Summary: The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad

Summary of “The Definitive Guide to Recruiting in Good Times and Bad” by Caludio Fernandes-Araoz, Boris Groysberg, and Nitin Nohria published on Mayy, 2009, Harvard Business Review, page 87 (5)

Time of economic crisis provide a company with an opportunity to that advantage of the “buyers’ market” and fill in what is missing from their talent pools. That way they are well-prepared when the recession lifts.

Problems with hiring processes
Many companies hire very poorly from several reasons :

  • Relying heavily onsubjective personal preferences or on largely unquestioned organizational traditions, often based on false assumptions.
  • Not defining clear criteria as to which candidate skills and attributes are needed for a particular position
  • Using inconsistent assessment practices

Steps of the hiring process

  • Anticipating the need for new hires
  • Specifying the job
  • Developing a pool of candidates,
  • Assessing the candidates
  • Closing the deal
  • Integrating the newcomer
  • Reviewing the effectiveness of the hiring process

Anticipating the need for new hires
Review high-level leadership requirements every two to three years

  • How many people are needed in what positions?
  • What qualities are required from those people?
  • How to look for those people?
  • What will the organizational structure look like?

Specify the job
Answer the following questions:

  • What specific capabilities will the job require? do you need an entrepreneur a manage or a leader?
  • What team-based competencies are needed?
  • What is needed to fit the organizational culture?

Develop the Pool
Consider the following groups:

  • inside-outsiders – employees that are not bound by the corporate tradition and ideology
  • outside-insiders – someone from the outside who nevertheless knows the organization well

Utilize social network to search for candidates

Assess the Candidates
Three conflicting objectives:

  • Evaluate the candidate
  • Sell the position and the organization (to the candidate)
  • Build organizational consensus WRT the candidates` suitability

Required elements:

  • The right interviewers (confident, high emotional intelligence)
  • The right number of interviewers (three is enough)
  • The right techniques
    • Behavioral event interview
    • Rigorous, disciplined conversation between the interviewers following the interviews
    • Conduct formal reference checks
  • The right organizational support – expose the candidate to key stake holders, the direct boss should make the final call

Close the Deal
Factors that determine candidate’s acceptance of the job:

  • The organizational commitment
  • The job (realistic presentation)
  • The boss
  • Compensation

Integrate the Newcomer
The recruitment process does not end after the deal is closed.
Do at lease one of the following:

  • Make sure the boss and HR manager check in regularly with each new recruit, just to see if everything is going well
  • Develop detailed integration plans
  • Assign a mentor

Audit and Review

  • Evaluate new hires
  • Find out what happened to other candidates
  • Find and reward (or hold accountable) those who are best at assessing talent

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