Recruit Better for Yourself – Fixing Accountability

Who’s accountable for recruitment in your organisation?

Are you seeing candidates decline employment offers to join you? Or joining your competitor? Or your not seeing the quality and number of people in the first place? Is your process too slow? Are you restarting the recruitment process? Even seeing finger pointing when it goes wrong?

Then maybe the issue is accountability. Accountability – being responsible for what you do. Honouring your commitments.

It’s commonplace these days to expect people to be accountable for their jobs, their actions, their tasks. But I have seen time and time again that this can fall down when it comes to a company’s internal recruitment process, for TWO key reasons – firstly, it’s not someone’s priority and secondly, there is a lack of clarity in who’s responsible and when by.

Internal recruitment has by its very nature multiple stakeholders in most organisations. And then as well as the stakeholders, there will also be influencers along the way. Think about the flow of recruitment and how many different activities there is:

Each of these steps will have someone accountable for it and, more often than not, someone will be accountable for multiple steps, but it’s extremely unlikely to have one person accountable for EVERY step, as different skills and experience are needed in many of the steps.

For instance, step 1, identifying the job need, will be driven normally by the individual who is the line manager for the needed vacancy, but an influencer would be whoever in the company signs off new roles!

And writing a job description and writing a job brief (or advert) are two very different skills – one is a process document explaining what the role is and the other is a sales and engagement document showcasing why individuals would want to come and fulfill THAT role at THAT company. One requires someone who understands the mechanics of laying out the job responsibilities and the other requires someone who understands how people think and engage.

I have seen in many companies that no-one retains accountability throughout the whole process, which means the process takes longer than it should or, worst case, failure to recruit, meaning the process starts again.

If you don’t have a nominated individual who is accountable for recruitment, then the leadership team need to change that, as it means the company will be failing to recruit the best people and thus fail business objectives.


So how should an organisation change this?

Firstly, do you know your hiring metrics? Your time to fill. Your conversion rate. Your source of hire.

Secondly, once you know your hiring metrics, then to get everyone accountable across your recruitment process, you need to ensure that information is provided across the people handling the different steps and how their step influences the quality and speed of the process. This second step is tricky and will require a little bit of front-end work to get your message across, but it works and it gets easier.

Thirdly, at each step, ensure there is clarity with the person accountable for that step on how long will they need to achieve that step, so that information can flow to others in later steps.

Finally, accept that accountability in the recruitment process takes constant work, but the results in your organisation are well worth it.

Establishing clear expectations, responsibilities, and goals keeps everyone focussed on their area.

Creating feedback loops and checking them at regular intervals keeps your recruitment process functioning at an optimal level by dealing with problems before they mean you lose that critical hire.


Pete Marston

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