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The dangers of failing to plan

The old adage says:
“Failing to plan is planning to fail.”
This applies especially in recruiting new or replacement personnel. “People are the CornerStone of every business” - they are potentially also one of the biggest headaches and limitations a company will face.
Below are a number of considerations, in no particular order of importance, which you may wish to consider.
If this is a new position, have you thought through:
  • What problem you are trying to solve by employing the person? 
  • How will the office/company dynamic change?  
  • Will the functional relationships need to be managed? 
  • Is an induction programme in place or is there training available? 
  • Do you need to bring in the expertise and then restructure?
Before you can determine the skill base, expertise and personal characteristics of the person you are seeking, you must have completed an evaluation of the company; where it is at and where it is going.
When the candidate is replacing an outgoing employee, often insufficient consideration is given to changes that have occurred since the person who left was recruited. Not taking the time to re-evaluate and reassess objectives and goals, will mean that at best, the company is looking for the person in the wrong places, or at worst employs someone with the wrong skill base, expertise or culture-fit.
Delegating the recruitment process to a manager or subordinate without the people skills or recruitment expertise is once again ‘failing to plan’. You can not expect a successful outcome. Finding new people is often put in to the too-hard-basket - if this is your attitude to recruitment, then you are heading for disaster and indeed may be able to recall past issues in this area.
To employ mediocrity is almost worse, as it takes longer for the company to realize their mistake or take remedial action.

So often we hear that there is a candidate shortage. The company falls into the trap of dumbing-down the skill base, expertise or personal characteristics in order to employ someone.
If you are at the stage where you need to re-evaluate the skill base, expertise or personal characteristics of the ideal candidate, then in-depth consideration needs to be given to:
  • Induction programmes
  • Training – both internal and external
  • Support
  • Time-line required to bring the candidate up-to-speed
  • Investment in plant, machinery and equipment; or programmes to offset any area of weakness in your candidate.
There is no benefit in lowering the specification of the candidate you are seeking to recruit, if at the same time you do not plan to bring in additional resources to offset the shortfall in capability. The actual requirements of the job or the problem you are trying to solve have not changed.
Knowing where the company is at and preparing a full and comprehensive plan is a must. But not understanding the way the person is likely to fulfill the role will put the company at risk.
We talk of baby boomers, X and Y generation and the truth is that there are general traits associated with how each generation fulfills their duties and responsibilities to the company.
You can adapt a person’s behaviour or attitude but you can not expect to change it unless the individual has a personal interest in doing so.
Owners, managers, or supervisors who take personal ownership of a company are absolutely great - but if they do not have the people skills or strategic thinking ability to see the company as outsiders see it, they may (with the best intentions) fail to recruit the best candidate for the job.

The Answer:

In any recruitment process there must be a professional procedure to follow, ensuring that an objective assessment and management evaluation is made of the person to be recruited. You need to take into account their skill-base, experience, knowledge, personal characteristics, and almost most importantly, their ‘fit’ to your company’s culture.
When given the choice between attitude or experience I tend towards attitude, as training and time will provide experience - but few companies or managers can change attitude.
The need arises to take the subjective ‘gut feel’ scenario and turn it into an objective exercise.
For CornerStone Recruitment we insist that the starting point is the preparation of the Job Order. The Job Order summarizes an evaluation of the position, changes within the company or team, confirmation of the company’s unique selling proposition, and its direction. It provides a review and planned starting-point to the recruitment process.
For more information contract Ruth Stowers on (09) 634 0574 who will be able to assist you further.