Sharing the Responsibility: Seeding the Recruitment Mindset

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By Morgan Kemick, CHRP

As much as human resources professionals appreciate and value the recruitment and selection process within an organization, we all know what an onerous task it can be when it is the sole responsibility of the HR person or team. By sharing knowledge and the “people-first” mindset with the management team, HR can take on more of an advisory role throughout the process and allow hiring managers to become more independent.

Building Managerial Trust is Essential
In order to effectively seed the recruitment mindset, a fair amount of legwork and training is required. Managers need to have a thorough understanding of the entire process—from up-to-date job descriptions and legalities to the importance of a structured onboarding process.

No matter the size of organization, or where you sit on the HR corporate ladder, we have all been in a situation where a manager makes a comment during an interview or asks a question that pushes the legal envelope. While most of the time this is done unintentionally, we are obligated to inform them of this mistake after the interview.

At organizations where HR is understaffed or the where high turnover is a concern, the HR representative may not have enough time to attend each interview session. In this case, HR needs to trust their hiring managers to follow protocol and regulations. An excellent way of building this trust with hiring managers is to for the HR team to create and facilitate an “Introduction to Recruitment and Selection” training session. Depending on the size of the organization and time restrictions for hiring managers, this can be completed in a variety of ways such as one-hour lunch and learns, two half-day sessions or even a full-day meeting.

As a starting point when designing the training, we can gain insight into the baseline knowledge of the hiring managers by creating a quick online survey incorporating legal/illegal situational questions asked in interviews. Given the sometimes restricted availability of managers, the survey can be designed as simple yes/no questions. Most HR professionals already have these types of questions and guidelines in their HR toolkit so this should be a simple task.

Process Underpins Successful Training
Focusing on the importance of having current job descriptions is a logical means of introducing recruitment training to hiring managers. For what exactly is the incumbent responsible? To whom will they be reporting to? By having managers understand the significance of this step they will begin to more fully grasp that job descriptions are the foundation of a solid recruitment process.

Commencing the training with job descriptions will help to seamlessly move into the second area of training—and the recruitment process itself—job postings. Some managers view posting vacancies as an easy, two-minute task; in reality, there is a science behind it. If a posting is advertised on the wrong site or has a misleading title, we may not receive as many qualified applications as hoped for or be inundated with unqualified candidates. The role of an HR professional is to educate managers on the metrics of where they receive the best ROI on job postings—a fairly simple task as HR should already be tracking the success rates of job postings.

Establish Bare Minimums of Training
For organizations that only have a couple hours to dedicate to training, teaching the legalities of interviewing and assessments is necessary. Some companies incorporate this into their “manager’s toolkit,” but an actual two hour training session is beneficial to most organizations. This is where the results from the aforementioned quick online survey can be incorporated into the training.

The accessibility and sharing of credible information is crucial to achieving any successful transfer of knowledge. HR can do this by creating an online resource centre for hiring managers which includes legal updates from our lawyers, changes to employment standards acts, etc. The online portal and resource centre can also host pre-approved interview questions and candidate assessments.

Companies also need to understand the legal implications associated with pre-employment testing and assessments. Legal issues can arise if tests are not valid, reliable or are improperly implemented. While hiring managers can create the first draft, it is essential that HR review the document before it is distributed to candidates to ensure it is legally sound. For example, a selection decision cannot be solely based on a personality assessment. Although they can provide you further insight into a candidate, organizations need to weigh their selection criteria accordingly.

Open Eyes and Minds to Biases
The training session should also educate hiring managers on the variety of biases involved in recruitment and selection. Are you leaning towards one candidate over the other because, like yourself, they are outgoing and vivacious? Is that what your team needs or would a quiet, methodical individual be better suited for the role? An awareness of these factors will help ensure managers hire the right person—and not the person they “like” better.

Some managers also tend to dance around the tough questions candidates ask in interviews. By advising hiring managers they need to provide a realistic job preview so candidates are fully aware of what the role truly entails. We are therefore almost guaranteed a longer tenure. If we pretend that it’s all sunshine and rainbows, the employee may encounter a reality shock when they start the role resulting in an early departure from the company.

Make the Onboarding Connection
The majority of managers believe the recruitment and selection process is complete once a candidate has been chosen. What they need to fully comprehend is the direct correlation between recruitment and onboarding/orientation. Although most orientation programs are structured, they still need to be individualized depending on the selected candidates’ skill level.

When HR can transfer the recruitment mindset and share knowledge with hiring managers, we can build trusting relationships throughout the organization and as an end result, assist the company in attaining their strategic goals and vision.

Morgan Kemick, CHRP has worked in a variety of industries, including engineering, entertainment, non-profit,and food and beverage. Rounding out her passion for learning and development with an Associate Certificate in Conflict Resolution, Morgan loves to help develop employees at all levels of an organization.

(PeopleTalk Summer 2015)

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