Top 5 post-GFC recruitment tactics

by 20 Apr 2010

Most businesses are still using pre-GFC recruitment and assessment models but must adapt to suit the changing job market, according to business psychology experts.

In its new report, Are you ready to grow? 2010 outlook and review of the candidate selection challenges for your business, Human Chemistry argues that previous recruitment models are built for low candidate volumes compared to the roles available, but as more positions arise in 2010, these systems will be overloaded by much higher volumes.

It said that companies who foresee and prepare for the challenge ahead will experience significant cost savings, better staff acquisition and more productive businesses, leaving the competition in a swamp of unsuitable CVs, poor interviews and bad decisions.

For instance, a mid level role typically receiving 30-40 applications will now receive over 200. The second, equally critical issue is that the candidate suitability is highly variable. Now candidates are being forced to look at multiple career avenues, some suitable, others not so.

Christopher Paterson, director at Human Chemistry, said that progressive employers now have an opportunity to re-evaluate their recruitment, screening and assessment processes. The good news is that this can be achieved through thought and planning rather than investment in expensive consulting or technology.

Here are the top tips to manage high candidate volumes accurately and cost effectively:

Turn job descriptions into job profiles

Don’t stop at skills, experience and qualifications. Profile what differentiates successful people in the role. A valid profile will help you recruit more accurately and hire more successful staff. Build this benchmark into screening, interview, assessment and selection processes.

Attach smart online screening to low cost sourcing channels

Job boards give us access to a large number of candidates cost effectively, however the challenge is screening these to a manageable number. Funnelling these through an application process on your corporate website with an initial screening tool is the most efficient and cost effective way to reduce time spent on unsuitable candidates.

Referral still the most effective channel

Staff referrals have consistently been shown as an effective way to get access to high quality candidates. A good internal referral scheme not only overcomes the challenge of candidate unsuitability; it’s either free or low cost (Australian referral bonuses typically run from $500 to $5,000 for successful hires).

Up-skill your hiring managers

A well oiled process will deliver great candidates to the business. This falls down when hiring managers either don’t have the interview skills to make effective selection decisions or manage the interaction poorly. From our experience, over a third of candidates have turned down a role solely due to a poor interview.

Make sure your managers know how to ask (appropriate) behavioural questions and conduct the interview professionally.

Rigorous candidate assessment

For the final short list, psychometric assessment and job simulations ideally marry with your interview process and are proven ways to increase your selection accuracy. With a complete view of your potential hire, you’ve put the business in the ideal position to make good selection decisions and build a high performance workforce.


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