The Importance of Selection

Many of the companies we encounter use an abbreviated search process that goes something like this: Identify a need, put together a brief job description, post it on the company website and on some job boards and other places like Craig’s List, receive one or more resumes of people who are unhappy and/or unemployed, interview them, and give one of them a job offer.

The problem here is that in many smaller companies, the person trying to do this is the owner. But the owner has a very large job description and little time to focus on the hiring effort. Even in bigger companies this is sometimes the case. I once followed up with a manager 15 times to get the job I wanted. He was interested but just didn’t have the time to do a proper job in the hiring process. Unfortunately, too often a hiring manager or owner will look at a few available people and try to make the best decision among them because it is expedient. This usually results in disaster and a year or less later the position is open again and he is facing the same issues with nothing to show for his previous efforts.

When attempting to fill a particular position, a wise manager considers not only candidates who answer job postings but also those candidates who are “passive” in that they are not proactively seeking a job change. People who “pop up” looking for a job, while easy to hire, are not always the best people available on the job market. While it is certainly true that some of the individuals who have been let go in the current market environment are talented professionals, some have been let go because they are mediocre performers when compared to their peers. It is important therefore to widen your talent pool.

In addition to considering candidates who answer your job postings, find out the names of those individuals who are hard at work elsewhere with quality, perhaps even competitive, companies, who are successful and not even thinking about making a move.  Then spend some time calling these individuals and determining whether they are open to a good opportunity. The goal  of your recruiting efforts  is to end up with 3-5 of the best candidates from both the “active” and “passive” sides of the talent pool from whom you can make a much more informed “selection”.  You may have to call 50-100 people. Take time to really “select” the best candidate and you will have a much smoother path to corporate growth and profitability. If you don’t have the time or the staff to do this yourself, engage a quality search firm to do it properly for you. Selecting from the best candidates available will always pay big dividends.

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