I am often asked why managers should be trained in recruitment practices and interviewing skills. What I share is that employees are the single most important resource within an organization. A strong, competent and committed staff can be the difference between success and failure. To protect this resource you want to ensure that managers are bringing in qualified individuals, who fit within the company culture, to capitalize on existing productivity and camaraderie. A bad hire can impact productivity and cost you resources, time and money.
Having a professional, legal and clear process for sourcing, recruiting and interviewing will give managers the tools they need to make good hiring decisions. It will also ensure they are not breaking any anti-discrimination laws when it comes to asking questions and documenting interactions with applicants. While many managers are excellent judges of character, without proper training, they may inadvertently get into trouble by asking an innocent question that is illegal, leaving the company open to a lawsuit. Training not only protects your organization from potential litigation, it also helps managers discover new techniques that can be utilized to gather valuable information from candidates. With additional tools and training they can become experts in picking out critical pieces of information and avoid relying too heavily on instinct in selecting the most appropriate candidate.
In my experience past behavior often predicts future performance. With proper training, managers can develop behavioral based interview questions that focus on what candidates have actually accomplished in past positions – rather than asking hypothetical questions that have no real basis in reality. They can also be trained to ask questions that identify whether the candidate has the core skills required for the position, in addition to questions that uncover the motivational factors that are sometimes less obvious. Fit and motivation are both critical considerations when selecting quality hires.
The recruitment process is the start of a relationship with a potential employee. It is important that out of the gate, managers are providing an experience that reinforces the company’s brand and clearly communicates expectations. Being organized, preparing in advance, and asking well-crafted questions leaves the candidate with a positive impression of the organization. Interviewers should be professional, courteous, and always consider that a candidate could also be a prospective customer or client. Leaving a positive impression will have an impact upon the candidate’s decision if an offer is extended. A negative interview experience may be insurmountable.
One obvious benefit of training managers is educating your staff in what they can and cannot ask during the recruitment process. Check back in the following weeks for another post about recruiting and some tips about how to ensure your practices are legally compliant.