Recruitment 101 – Substance or Shine?

The COO of a rapidly growing construction company was in dire need of an Executive Assistant. After posting the position requirements through a number of recruiting outlets, two applicants were filtered out and selected for interviews. The first was a young woman who had roughly 2 years of applicable experience under her belt in addition to her Master’s in Administration and Leadership. Though a bit more on the reserved side, she was driven and expressed a strong desire to excel in her position while pursuing opportunities for professional growth. The second was a gentleman fresh out of college who had far less experience, but met the educational requirements. The young man seemed to be a better “cultural fit” based on his sparkling personality which the COO felt would be a strong asset to the organization with regards to community outreach and involvement.

The COO decided to hire the young man, who ended up being terminated after six months as his outgoing personality also applied to his social life, resulting in countless call ins and no shows due to the partying lifestyle he hadn’t seemed to leave behind in college. The COO reached out to the young woman he had rejected, but she had since received a job offer from a local marketing firm and was very satisfied and excelling in her position, having already been given additional job duties working with the organization’s Board of Directors.

First impressions are important, but should never be the sole reason for making a hiring decision. In fact, heavily weighing such a decision on a factor can result in unintentional biases or discrimination, which you of course want to avoid at all costs. With turnover rates in certain positions and industries being relatively high, you simply cannot trust your gut when hiring and have to focus on substance versus shine when it comes to recruiting and interviewing in a non-subjective manner.

A recent top priority and primary occupational focus of many of our clients has been recruitment. It is easy to post a simple add and hire an individual, but when it comes to needing the right fit for a position the process can be very in depth and intensive. Whether the necessary factors required for the applicant be education, experience and skills in particular areas, certain personality traits or characteristics, or simply the right cultural fit, there are a number of “dos” and “don’ts” to keep in mind when you tackle this necessary role of human resources management.

Over the next few months we will be delving into the often overwhelming world of recruiting and new hire training, discussing top tips of how to efficiently advertise to recruit top applicants, how to interview and screen objectively, top tips for a smooth and effective hiring process, and how to conduct a productive and mutually beneficial onboarding process.