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  • Publish Date: Posted over 3 years ago
  • Author: Michael Ball

When looking to recruit a new member to the team, it is generally accepted that there is an element of risk involved. Making the wrong decision can have a significant impact on an organisation and the affects of a bad hire can run much deeper than simply having to restart the recruitment process.

As businesses continue to navigate the challenges COVID-19 throws their way, there is increased emphasis on ensuring that the right recruitment decisions are taken, with a wrong move likely to have a significant financial impact as well as a downturn in individual, department and company performance.

According to a report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) , over a third of companies don’t believe recruiting a wrong hire will cost them anything at all. The reality is there are a number of costs - including productivity costs incurred through not having somebody in place, management costs and training costs – and having to repeat the recruitment process to rectify a poor appointment will see those costs double or even triple. The same report calculated that a poor hire at mid-manager level with a salary of £42,000 can end up costing a business over £132,000.

Whilst business grapple with the shifting sands of the current climate, many may find themselves attempting to handle recruitment in-house without truly being in the position of being able to dedicate the time and resource to ensuring the process is robust and will stand up to many pitfalls and obstacles that are likely to be encountered along the way.

There is a widespread view – fuelled by the on-going reports of rising unemployment as the effects of the pandemic take hold – that the job market is awash with a wealth of potential candidates crying out for opportunities with employers able to simply take their pick. The reality, however, is somewhat different.

Whilst the current situation is indeed having a devastating effect in certain areas, these effects are not widespread in the way they were during the banking crisis of 2007 with several industry sectors relatively unaffected or in some cases - such as logistics and food manufacture – positively booming. Combined with Government support in the shape of the furlough scheme, the considerable efforts made by businesses to retain their staff and employees adopting a risk adverse approach to new employment opportunities means that there’s little likelihood of organisations being able to bring someone onboard with an easy quick win.

Understandably, employers do not want to make a mistake; however this can see them limit themselves in their decision making and only consider ‘obvious’ selection criteria and restrict their talent pool as they seek to recruit like-for-like candidates who have previously been employed in a similar sector or competitor company.

A decision that is based upon ticking off a wish list of ‘safe’ boxes, however, is unlikely to result in identifying the best overall choice as you neglect to drill down and examine the essential requirements of the role to source individuals that will make a real difference to an organisation. An experienced recruitment practitioner will, with the benefit of their experience, ability to reach into the market and draw out candidates that may not currently be actively seeking new opportunities and having the time to dedicate to the process, be able to tease out a far more widespread range of critical factors - attitude, aptitude, culture fit – as well as a person’s knowledge and expertise, upon which to determine a robust, high quality short list.

One of the key outcomes of COVID-19 has been the increased volume of interviews taking place on platforms such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams. For those not involved in recruitment on a day-to-day basis, this in itself can be a steep learning curve that needs to be quickly navigated; even after almost of year of doing business ‘online’, whilst they may be well versed in utilising such platforms, the ability to confidently assess those qualities that you would normally rely heavily upon face-to-face interaction to determine – body language, expression, engagement – can be a new experience and one which takes time to master.

The cost of an incorrect recruitment decision can be considerable; whilst the money spent on training, for example, can be measurable there are many more costs which are not as easy to quantify. The impact of a bad hire on staff morale, productivity levels, output quality, client relationships and business reputation are easily overlooked but can have more wide reaching and long term consequences that are not as straight-forward to rectify by simply making an alternative appointment.

Sharp Consultancy specialises in the recruitment and executive search of finance and accountancy professionals. With offices in Leeds and Sheffield our highly experienced team of consultants recruit for temporary, interim and permanent roles across the full spectrum of positions throughout Yorkshire and beyond. CONTACT US today and speak to a member of our team about your recruitment needs or next career move.