Identifying Recruiting Problems

Recruiting top talent that is a perfect fit for an organization is not an exact science. If it were, everyone would be working the perfect position at their dream companies. There would be no errors or difficulties in the process. However, we all live in this place called reality. In reality, companies encounter issues finding and retaining great employees. Employees fall out of love with their employers and move on. Over the next three articles, we will take a look at how to identify and correct some common recruiting problems.

When faced with a problem, whether personal or professional, there is usually a set of steps that one takes to determine its cause and to formulate a solution. When the problem is systemic to an organization, this process is also beneficial.

When an organization has trouble with its recruiting process, it is best to first go to the source of the problem. If there are issues with attraction, or retention, or with making hiring decisions, it is best to go directly to the person or group responsible for talent acquisition and management. That may be you! How does the process look? Are there missing steps or steps that are overlooked - maybe even skipped? Are great candidates lost to a long decision process? How do you cultivate relationships with passive candidates? Are team members from specific areas of the organization leaving more than others? These types of questions will demand very specific answers that apply directly to the company's unique situation.

During this process, be certain to review exit interviews. What is revealed as an employee leaves can uncover deep, underlying issues in all areas of an organization. Make the conversation informal. Tell them you really need their help as you truly wish to improve as an organization. The key here is to LISTEN and to not get defensive. You may not agree with everything they say, but you are getting their direct and blunt feedback, which can only benefit your way ahead.

After reviewing the questions and answers, it is time to call in reinforcements. Consult with peers and colleagues: those within the organization that will be most helpful from an "insider's" perspective. Trusted individuals outside of the company can act as a sounding board or a voice of reason. Many times the problems experienced at one company are actually universal to the industry.

It is also helpful to gather input from "the trenches". Asking employees to share their insight can shed light onto how team members view their jobs, managers, and the company as a whole. This can be done one-on-one, in groups, or by sending out a companywide questionnaire. The key is to include everyone, not just the individuals who may provide the answers that you want to hear. Again, do not penalize them for being open and honest with you if you want the best, most candid information from them.

If no clear solution can be determined after reviewing all of the information, it might be time to call in reinforcements. The unbiased opinion and advice of a management consultant or recruiter may be the best option. They can look over policies, procedures, and data without emotional or psychological attachment and help craft an unbiased plan for improvement.

Next time, we take a look at the costs of high-performing versus low-performing employees.

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