Would you send a junior administration clerk out to present your company to a brand new client?
Never! That would be ridiculous. You would send your top sales team and maybe even a few high level executives.
So, why should anyone allow the HR department, staffed with junior level employee’s interview top candidates, candidates with years of experience and who could make a massive impact on business revenue. What value could the HR staff member add to the process, could they answer technical questions on the actual role? Could they really evaluate a good business focused answer from a bad one? More importantly, what damage could they cause to the relationship through insulting the prospects intelligence or wasting their time?
It is completely crazy but this is how most companies establish first contact with prospective candidates.
Let’s send Doris from HR to interview this Enterprise Architect chap.
As crazy as this sounds, every single day, this is exactly what leading edge companies do. To add to the insult, after a meaningless screening interview, in most cases, the process just stops. No feedback, no follow up – just a deafening silence. To be fair, how on earth could Doris even begin to explain to line management what she had discovered during the interview?
It’s really quite simple. If your line management team is not willing to get personally involved in the recruiting and hiring process right from the start, you will lose the very candidates you are trying to attract. The best candidates are in demand – and if you sit back and expect your HR department to attract them. A professional headhunter is just going to steal them away and place them at your competition.
Recruitment is a line management responsibility.
One cannot stress this enough – HR comes later!
When you have attracted the best, and they want to join you, then you can get the admin people involved.
Candidates want to feel important, they are taking time out of their day, and they are making the effort to engage. Chances are they respect your company and brand. Otherwise they would never have taken the call from your recruiter. Leverage that. Make sure important searches are targeted and personal.
Make recruitment personal, make it important, make it a carefully orchestrated courtship designed to make the candidate feel special. You get one chance to create a first impression.
Why should they join you?
You are about to ask someone to make a major change to their life. Why should they? You really have to have a compelling value proposition. This is a courtship, make sure that you are an attractive prospective partner. (This advice works both ways of course).
This is your first date so make it count.