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  • Writer's pictureKyla Hanks

Looking for an Employee?


Recruitment, noun, the action of finding new people to join an organization or support a cause. Shouldn’t the “or” be “and”? It should be very clear in the recruiting process what your organization does and why. This tends to get separated when your HR recruiting team isn’t connected and attuned with the rest of the business functions. Let’s take a deeper look at the first of the 7 categories I previously outlined that encompass the functions of Human Resources.



The typical flow, for good reason, put simply is a need for an employee arises, a job posting is created, applications are reviewed, interviews take place, and ideally the dream employee is offered the position. They accept! Are you ready for the questions?

  • Is there a formal employee request process known to all managers?

  • Is the job posting compliant? Does the job posting support your culture? Is it an efficient tool to gather the best candidates?

  • Who is reviewing applications? Do they know the position? Are they aligned with how the position plays into the organization’s goals?

  • How many interviews? Who is involved in the interviews? Have they been trained on legal guidelines as well as best practices?

  • Who makes the offer? What’s in the offer package? How is the offer package presented?

I limited myself on the number of questions as I merely wanted to allude to a glimpse of the factors that tie into this one piece of the HR puzzle. And it’s important. This is the external perception of what a job with your organization could look like.


Need & Request


So what determines the “need” for an employee? Several factors. An employee has left (either on their own accord or because it was not working out) leaving a hole in the organization’s workflow. Alternatively, business is doing good, and your organization needs a new position to help with the additional workload that comes with growth.


How do your managers request a position? Just hope to ask the right person? Does the right person ask the right questions? With each approval of starting the process to find a new employee there are some basic considerations that should take place.


Once you’ve been able to nail down the considerations specific to you, I always recommend communicating that to the managers. Give them the opportunity to think through how a new employee would fit into the big objectives. Allow them the opportunity to take responsibility for their ability to manage the duties they oversee. You can communicate this is in a number of ways. It could be as simple as a one-page document of ‘what to expect’ all the way to a formal requisition form.


Ideally Finance has been involved to evaluate the salary range as it plays into the financials and budget. Operations can also provide some valuable feedback as to justifying the need. Alternatively, they may also be aware of some redundancies invalidating the need. I’ll keep saying it, but it is far easier to never start the process than to realize a lack of need once you have onboarded a new employee.


If you do choose to go the more informal route, I would still recommend having the information submitted via email for the sake of having a record of the need and approval in case it ever needs to be referenced later on. (ie. audits or questions in the history of a position.)


Record = Document = HR Strength

Job Posting & Blasting


HR has a lot more in common with marketing and sales than most expect, especially in the area of recruiting. Similarly, you are leveraging the branding and communication to “sell” the awesome candidates on your organization. You are also representing the organization externally so clients’ and potential clients’ perception is important. The money exchange is in reverse; although with the right new employee you should see the value on your bottom line.


You have the need. You have a general idea of details. Now you need to be able to communicate several things succinctly. Easy application to the 4 Ps of marketing. Product, Price, Placement and Promotion. Allow me to elaborate.

  • Product. Not only is it income, it is also an experience and in most cases a large portion of their time. (A regular full-time job, 40 hours per week, is 2,080 hours each year. That’s almost 24% of your time, keeping in mind another 24% should be spent sleeping.) You need to be sure that you are clearly communicating all aspects of the position, team, and organization. I recommend working with your communications team to prepare a brief, consistent company description that aligns with their external messaging.

  • Price. This is a hot topic in HR law these days. Let’s put aside your philosophy or obligations to pay transparency and let’s look at pay perception. When that ideal candidate sees this position, are they going to perceive it as worth their time? Your postings should look professional. They should set the expectations of work so the qualified candidate would clearly understand that it would fall into their “pay grade”.

  • Placement. This more obvious of the Ps to consider but not necessarily easy. There are so many options when it comes to posting your position externally. In fact, you even have several options in posting your position internally. This needs to be thought through from the exposure perspective as well as the administration perspective. You could post to ALL the sites, but then someone needs to go through all the applications on ALL the sites.

  • Promotion. Here is the important piece, attracting your target audience (aka ideal candidate). The right promotion should find and draw the attention of the candidates you are dreaming about. This is a great time to work directly with your marketing department. The promotion of the posting should support the company branding while showcasing what’s different and so great about your organization.

Once it’s posted. Now you wait. But don’t wait too long. There is a small window of interest and patience especially in the job market of those rockstar employees passively seeking other options.


Application Review


As previously mentioned, someone needs to sort through all of those applications. There’s a fine line in a healthy candidate pool and being overwhelmed. (Alternatively, if you do not have a healthy candidate pool, I’d suggest reevaluating what you’ve done so far.) This is an area that disconnect tends to be the most obvious between departments.


Does the person reviewing the application have a solid understanding of what the hiring manager is looking for? If they are too lax with their screening, that equates to a bombardment of applications for the hiring manager to review. On the contrary, if they are too strict, you may be missing out on rockstar candidates due to an irrelevant technicality; not to mention adding risk to your recruiting practices.


Your recruiting team needs to understand the key attributes for the role you are looking to fill. They need to know the team dynamics. They need to have an understanding of the expectations of the position. This again ties back to healthy communication and an awareness of knowing what we do not know. Have you noticed HR is good at asking questions?


Interviews


Interviewing is a skill. Some people come by it naturally, but all people get better with time and experience. An avoidable mistake is to assume that managers will organically come to the information needed for a successful interview. Interviews are made up of compliance, communication, and discernment. You want to ensure that your company is being represented well. You want to ensure that the candidate is given a fair chance to showcase their abilities. You want to ensure the choice to hire or reject a candidate is a good choice.


I have seen the full spectrum of overthinking to underthinking. The overthinkers need help finding the confidence in their decision. Guidance in questions or bringing additional team members in to support their “leaning” can be helpful in this situation; although occasionally they just need the push and fear of losing the candidate to move forward. Underthinking is the lazy approach. The mindset of “if it doesn’t work out, we will let them go;” now is that really the culture you are looking to cultivate? Ideally all of your interviewers fall right in the healthy middle.


HR can play many roles in this area. HR is a great place to prescreen employees; gathering the highlights and going through the qualifications to streamline the process for the hiring manager. When HR does prescreen, this also gives the interviewers a second opinion to discuss candidates with later. This second opinion could add confidence or question red flags. Involved in the prescreen or not, HR also acts as a coach; offering best practices to assist in a well-rounded conversation with the candidate as well as education as employment law relates to the interview process.


Job Offer


Now if only they say yes. The job offer is important. You want the candidate to say yes, you also want to set them up for a long, fulfilling career with your company once they come onboard. You gathered the information important to them during the interview, right? Was that information translated to the person offering the position?


Despite how the offer is made, be sure it represents what your company stands for in regard to taking care of their employees. The offer should be completely in line with the job posting and the interview conversations. Try to proactively address any questions they might have. I have found when people are left to their own assumptions, those assumptions are typically worse than reality.


Time is also of the essence. I know you are busy. There is always a lot going on, but people are not that patient, especially if you have done a good job selling them on the role. Move fast (yet not sloppy). Have a personable conversation with quick follow-up from any take aways? Again, HR being connected and well versed with the department and organization will aid in answering questions as not to delay the process. Good luck!


So What Does All This Mean?


To sum it up, strategy is key here! There are too many moving pieces for it not to be. It also has far too big of an impact on the organization when done well. I would love to have comments below about Recruitment gone wrong or any areas mentioned you’d like more opinions on.


Next up: Onboarding. The act of bringing on a new employee.

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