Here we go again.
The annoying position in the company. The position you had to fill 3 times in the past 5 years. The position, it turns out, is actually pretty important to the direction the company is going in, providing leadership, providing expertise, providing ingenuity and providing stability. Where you are needing to develop business overseas, while steadying the ship at home. Make sound investment decisions, while thinking up innovative ways to make money. Planning long-term visions, while handling real-time crisis management. The list goes on.
Admittedly, this seems a ridiculous job for one person, and I need to have lie down just thinking about recruiting for it. Even so, there are certainly lessons that the Conservative Party can take when it comes to choosing their next leader. The ‘Wacky Races’ style contest that has happened so far is only highlighting how important a well-planned recruitment process is to find the right candidate for any role, never mind one as important as this.
Here are 3 lessons to take from the proceedings so far:
Active candidates are not always the best candidates – think strategically
What’s the one thing Theresa May, Boris Johnson and our next Prime Minister will have in common? They all applied for the role. They have spent years assembling their teams to put together meticulously planned operations with the sole purpose of getting the top job. Are they necessarily the top talent? Is it right that people are choosing from a pool of a dozen candidates when there is so much more out there?
Using alternative methods of recruitment, rather than a simple ad online, can often improve a company’s chances of finding the best talent for a role. The bulk of the job market is filled with passive candidates who are not always looking for work. For example, at NRG we use multiple attraction methods that are key to selecting the best fit, through avenues such as networking, social media and our own internal database. This way is far more strategic and far more targeted.
Group interviews don’t always work - think carefully about assessment methods
If the TV debates have taught us anything, it’s that sometimes pitting every candidate against each other gets you nowhere. Sometimes, rather than becoming about job suitability or what positive attributes you could bring to the organisation, it becomes about who has the biggest personality and who can shout the loudest. It becomes about who stands out from that particular group rather than who is the best fit for the role.
When it comes to an important position, having a thorough interviewing process that has been meticulously planned, where you have considered the strengths and weaknesses of a range of assessment tools, is vitally important and goes a long way to picking the right candidate. These can be anything from assessment centres to ability tests, from competency interviews to personality tests.
At NRG, we provide expert knowledge and guidance on a range of these methods, whilst also offering to screen and interview candidates ourselves if needed.
Always be positive – you are on sale as well as the candidate
Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are being bombarded with questions like ‘how are you going to fix this…’ and ‘how will you improve that…’ According to reports, we are all doomed and the next person needs to fix everything or they will very much suffer. Who’d be a politician, right?
It is important that you are honest with candidates. If there are things that need fixing, tell them that you’re aware and you have a plan of action. If there are areas that need to improve, tell them your focus areas. But above all, promote the opportunity this brings. What are the strengths of being in this position? What opportunities are there in the organisation as a result? What benefits are there? The best talent will only choose your organisation if they see a great future there. No business is without improvement potential; it’s how you frame it that counts. Be honest, yes – but above all be passionate!
State your company’s policy on alcohol and parties as clearly as possible.