Considering people are labelled the primary asset of every organisation and by the overwhelming majority of leaders (just look at any company mission statement…zzz), it’s amazing that the role of identifying, engaging, and securing future-performers is pushed on to relatively inexperienced staff, be they middle managers – or more likely with SMB’s – already over-stretched HR Managers. HR is not recruitment. That’s why Talent Acquisition or Internal Recruitment functions are built inside each and every global enterprise you know.
All too often the failings in hiring are born on the shoulders of Human Resources while the successes and praise are heaped on hiring managers. Typically though, the inverse is the actual truth where HR succeed despite the lack of buy-in from executives and line managers as they – understandably – have too many other demands and concerns pulling them in multiple directions. They don’t have the cycles to hire, let alone the time to get good at it, and in truth, neither do HR, but they have more exposure to hiring intelligence than industry leaders so it falls to them. That’s where traditionally a Talent Acquisition team if bought in. The problem is, that they are typically inexperienced hiring generalists (usually ex-agency recruiters) and don’t have the expertise to understand what your company really needs, and just end up administering job boards and applications. So again, we need to fall back to the leadership team being more involved.
The overwhelming cause given for people to resign from a company is not the lack of company swag, or the shiny meeting rooms, or the software and tools used. It’s their manager. Why would the inverse process – hiring – be any different? If you put your most punch-able employee (regardless of expertise) in the room with prospective employees, would that be wise? How about a relatively green manager that’s googled ‘Interview Questions’ and asks them what their “..greatest weakness is”? What sort of impression does that make on a true top performer? By setting up rigorous and intelligent processes, hiring managers can succeed, but it’s an uphioll battle without Talent Acquisition. It’s about continual coaching and development of your staff to evolve with the market and what’s considered best practice. These programs are typically run by HR or internal recruiting functions as they are extremely time-intensive, and need to be installed by people with a firm, long-term understanding of your company culture.
If you’re a start-up, or don’t have a sophisticated HR/Talent Acquisition department, you need to look outside your walls. The alternative it to be relegated to mediocrity as the true difference-makers will see ineptitude at this first point-of-contact as indicative of something more systemic, even if that’s not the case. Spend time and effort early on, and leverage the resources that are out there to move in the right direction, and put in regular efforts to work deliberately on the maturation of your programs. Hiring strategy must come from the top as a fundamental element of leadership, and it must be done and implemented intelligently.
Whether you undertake this yourself, speak to us about running things for you, or even hire a full-time person that might be capable – it needs to be taken seriously. We’ve seen organisations with a genuinely compelling product flounder due to poor hiring practices, that with the right interventions might now be household names. Like any prevention; it’s better than the cure, and should be done early to ensure things take root and become a part of the very fabric of your company. Raise the standards of your management teams interviewing, get someone to run the processes and add value, and reap the rewards or lose out on key talent.
Talk to use to start on the right course: