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.....
I have been thinking this week about this word employability. It is being mentioned in the loftiest political circles as well as in schools, colleges and universities, its also being considered by employers and I am told that even parents are managing to suppress their understandable distraction with qualifications, to mention it.
But what does the word actually mean, shall we dwell for a moment on finding a working definition and then using that to inform our thinking further?
Good old Wikipedia says....
While there is no singular definition of employability, a review of the literature suggests that employability is about work and the ability to be employed, such as:
1. The ability to gain initial employment; hence the interest in ensuring 'key skills', career advice and an understanding about the world of work are embedded into the education system.
2. The ability to maintain employment and make 'transitions' between jobs and roles within the same organisation to meet new job requirements and
3. The ability to obtain new employment if required ie. to be independent inthe labour market by being willing and able to manage their own employment transistions between and within organisations.
I must say that for me, the first bullet is the most resonant just now. I’d really like to focus on the sentence ‘an understanding about the world or work’ and it being ‘embedded in the education system’; for me this is the crux of the whole employability debate.
But who is responsible for this huge undertaking?
Can we expect the educators, that have been driven for a long time by their performance being judged purely in terms of the academic, to be able to change over night?
Do our parents need to acknowledge that the A Level / Degree certificates are no longer enough for a career, unlike back in the 70's / 80's??
Is it the employers; should they offer more internships, placements and apprenticeships to young people?
Do commercial expert consultants like Consortio need to be welcomed in to the debate and have their knowledge and experience celebrated instead of being seen as competition by everyone...?
Or maybe should young people take responsibility for their own career and employability skills from an earlier age?
Tough questions.....my view is actually a bit of all of the above because none of the stakeholders in the process are able, on their own, to solve the problem in its entirity and indeed none of them have the know how to be the sole solution. So cooperation, mutual purpose and communication are key to bringing all the stakeholders together and to move the issue forwards quickly.
We know that we, at Consortio, are an important part of the solution.
We know that everyone needs to be part of a coordinated plan.
And we definitely know that unless we solve this sharpish that we will be failing our future talent and impacting our future economic capability.... serious stuff!
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