Consider What You Don't Want When Recruiting

Recruitment Is About What You Don't Want - Not What You Want

3 August 2017

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I have been in the recruitment business for longer than I will admit to, and like most of my experienced counterparts, I have seen many fads come and go within the industry. Different interview techniques are deemed ‘trendy’ for several years, then they fall out of favour, only to be replaced by something equally reactive to the market.

Of course, there are many industry ‘standards’ that pretty much remain constant. However, my attendance at a recent seminar in Glasgow has made me question how we tackle the process of recruiting new talent.

Many businesses - and this is absolutely not a criticism because it something I, myself, have done here at HR Consultancy – start their talent search by creating a job description. Essentially, it’s a checklist of ideal attributes. This then becomes the focus of their recruitment process. Candidates who don’t find themselves able to tick every box on the job spec often find themselves on the receiving end of a generic ‘thanks but no thanks’ email or letter.

But, as Dr Adrian Furnham, suggested at the High Potential seminar, this is a rather back to front way of looking at the recruitment process that can ultimately lead to ineffective hires being made. Instead of focusing on what we, as employers, do want from our ideal candidate, we should begin the process by ruling out what we absolutely don’t want. As a rather crude point of comparison, the Army don’t actively recruit FOR people who want access to powerful weapons.

So, as a starting point, we should consider making it a rule to dismiss potential candidates with the attributes and experience that we definitely don’t want someone to bring to the role. For instance, if the role requires effective team work and working to tight deadlines, you’re probably not going to want to hire someone who is used to working on their own with no real collective targets to meet. They are not likely to be able to thrive as part of your business.

Throughout the interview process, you then dig a little deeper as to candidates’ personalities and attributes to further assess whether or not they will be a suitable fit. You can introduce emotional intelligence or psychometric testing into your interview process in order to get more accurate information.

Treat every stage of the recruitment process as a fresh start for the successful candidates, further whittling away those who have qualities you don’t want until you should create a final round of candidates who would be ideal for the job. This technique should prove effective in terms of reducing staff turnover as it should produce a closer to perfect match.

If you would like help with your recruitment process, or have any questions around what has gone worng for you in the past, I would be more than happy to provide objective advice and guidance. I have a track record of identifying the right candidate for the job, no matter how challenging the brief. Click here to see my details and we can discuss your recruitment needs confidentially. 

Written By Barry Lee

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