I recently read an article about the high number of recruitment interview no-shows, across a range of job types. It seemed shocking, given what we hear about unemployment levels, but it was only when I was speaking to a young, entrepreneur I know that the enormity of this struck me.
Keith owns a rapidly expanding laundry, cleaning and holiday home management company in an area of high unemployment in the South West. With the company’s rapid expansion, Keith needed to recruit a number of new housekeepers and cleaning staff. There was an excellent response with around 450 applicants of whom c50 were invited to interview and 35 confirmed attendance. When it came to recruitment days, however, only 15 turned up for interview.
I wonder what prompts so many people to apply for jobs and then drop out of the process? Were they really looking for a job? Do they really want to work? Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that this wastes management time, prolongs the recruitment process and may prevent others being invited to interview.
As recruiters, what can we do to minimise the risk of time-wasting ‘no shows’ and maximise the chance of recruiting the most suitable staff? For me, a key factor is in planning and while you may say ‘we don’t have time for all that’ the time invested in preparation reaps rewards. In addition it helps to avoid poor recruitment choices, the need to manage poor performance, early exit and the potential impact on business performance and other colleagues.
Here are a few basic steps to help attract the best candidates:
1. First of all, write a job description to make sure you are absolutely clear about what the role entails; what are the objectives, what has to be achieved on a monthly, weekly or even daily basis? Does the role have management responsibility, budgets or other resources to manage? If not office based, what is the geographic area it covers? Importantly, of course, what is the salary or pay rate and are there any benefits?
2. Having created a clear picture of the job, the next step is to define what key skills, capabilities, qualifications or experience recruits will need to fulfill the role, i.e. the ideal candidate for the role. This is the person specification
3. Use key information from the job description and person specification to create a great job advertisement. Remember, the aim of the advertisement is to attract the most suitable candidates so they apply for the role and also to deter time wasters. For example, offering flexible working hours can be an attractive benefit but if you need people to work weekends, or unsocial hours, be honest so that they may decide whether to apply or not.
4. Ensure that you put a deadline for application and do act promptly to sift and invite to interview, or good candidates may be lost to other jobs if you delay.
Selecting candidates is a whole new topic and may be the topic of future musings . . .