Accuracy over speed: Improving the selection process

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In a tightening job market small to medium enterprises (SMEs) employers may be tempted to fill spots quickly, but if they want to positively impact the bottom line then people selection strategies need to be prioritised, according to advisory company CEB.
CEB research reveals almost nine out of 10 SME employers regret a recent hiring decision and the cost of hiring the wrong candidate can be up to five times the employee’s salary.
“Many time-starved SME employers mistakenly choose speed over accuracy when it comes to hiring. However, filling the role quickly is only of value if the candidate has the right skills for the role and can actively contribute to the business from the get-go,” Samantha Hickey, Head of Professional Services at CEB, stated.
Hickey advises SMEs to make an initial investment of time in improving the recruitment process to save on time spent dealing with a bad hire or coaching a poor performer.
“Employers should first identify and define what behaviours lead to high performance in a role, and then measure candidates against these criteria,” Hickey explained.
“Accurately defining the role at the outset allows unsuitable candidates to self-select in the application process. Objective assessment tools can also measure each candidate’s ability, behavioural preferences or motivators, to give employers a more comprehensive picture of their suitability to the role.”
Hickey offers the following top three tips to improving the selection process to identify the right hire:
  1. Take the time to define the role properly
    What skills and characteristics are needed to be successful in the role? Consider:
  • How the role has changed since you last recruited for it?
  • Has the skills mix of your team changed? Are there gaps?
  • Has your business evolved?
  • Have the needs of your clients and market changed?
Be clear about what characteristics and skills the successful applicant will have, and make sure you measure against this in the recruitment process.
  1. Streamline the recruitment process
To identify the best candidate for your business faster; the right strategy, assessment and simulation tools are required.
Objective assessment of candidates reduces time spent sifting through CVs and allows employers to understand a candidate’s behavioural preferences in the workplace; improving hiring accuracy. Streamlining the recruitment process also improves the recruitment experience for candidates.
  1. Use recruitment data to bring new staff ‘on-board’
The information captured during the recruitment process can help to ‘on-board’ new staff, guide how to best manage them and direct their professional development plan. The sooner you identify and act on what motivates a new employee, the faster they will become an active contributor.

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