Posted by: garispang | June 4, 2009

Recruitment – Are Your A Players Driving It?

As Steve Jobs once said, “A” people hire “A” people. “B” people hire “C” people.Winner

Alas, as evidenced in organizations everywhere, there are very few “A” people to begin with, hence the profligate and entrenched hiring of “C” people.

The common mistake that so many organizations fall into when hiring – they don’t have the right “A” People in charge of attracting the top talent that will enable their organization to grow and thrive. Now we are not looking at high volume transactional recruitment here; we are looking at the core roles integral to an organization’s innovation, growth and ultimate success. Organizations can no longer complain of the talent shortage.  If they don’t have the best people, perhaps it is time they look internally to find out why!

This same issue was highlighted by a recent Harvard Business Review article “The definitive guide to recruiting in good times and bad” by Claudio Fernández-Aráoz, Boris Groysberg, and Nitin Nohria, which is a must read for anyone who is involved in recruitment, be it CEOs, Executives, Hiring Managers, Recruitment or HR Professionals.  It is a lengthy and comprehensive article that tracks the journey of why so many organizations are failing miserably in the talent attraction and retention space. Contrary to what you may think, it does not have anything to do with the external market place, the lack of talent, nor that the job sites or recruitment agencies are not delivering. The onus starts and rests with the organization, their leadership, their HR and recruitment practices and people.

The findings from the article are based on a significant body of research undertaken with CEOs from over 500 organizations that found hiring practices to be disturbingly vague. This quote perhaps encapsulates the major themes of the article around why this is the case:

  • Vague and reactive hiring practices
  • Ill-equipped people responsible for hiring decisions
  • Not knowing what they are looking for in the first place
  • A reluctance by those hiring to think outside the square and hire non-traditional professionals, even though they acknowledge that this is what the business needs

Workplace planning was rarely on anyone’s agenda and “many CEO’s do not recognize their recruiting situation for what it is;  some are even ignorant of their company’s own demographic projections, mandating aggressive hiring to replace soon to be retiring managers.”

The article also highlights the avoidance of casting the net wider to bring in the best candidates to select from, rather keeping the talent sourcing pools refined to a couple of ‘easy’ channels that they are familiar with. A lack of interviewing competence was all identified as was the failure to build talent communities.

The key takeaway from all of this is that those at the top “need to stop treating recruitment as a big surprise. They have to approach hiring from a rigorous, strategic, and objective point of view.”

So are your A players driving recruitment? How do you know?


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