I'm not sure if it's reassuring or concerning to tell candidates that most interviews are adversely impacted by the skills, talent and preparation of the interviewer...but it's true and so I will...
Recruitment Skills are still not universally recognised by companies, training departments and individuals as a core management competency. I know this because I offer training courses for both new and experienced managers and convincing the decision maker that the investment is worthwhile is always a tough ask. Thankfully when they do accept that it is crucial and they invite me in to help they see results and ask me back.
However two questions remain what are the reasons for the resistance and what are the potential related consequences of an under-skilled and under-informed management team being involved in recruitment?
1. What are the reasons for resistance against Recruitment Skills training?
I think there are a host of reasons but the ones I have managed to identify and sometimes neutralise are;
a) I didn't have any training and I did alright
b) I trust my gut instinct on these things
c) You become a skilled recruiter by recruiting
d) You don't know our business so how can you know what we want?
e) It is a cost that we do not need - more important things to spend our training budget on
f) All of our managers have been here a long time and have the skills needed
g) We are not recruiting at the moment
h) We have a set of questions we always ask and they seem to work ok
2. What are the consequences of the above?
I'm not sure that many managers actually think about consequences in recruitment beyond getting someone to replace someone - but there are many knock on effects:
a) A poor recruitment process is a negative brand experience - that can and will damage business
b) Competency based interviews work - gut instinct is a fallacy and likely to be wrong - gut's are not brains
c) New managers need support before they start recruiting - it is a daunting experience
d) Length of service does not have any relationship with ability to recruit in fact without training / refresher courses quite the opposite
e) Recruitment is always a key management topic even when you are fully staffed - fail to grasp this and you are exposed
f) Turnover and tenure are key indicators of recruitment success and even then people staying for too long can be a negative
g) Recruitment ability is an investment in the business not just the staff
h) Each role needs bespoke questions and a unique process
I will continue to fight the good fight and argue the case for Recruitment Skills Training - because every business is only as good as the people it brings in and keeps - recruiting managers decide that and without the tools, knowledge and awareness they are a liability.
Don't even start me on discrimination.....
Sounds like something a wise man once said doesn't it? A wise man may well have said it but so did I and I continue to say it to any career coaching client who I work with; experienced professional, graduate or school-leaver and I want to explain why these few words are so key to you getting what you want from your career.
Let's be clear I am not advocating saying anything in your CV or interview performance that is untrue, far from it, what I am encouraging is that we all learn to amplify our message to employers by being comfortable in saying positive, upbeat and impressive things about ourselves.
There is a particularly English / British tradition that modesty is a laudable quality, that to be loud and obvious is somehow crass and a little distasteful. I agree that clumsy and obvious self-promotion can be counter-productive and at worst annoying but that is not what I am advocating here; I am saying to everyone that is frustrated by being overlooked, a close second to the successful candidate or by the lack of progression in their career that you need to forget false or real modesty and begin to think about everything you say and write being part of an accumulated PR strategy that will help you to tell the world how brilliant you are!
It is not about dwelling on any of the descriptions that have been used to keep people in their place...it's not 'showing off', it's not 'being big headed' and is certainly not 'boastful' it is simply being your own biggest fan and being able to lucidly and convincingly tell the world about the great things you have done, can do and want to do.
People generally speaking love to meet authentic, confident, lucid and interesting people. Whether that is in the pub, on holiday, in work or in an interview. People remember people who are able to demonstrate their self-confidence and their skills with strong examples and body language, voice, eyes, smile and posture that all back up the content. It is liberating not to be always worried about what people think of how you are saying something when you come to terms with the fact that it is what you are saying that they will focus on.
If you fail to flag up something that is important and relevant because you don't want to show off then who wins? If the CV next to yours on the desk or the person after you in the interview is able to show what they can do and do it in a proud and confident and persuasive way then who wins?
Modesty is the enemy of opportunity - all candidates need for the sake of their own futures to be able to suspend their modesty and get the message across in no uncertain terms......
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