The importance of getting recruitment right

by 04 Feb 2008

Some of the biggest and most constant challenges that plague organisations are people related. These challenges are not always obvious, but become more visible the higher you go up the management chain. Organisations usually put a raft of strategies in place to deal with the business symptoms of such people-related problems, and sometimes these wonderfully flawed strategies are created by the people who created the problems in the first place. Such strategies often leave HR out of the equation, and fail to address the cause of the problem – the wrong people in the wrong jobs.

The more I talk to companies about business and their people-related challenges, the more it amazes me that they don’t place more emphasis on getting the recruitment process right. If you get the right person in the right job at the right time, bottom-line and many other business benefits are immediate, tangible and significant. If you get the wrong person in the wrong job, then productivity, culture and retention rates can all take a hit in a big way. As already mentioned, these problems grow exponentially when a company puts the wrong person into a management or executive position.

So why do so many organisations place so little emphasis on getting the recruitment process right? Many companies and their executives often fail to deliver the necessary support and funding to make it happen. And sometimes it’s the recruiters themselves (whether they be in-house or external) who are in the wrong jobs and should be doing something else.

It’s well recognised that good managers and executives need to be intelligent, emotionally healthy, well-grounded and rounded individuals. They need a good depth of understanding and innate ability to read people and know what makes them tick. The same can easily be said of recruiters if they’re to hire the right people for the right jobs.

However, it’s a rare combination to have both executives/managers and recruiters with these qualities. But when these two stars align, an organisation’s talent pipeline can burst at the seams, producing business benefits that will by far eclipse the results produced by any other kind of strategy.