the right choice.
Yet few interviewing managers have undergone any training in how to conduct an interview. We don’t know what type of questions to ask, or how to assess the candidates against each other. Sometimes we are not even very familiar with the role we are trying to fill. So the interview process becomes a lottery and business suffers as a result.
Alternatively, we put the whole process out to a Recruitment Agency or third party. This is fine and can work well, but they need to be properly briefed about the vacancy and the type of candidate who would fit in with our needs and ethos.
A bit of planning can work wonders
Often the problem is that someone has resigned and there is a need to fill their shoes very quickly. So we rush to get an advert out there and try and fit interviews in as quickly as possible. Otherwise the work doesn’t get done, or the team are put under pressure to cover the work of the vacant position as well as their own work.
Resignations always come at a bad time (there is never a good time!). As a result, the recruitment process is always done in a bit of a rush and in addition to the day job. It is always an inconvenience. This is never a good environment in which to make a critical decision which may reverberate in the company for years to come. We may be lucky and recruit the best employee we have ever had. Or we may end up trying to pick up the pieces from the tornado we have unleashed. More often, reality is somewhere between these two extremes.
The obvious way to avoid some of this angst is to have a Recruitment Strategy, which you review regularly to make sure it still works for you. You do financial planning and marketing planning regularly. So why not review your recruitment process?
What does a Recruitment Strategy look like?
There is no set way to plan your recruitment, but there are some things you need to consider when setting your strategy. It is not a good time to do this when you are desperately rushing to fill a vacancy.
Some things you may want to consider in your Recruitment Strategy:
- What are the key roles, which must happen even if the current incumbent leaves or is ill?
- How can those roles be covered in the short-term, while you are recruiting a permanent replacement?
- Have you got up-to-date Job Descriptions for all of your roles? How are they kept updated? Are they realistic, or are you looking for the impossible?
- Do you use a Recruitment Agency? If so, how well do they know you and your business? Do you keep in regular contact with them?
- What sources will you use to find potential candidates? See my recent article about this issue.
- Have you got a template advert, which includes the benefits of working for your organisation?
- Have all of your recruiting managers had training in carrying out interviews?
Once you have a Recruitment Strategy, it is much easier to keep it up to date. You should review it regularly (at least annually, depending on your business). It can become an invaluable tool in helping you to manage those unexpected vacancies so that you can recruit the best and most loyal employees.