I was reading an interesting message by Seth Godin today that asked why companies will often spend an awful lot of time and money to market their products, yet when it comes to trying to attract the best people for new positions they do the bare minimum.
I’ve had some experience of the recruitment process recently and many things do stand out as obstacles to the process of hiring outstanding people, a few of which I’ll discuss below.
- Hiding the company. I regularly see adverts that contain openings such as “our client, a leading name in xyz industry is looking for….”. Presumably this is done to protect the recruitment agent from people applying direct to the company, which may sound reasonable enough from their point of view. From the point of view of the hiring company however I fail to see how this helps at all. Surely it is in their interests to attract candidates that not only want to work for your company but can also then provide an individual response to how they could benefit your company.
- Failing to sell the story. Storytelling is without doubt one of the best ways to sell a concept to the reader. Each of us grows up with stories yet they so often stop when we reach adulthood. All of which is unfortunate because they still hold an awful lot of power. In a job advert for instance, why not paint the scene of a day in the life of your new role? Explain about the jobs you would be doing, the people you’d be working with, the company culture. What seperates your company out from all the others in your industry? Changing jobs is one of the more stressful things a person can do so sell it to them, make it sound as exciting as possible to be joining your company.
- Not taking the time to do the recruitment yourself. I’m sure the use of recruitment agents has many benefits but I can’t help but think that in a modern service economy, where the workforce is the principal asset that recruitment is one of the main roles. Yet increasingly it seems that agencies are used to fine tune candidates on their clients behalf. It’s akin to a football manager hiring someone outside the club to suggest players for them. I remember Jack Welch used to say that human resources is the most important department in the company, and if recruitment is outsourced to such an extent it begs the question how hands on that company will be once you start working there. Retention is after all just as important as recruitment.
Anyway, a few things that have perked my interest in the past few weeks. Your comments and thoughts are always welcome.