Business Recruitment Fundamentals:
How to Onboard More “A” Players
By Lee Froschheiser
“All Aboard!” — Don’t you
just wish that hiring new employees was that easy? Unfortunately,
it’s such a challenge today that in a recent national survey, over
30 percent of CEOs said up to half of their employees are a poor fit
for the job. What’s more,
putting the wrong person in the wrong position just to fill the
vacancy can have dire consequences to your organization in terms of
poor employee morale, low productivity and lost opportunities. The
impact to your company’s bottom line can be staggering.
The good news is that companies can
drastically improve their workforce quality by adopting a proactive
mindset and consistently using the right hiring procedures. Of
course every company is always looking for good people, but the
employees who are considered “A” players are usually working
elsewhere – and happily — so they’re less likely to be seeking
greener pastures. So if your company’s recruiting strategy isn’t
well developed, you’re basically hiring other companies’ “B” and “C”
players. True, an occasional “A” player will walk through your door,
but you’re more likely to find that elusive diamond through the
establishment of solid, consistent recruitment processes.
A multi-layered, robust, recruiting
process must be rooted in proactive versus reactive recruiting. In
today’s world, many companies have the risky tendency of waiting
until a job opening occurs to initiate an emergency job search —
reactive recruiting at its worst! In a rush to fill the open
position and lacking constant, solid recruiting procedures, the
company is more likely to take a less qualified candidate or, in
some cases, whoever shows up first.
Plan Ahead With Good Job Descriptions:
Avoid such dire measures by
establishing a very structured and systemized selection process well
ahead of when your company actually needs it. This begins with
writing a job description before the actual recruiting
process. A good job description includes: the job’s purpose, a
detailed breakdown of responsibilities, to whom the new person will
report, ways to measure the person’s effectiveness, the job’s vital
factors, how the person will spend their time, their authority
within the company, and the required competencies, background and
experience. The job description also drives your interviewing
process and questions, as well as the employee’s training plan.
What’s more, writing a job description before recruiting forces you
to think through the position, the competencies of the person you
need and becomes the blueprint for the success of the job and that
Determine the Interview Game Plan:
Once you’ve attracted the top candidates, you need
an interview game plan. Considering what’s required and wanted in
the new hire, what are you truly looking for in an ideal employee,
and how do these attributes relate to what’s needed for the
position? Also, if given the opportunity, what competencies would
your internal or external customers look for from your employee to
serve their needs? Whatever these competencies are, the candidate
you choose must have them.
Your interview game plan must also
include a robust selection process. This enables you to evaluate the
potential hire in different ways. For example, you may need to
conduct several interviews, and will want to do background check(s)
at the very least.
Focus on Professional Development:
After successfully hiring an employee, the next
step in the recruitment process is to develop this person via
ongoing coaching, training and planning that will enable his or her
professional growth. Unfortunately, most companies have no
structured on-boarding plan for new personnel. By solely focusing on
bringing someone “aboard the bus,” they forget to follow through
with important ongoing training and development. If this is
happening at your company, you’re significantly reducing your
retention odds. And if that new recruit is one of those rare “A”
players, the loss is even greater.
The first 90 days of employment are
critical to the long-term success of the new employee. Therefore you
should develop and implement a 90-day training plan to secure the
employee’s place within the organization and facilitate his or her
improvement. You can vary this training based upon the new
employee’s level of experience with your existing systems. But it’s
important to train this new hire on business practices, how your
company functions and how these fit into the organization, too.
Key to the success of this 90-day
training plan is using a mentoring team consisting of a peer,
manager and support person. The mentoring team should meet at least
monthly to give feedback to the new hire, ensure he or she has
someone they can go to with questions, and enable their success at
adhering to the 90-day training plan.
Establish Expectations Now:
Also during this time, it’s critical to set clear, result-oriented
goals. Why? Because setting these requirements will communicate
company expectations and accountability for results, ensure that the
new employee understands the company’s priorities, and, most
importantly, measure whether he or she is the right person for the
job. Once the employee successfully completes the first 90 days,
you’ll need a six-months-to-one-year, personal-development plan to
facilitate his or her advancement and growth. Focus on consistent
improvement and job-performance strengthening.
Incorporate the Current Business Plan:
Finally, do you have a well-developed, current
business plan? From day one, such a plan helps new employees
understand the company’s direction and the role they play in it.
Based upon the business plan, your recent hire should also grasp the
company’s vital factors — the unique set of critical elements that
can either hold a company back or propel it to success. Each
employee should be assigned personal vital factors that support the
company vital factors — an exercise that creates that crucial
strategic alignment within your organization.
Following these fundamental strategies is
a sure way to onboard those “A” players and, more importantly, keep
them aboard the company bus. With the right team in place, you’ll
find it’s easier to retain those good workers, maintain strong
company morale and meet your business’ goals.
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