Recruiting: It’s Worth Doing Right

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 Recruiters WISH They Had a Sorting Hat.

It’s just not that simple.

It is a process that few understand and even fewer do right.  My mom used to say, “If anything is worth doing, it is worth doing right.”  She was talking about pulling weeds, a task most kids hate and try to hurry through, thus doing it wrong.  And pulling weeds incorrectly leads to an even bigger problem.  The root isn’t removed, just the tops, so the weeds come back bigger and stronger, making them even more difficult to remove correctly.

Like pulling weeds, if done incorrectly, recruiting leads to bigger, deeply rooted problems.  Most small and/or young companies hire based on relationships, who they know that can start right away, rarely is it done based on true need.  Founders, Executives, and Employees in small and/or young companies wear multiple hats.  It is the nature of the beast.  Unfortunately, none of those hats are the recruiter hat.  The hat that offers unbiased discernment and the necessary time to get to the root of each potential employee to really observe and judge what they will bring to the table.

It’s a pretty base concept when you break it down.  Each employee either solves problems for a company or creates them.  Through a thorough hiring process, good recruiters can identify which candidates or applicants will benefit a department or company and which ones will not.  Hiring in a rush or without a detailed understanding of job requisites and company or department culture leads to just pulling the tops off the weeds.  And if there is no time to really care about the company experience post-hire, how can we possibly concern ourselves with candidate experience pre-hire?

This is not a mindless or throwaway job.  Recruiters and Hiring Managers must recognize the responsibility they have, they hold, that they can grow.  It isn’t difficult to write a job posting (it is an art, but that’s another story).  It isn’t hard to select the right places to post jobs, whether traditional job boards or social channels.  It isn’t brain surgery to pre-screen an applicant and decide next steps based on their resume or application.  And it isn’t rocket science to make a call and set up phone interviews or on-site visits.  But determining cultural fit and true ability based on an in-person interview?  THAT is an artistic and a scientific process with a significant amount of pressure riding on it.

When you consider the cost of hiring a bad employee, you must consider the necessary skill and time required to hire the right employee.  Jordan Sunderberg , theUndercoverRecruiter, posted an infograph by Resoomay that broke down the actual costs of a bad employee, in this case a middle manager.  When you regard the hiring costs, salary and benefits, employee maintenance costs, disruption costs, severance package, all the mistakes and failures that resulted in missed business opportunities, the costs are astronomical and a bit ridiculous:  $840,000.

Of course, this type of cost would be to a larger company, but imagine how much more difficult these type of losses are to smaller companies, companies that are just starting out.  The majority of new companies fail due to poor management: either poor management of money or poor management of people.  Hiring practices need to be clearly defined and then adhered to.  It is a difficult time to incur losses and the disruption a poor hire causes.

“A job worth doing, is worth doing right…” an ancient proverb yes, but also the best advice a mother ever gave.


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  1. This is great, Rayanne. Seriously, I wish I had the sorting hat for a lot of other things — like when I was dating or shopping. It would save me a lot of time and if it was programmed to know what type jeans would look best for my body type that would be even better.

    Except that there is no sorting hat for these kind of things. We miss out on life learnings, decisions, and situations. Hiring right is hard and most managers make the decision to choose easy instead of right. When I was in retail HR, I was often left with the choice between is he breathing or is he the best candidate? Most manager’s would choose breathing because it was a short term fix but not a long term solution.


  2. I would like to have had a sorting hat for bathing suit season!
    You are so right, hiring right is hard.
    The long-term solution isn’t ever the easiest, but it is the right one. Too many are willing to risk a bad hire just to make a hire, not recognizing how serious and costly a risk it is.
    My goal was to identify that risk and show its true face in the light of day. Kind of takes the sheen of those great “time-to-fill” numbers.



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