“Era of Strategic HR” Second installment: Important points to remember to prevent mismatches and identify mid-career workers who will perform well
Mismatches can be prevented by clarifying the recruitment purpose and expectations
Companies must have a clear purpose for recruitment and properly inform candidates. This is most important in order to prevent mismatches when hiring workers. If a company and its applicants have a common understanding of the challenges facing the company and the expectations of the applicants, mismatches will be unlikely after applicants join the company. It is easier for companies and applicants to reach a common understanding of job types when it is easy to determine the fields the workers can handle and the numerical targets for sales and marketing than for other job types. If targets are set, it is easier for workers to produce results right after joining the company and it is likely to lead to great performance.
Mismatches will be more likely when the purpose of recruitment is to adjust the headcount. Mismatches are also likely to occur when companies recruit workers based on vague needs, such as the need for someone to handle specific tasks. This happens when companies have not identified their challenges and developed specific strategies. However, companies are often unaware that they face such problems. Because workers seeking a career change do not know what to do after joining a company and what they have to achieve to contribute to the company and to be evaluated, they cannot perform well enough to show their skills and thus consider changing jobs. Or it may lead to early resignations because the job is not what they expected.
When startup companies and venture companies cannot create a plan for the future nor predict what will happen, there should be no problem in setting the recruitment requirement that workers will do whatever is necessary to help the company and the services grow and make the requirement clear during the application process. If workers apply after companies clarify their requirements, it means they agree to the purpose of recruitment. Workers who join the company can think about how to contribute to the company and will work voluntarily, toward the goal of expansion of business. Problems occur when companies and candidates do not share the same view.
We must not forget that management, HR, and rank-and-file employees should recognize the purpose of recruitment in the same way. This is the second point to remember to prevent mismatches. If they do not share the same view on recruitment due to the difference in positions, it may affect recruitment and whether the company can retain workers.
Opportunity loss in the applicant screening process
The points to consider based on alignment with the purpose of recruitment in the selection process of job-oriented employment (specialist recruitment) are the results the applicants have achieved in their areas of expertise, where they achieved such results, whether their roles were defined, and how the achievements were evaluated. By checking these points, companies can confirm applicants’ skill and judge whether they can continue to produce results and perform well in the new environment.
If you have any concerns or questions after reading application documents, I suggest making a short phone call and talking to applicants for about five minutes before deciding whether to accept them or not. Many candidates are not good at describing their experience and strengths in the application documents. Candidates’ application documents are sometimes corrected by career change support agencies according to the needs of the companies to which they are applying. However, it is more likely that the documents are submitted to companies as they are. In that case, companies may misjudge the true skills of the applicants because they did not prepare their documents properly and thus throw away the chance to hire the human resources they need. There was a job seeker who had excellent skills but he was rejected in the applicant screening process. Because I appreciated his skills and personality, I negotiated with the company to meet him and then they hired him. Career change support agencies can provide follow-up support like this if workers apply for a job through them. However, if they apply through career change support websites or apply directly, they have no chance to redeem themselves.
I think that it would be better if companies changed their applicant screening methods in order to prevent such opportunity losses. For example, for job-oriented employment, companies can disclose in advance to candidates or agencies the information they need and want in detail. Because companies pay attention to different kinds of information, it would be easier for candidates to precisely determine what to write if they knew the kind of information the company needed rather than writing their documents freely on their own. When applying for a company that adopts membership-based employment, applicants should write a personal statement to show why they want the job because they will be judged on how eager they are to work for the company. I believe application documents can be used as criteria to evaluate human resources only when they include the information described above. I hope companies will reform their applicant screening systems in the future.
