Recruitment is in need of a radical change.

Recruitment processes have in reality hardly changed since the invention of the CV. The same information is requested, searched for and provided and the processes have only changed with the developments in the speed and access to information and to people. Emails, electronic job boards, social networks, video conferencing and of course the time tested personal networks of peers and the extension into head hunting continue to be the order of the day. Decades of business as usual.

All that has really changed is the speed of the movement of information. The fundamentals of the process have not changed. Advertise in the media, receive applications from candidates, select via CV, sort to a degree with word search, short list, interview, carry out reference checks, qualification checks, decide on the remuneration and make an offer. All being well, the right candidate is selected and starts with your company. Both parties hope that they are well suited and get on together. All usually done in a hurry with too many intervening parties applying a worn out system.

Let’s try to define the goal of recruitment. It should surely be to acquire human resources to optimally provide the talent, skills, productivity and dependability to serve the organisation’s business objectives. The use of the word optimally would embrace the overall cost of employment. This therefore includes the costs associated with the hiring process, the remuneration, training, development and other rewards and expenses of the employee. The employee is thus a major part of the business of achieving the throughput of the business.

We hear the repeated cry from employers that the war for talent never ends and frustrates productivity in projects, manufacturing, production and services. Who then ever stops to consider where the constraint exists in the business and what one should do to relieve the constraint? It is evident, that on extensive analysis, the most common business constraint is in the ready availability of skilled resources – a problem that is growing as training, mentoring and skills transfer declines through false reductionist policies. This observation makes sense if the business appreciates that it is the people who enable it to operate.

What then does one do to relieve the constraint? Subordinate to it, enable it to operate at maximum efficiency and elevate it until it is no longer the constraint. That’s proven TOC (Theory of Constraints) theory and practice that has enabled the advance and competitive advantage of business that apply this internationally to any process.

In recruitment, it’s time for this application. This means applying protection to the constraint by buffering it. If business knows the type of resources that it needs or is going to need in future then why not build a buffer of the type of resources required? How does this work?

Avoid the last minute rush to start the process of locating the typical resources required.  Why not align with a niche resource consultant to build a buffer stock of prescribed types of resources so that when the rush is on either through departure of existing resources, or the need for new capacity for new projects, you can call on the consultant’s known candidate buffer stock who has been working with you, getting to know you and your needs.

We can add further advances to this. No longer relying only on the same old processes that cannot identify the attributes called for in most job specifications that have no way of being evaluated, in particular the human characteristics such as attitudes, temperaments, emotional intelligence, ethics and motivation for example, replicate the international successes being achieved in utilizing the tools of functional auditing that apply 24 well proven constructs to align the employer profile with that of the candidate. It does not replace the technical attributes, but adds to the success of identifying and retaining new talent with the metrics that really matter. It’s all done on-line by the candidate and has been developed to identify manipulation, impression management and variations from the employer’s “culture” profile that is established prior to the recruitment process. It is not psychometrics which measures against social norms (whatever they are); it enables unique alignment between employer and candidate where it matters. The myth of using technical alignment only in selecting engineering candidates or candidates in any discipline remains and continues to prove its limitations. Discipline knowledge can be learnt: intrinsic characteristics don’t change.

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