I HAVE often been called in to fire fight when hiring initiatives go wrong. And, for the most part such initiatives gang agley only because they haven't been planned well before hand. I always say that, every day spent on planning a hire will save a week of angst and a barrow of money.
The most effective way to start is by defining the role and what the qualities are that will make it all `happen'. Most people hire to fill a vacancy. To be an effective hire, the job must be amply serviced by the new hire.
The idea is to find the right fit who will bring value to the job and provide a fresh dimension in its productivity. To get it right the first time and every time thereafter, it may be useful to try these out:
Is it really needed?
Is what you are looking for lurking unnoticed within? Do you have somebody, already familiar with the company culture with the requisite qualifications to fill the vacancy? Is it possible to bring in someone from another department to handle the job? What are the skills available that you can tap?
Define the Job and the Person Required
This is something that every recruiting manager in need of a person should do. Describe the job to yourself and see that it covers everything you expect the new incumbent to do. The ideal description should cover the following:
An understandable job title: The best is something that everybody understands to some extent. Something like Head of Marketing or Junior Executive - Sales. People applying for the job know what they are getting into and you won't have inexperienced profiles applying for senior positions or senior people for the junior spots. Exotic titles like Head Dreamer are getting popular, but these tend to attract a very large and bothersome number of cranks that write in and waste the time of hard-pressed recruiting assistants who'll trash it anyway.
The main areas of need: This would describe the main functions of the advertised job and without going into too much detail, explain the key result areas and deliverables.
Subsidiary deliverables: Other work that may be needed from time to time from the incumbent. This could be supervising other people from departments other than his, or delivering induction programmes for fresh hires, or quality checking others' work, etc.
Essential Skills: Make a list of the skills, attitudes and behaviour required to discharge the job in the optimum manner.
Essential experience if any: Mention the actual type and the number of years of experience needed for the vacancy. Defining the specific area of expertise, like "Four years supervising coke oven batteries in a medium steel mill."
Remuneration: The details of salary you want to pay, including the fresher salary all the way up to what it could be at the senior most position in that area. This is in case someone wants to know the prospect of growth. Also note down the benefits and all the perks that go with the job. This will help keep discussions on the subject within the parameters laid down. Make sure the offer conforms to industry norms.
Academic essentials: Make certain that you note down the absolute minimum academic qualifications that you feel are needed for the efficient discharge of the job. Mention also the specialisation, no point hiring a chemical engineer for an electronics job, or a die-caster to pilot a tugboat. Perhaps you need a MBA qualification, or even a quaint mixture of Creative arts/MBA combination. Whatever it is, note it down so that you can get what you want. However, on this one point you can afford to be a little lax. Sometimes, a person may have all the qualities in terms of skills and experience but not have the exact academic qualifications, so do not let that lacuna reject him.
By making certain that you get all this homework done before you initiate the release of the advertisement and the interviewing process, you can be reasonably confident that you have the benchmark you need to hire the right person for the right job. All for a good job done!
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