Develop recruitment criteria so that applicants are evaluated on the same criteria in interviews
Interviews provide opportunities for companies to evaluate candidates and for both to reach a mutual understanding. In many interviews, interviewers explain the company and the nature of the work and dig deep into candidates’ past experience and personalities, and candidates ask many questions about the company. Taking retention into consideration, a company should tell its candidates what they are expected to produce after joining the company. It is difficult for candidates to make up their minds about joining the company unless they know what the company expects and can picture themselves working for the company. In addition, when they are hired with no knowledge of what is expected of them, they often end up not knowing why they were hired and what the company valued. If companies can improve the quality of interviews by holding in-depth interviews, the type of human resources they can hire will change. And if companies become good at recruitment, they will be able to acquire human resources who can contribute more to their growth, and they can become stronger organizations.
Interviewers also need to prepare for interviews because of the limited time. They can use the interview time in a meaningful way if they consider what to ask to assess candidates and what to tell them about the company in advance. Even if they think about these things in advance, they may miss or forget to share important information if they interact with candidates in the heat of the moment. So, it is useful to make a list.
The most efficient way to improve accuracy in the recruitment process is to develop clear recruitment criteria to determine the attributes that candidates should have. If companies develop recruitment criteria, individual interviewers will not be at a loss whether to accept or reject a candidate or make a subjective misjudgment. If companies standardize their recruitment criteria company-wide, they will be able to evaluate candidates using consistent criteria regardless of the interviewer, which will maintain the quality of recruitment.
It is said that recruitment is a game of chance where interviewers decide which candidates to accept by intuition. It has been like that for a long time. However, major technology companies, such as GAFA, have recently devised the optimum recruitment flow by using data and started evidence-based recruitment activities. For example, the optimum number of interviews has been determined by logical calculation. Some companies have standardized the selection process by determining the job types and positions of interviewers and which interviews they should conduct. In addition, as interviewers from hiring departments tend to hire skilled candidates, some companies strategically have employees who are not from the hiring departments conduct the interviews in order to objectively judge candidates’ personalities.
Hiring departments or teams should be prepared
Companies must picture themselves working with candidates after joining the company. The best human resources do not always perform well on the team that accepts them because it depends on compatibility with the team. Thus, companies need to pay attention to what will happen after joining the company. It is important for the hiring department and team members to understand the missions and tasks those new employees should accomplish. Because new employees and the hiring department and team can work towards the same goal if they share the same view, they can efficiently finish the handover process, and new employees can grow faster. Even if a company hires brilliant human resources with excellent skills, it cannot utilize their skills to the fullest if the hiring department and team are not fully prepared to accept them.
The early resignation of employees due to a mismatch has a significant impact on all team members. Not only do the time and energy they spent on the handover process go to waste but also it sometimes can affect them mentally. As HR/recruitment personnel know, recruitment activities are expensive. Though the only visible costs are the money paid to recruiting firms and career change support websites, such expenses result in an immeasurable loss, taking into account the time and energy spent on interviews and procedures for accepting new employees, and introductory training and profits that would have been earned if people in the recruitment activities had performed their regular tasks.
Recruitment is a very difficult task. However, it is essential for a company to grow. I hope you rethink what you can do at each recruitment step and work hard to acquire human resources who will perform well after they join you without any mismatch.
Author: Takeshi Kitsunezaki, Vice president
After working in overseas sales and other positions, started his recruiting career in a British recruiting firm in 2006. He managed a team specialized in recruitment and career changes for internal IT positions in the financial, pharmaceutical and healthcare, retail/manufacturing/logistics industry, and Internet industry. He joined en world Japan as director of the sales division and specialized in IT companies/human resources in 2018. Assumed the position of executive director of all sales divisions that support foreign capital companies and global Japanese companies in recruiting regular employees in 2019
Posted on IT Media Business Online on March 18, 2021 Click here for the article in Japanese
About en world Japan (https://www.enworld.com/)
en world Japan is a recruiting firm established in 1999 specializing in global human resources with offices in four countries in the Asia-Pacific region. We specialize in supporting Foreign Capital Companies and global Japanese companies in recruiting human resources for middle to high level positions. We help companies with recruitment and job seekers with career changes from every angle by staffing full-time workers, contract professionals, and executive human resources and providing recruitment process outsourcing solutions.