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Designing a Recruitment and Selection Policy that drives business performance

Editorial Team
08/03/2018 10:16 AM

Every business should have a recruitment and selection policy. The purpose of a recruitment and section policy is to ensure that the business get the right people for each role in the organisation.  The right people means employees who can on day one, start adding value according to the requirements of each job.  However there is no point in crafting the right recruitment policy if you are not going to follow the policy in practice when recruiting.

I would like to urge you to look around in your own business community or our country as a whole. You will find that organisations that tend to do well are those that set standards about who joins them. Look at the top five companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and you will realise that they have high recruitment and selection standards. You can also look at the bottom five companies and you will realise that they do not have very high recruitment standards. I was reading a book called Work Rules by Laszlo Bock, the former Google VP of People Operations in which he clearly outlines how Google has leveraged on its recruitment and selection policy to get the best talent available. It is clear from this book and other scientific research that the performance of your business largely depends on the quality of the people you hire. Organisations that recruit people on merit far outperform those that do not.

So what is a policy? A policy is a standard that a business decides to follow as it executes its business strategy or model. The first step in designing a recruitment policy is to first be clear on what is your philosophy about who joins your organisation. Some organisations believe that they will only recruit the best and brightest people available in the market in which they operate and sometimes even beyond. After this you need to connect this philosophy with your own business strategy. You are basically saying what does this business require in terms of people in both the short, medium and long term?  Once that is clear, you then need to say how do we attract and select these people.

Let us start with how you will attract the talent you require. The ability of your organisation to attract the right talent starts with the quality of your employer brand and the employee experience value proposition. Good employer brands attract the best talent and at cheaper rate than not so attractive employer brands. How do you know your employer brand is strong on the market? Check the quantity and quality of candidates applying for the jobs that you advertise. Poor employer brands struggle to attract candidates regardless of the method used. It pays, therefore, to work on building a credible employer brand as it reduces the costs of hiring.

Creating the right employee experience is one of the things you should be working on as a business and incorporate in your policy. There is no point in attracting the right talent and then letting them suffer throughout their work experience in your organisation. What they say about you as an employer is what prospective employees listen, to not what you put on the advert.

In your policy statement you need to indicate what you believe in regarding key issues related to recruitment.  What is your stance regarding diversity, employment of relatives and giving internal candidates first opportunity when a vacancy arises? Answering these statements firmly will send a message to both internal and external stakeholders that you are a serious organisation.

You also need to be very clear about the procedure that is going to be followed in the selection and recruitment process. Are you going to be using recruitment agencies to source for candidates for example, for what level of jobs and why? Are you going to be advertising internally and also in the newspapers and others jobs portals? If so what do you hope to achieve? In most cases having your policy allowing you use multiple sources of candidates ensures wider reach and this in turn ensures a good pool of candidates to select from.  Do you have minimum hiring standards for each role that allows you to start the recruitment process? It is an exercise in futility to start the recruitment process without knowing the type of person you require.  Please note that the recruitment process is meant to attract the right candidate to your organisation and once this has been achieved the selection process begins.

The selection process starts with shortlisting of applicants who will have responded to your call for CVs. Be clear in your policy if this process is going to be done internally or by external consultants.  For some senior roles you may want this process to be done by external consultants for various reasons.  The key reason is that Board members and other key stakeholders may have vested interested aimed at influencing who should be selected.  This is a serious challenge that must never be allowed to happen regardless of justifications. Every individual must be selected on merit.

Your policy needs to be very clear on whether you will be using psychometric assessments as part of your selection or not. As you decide on psychometric testing remember that cognitive ability predicts over 40% of the variation in individual performance. If you do not use psychometric assessments to assess cognitive ability and personality you are almost guaranteed of selecting the wrong candidates. All top performing companies locally and globally use psychometric assessments for selection for all supervisory to senior level roles and for high value specialist fields like apprenticeship trainees and graduate trainees. Other companies extend psychometric profiling to every role in the organisation. In top performing companies over and above written psychometric tests candidates for all supervisory roles and above go through assessment centres where they go through simulations such as role play, In-basket, leaderless group discussion and presentations. These methods are all meant to get the best candidate for each role.

Once the candidates have gone through the above process the policy needs to outline how you are going to be doing reference checks, qualification verification, criminal record checks, and credit assessment before a job offer is given to the candidate.  Once an employee is cleared you can now offer them a job on terms you want that must be attractive enough to get the best talent.

The last part of your recruitment process is induction. Your policy must talk about a comprehensive induction process that will allow the new recruit to settle quickly and reduce the time it will take before they start giving you value.

Even with the good points highlighted above a recruitment policy is the centre of all political conspiracies by stakeholders especially Board members and shareholders. If you have bad board members you will receive all sorts of directives violating the recruitment policy just to serve their needs. Such practices are bad for your business and should be rejected as they do not guarantee that you will get the best person for the job.

Memory Nguwi is an Occupational Psychologist, Data Scientist, Speaker, & Managing Consultant- Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or email: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com  or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com

Editorial Team

This article was written by one of the consultants at IPC

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