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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Talent Scouting

How crucial is recruitment to organizational success? I'd say very!
If you hire the wrong person for the job, there is hardly any training or intervention to compensate for this mistake. If there is any, the process would be ardous and expensive with little hope of good results.

If you agree with me on what I just wrote, let me ask you this, how much effort have you exerted in seeing to it that your recruitment strategies bring the kind of results that you need? If you are still using a lot of gut feel in hiring, then you'll be missing out on things. If you are like some of the companies I encountered in the past who let their candidates go through a battery of test but failed to realize the significance of the test results, then I'd say that you are wasting your time for nothing.

This is my opinion: finding the right person for the job should be given utmost importance by HR practitioners like us. This is of course and as always easier said than done. This is also probably the reason why a lot of people do not want to go through what I consider as a thorough process of talent-scouting.

As always, I'd like to recommend some strategies. If my recommendation resemble what you do now, hail to you! please share with me and the rest of my readers (which is getting larger thanks to Google!) your experience.

First step: Identify the kind of talents a successful person in a particular position should have. I red "First Break all the Rules" by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman and found their proposals on the concept of talent very intruiging! They came up with three basic categories for it. Let me now use it to share my opinion on what a successful young HR practitioner should have in terms of talents off the cuff:

Striving Talents: A good HR person is motivated by a desire to make a difference in the lives of people and organizations. He or she is driven by a hunger for knowledge, the constant desire to find out how to make things better without losing sight of the here and now. A good HR person thrives more in collaboration rather than competition. I predict that an HR practitioner who reads a lot of theories and new ideas in HR management and uses the organization as a laboratory for validating his knowledge is bound to go places. I don't know if you will agree with me, a bank teller cannot have some of these talents. They need a different set for the kind of work that they do.

Thinking Talents: Disciplined and yet open minded. As HR people are expected to be stalwarts of order in the organization, they should also be open minded to change. A good HR person to me enjoys sharing ideas with others just as much as adopting other people's ideas. they make decisions on the basis of what is good and not just what is practiced.

Relating talents
: HR Practitioners should be more outgoing and finds enjoyment in reaching out to people. An HR person should have no fear of confrontation but exercises tact in every situation.

This of course is in no way complete. Remember this is a blog not a book! :)

You might be asking, how about experience? how about IQ or EQ? I won't say they are not important, they do help especially EQ. But I'm thinking that if we have a way of finding out how to distinguish the right talents required of the position, these things IQ, EQ and experience will more of an equal addition to your battery of screening tools.

Speaking of Screening tools, there are hundreds of them, maybe even thousands, many professing optimum help in determining job fit. There are personality tests, psychological tests, aptitude tests, integrity tests, you name it. The next challenge after determining the kind of talents that you need for the position you are looking to fill is to find the tools that you'll need in order to determine them and for Pete's sake listen to what the tools tell you! I'm sorry, I've gotten a bit emotional there because I've seen too many instances when so called company "psychometricians" administer tests for the sake of administering them and without educating the hiring decision makers on how to make use of the tools' results.

Speaking of educating, let me aks you this, who decides who to hire? Those who do? Do they have the skill and aptitude for making the right hiring decision? If you are shaking your head right now, do something! No matter how good you are at sifting through a sea of resumes and no matter how cool your testing tools are, if the hiring manager is clueless, he or she is bound to let go of a potentially good catch! There are a number of good training programs here in the Philippines, I think the one of SGV-DDI is top of the line but there are also others. Use Google!

One more important thing, Finding the right person for the job also means making sure that the person fits the organizational culture and the immediate boss's leadership/management style. A good hire fits the organization like a puzzle piece. Taking this into consideration, the person in charge of screening applicants should be aware of the kind of culture that emanates in the organization or somehow equips the hiring decision maker to create a profile of this so called puzzle piece so that the recruiter would know what he or she is looking for. I wonder now if there is a tool that determines these sort of things... Shout out to vendors. Please let me know if you have it, maybe we can have some good business together(hehehe). Why is this important? I heard many times that people leave managers and not the organization. I can only think of mismatch as the main reason for this.

I know a lot of company decision makers who are reading this blog and I am now talking to you. You might be thinking, this whole idea sounds expensive... well think about the potential losses caused by a mis-hire in terms of money and company reputation, which would you rather have?

Finding talents is one thing, attracting them to the organization, is a whole lot of other things. Maybe I should talk about that next time.

See you next post!

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