I am going to start by sharing an excerpt from the course I am currently teaching:
“One of the most valuable assets of a small business is the employee. They have the power to affect the bottom line positively or negatively. Because employees affect profitability in many ways it is essential for the entrepreneur to recruit the best possible personnel”. (From my Management 325 class)
What this says to me is how you recruit, and how you treat your potential candidates during the recruiting process, will determine what kind of employees you end with. If you treat the candidate pool like cattle, and take it for granted that “someone wants the job”, you will not get dedicated loyal employees who are looking for longevity. If however, you value each, and every candidate, even those who you ultimately reject, as professional skilled human beings, word will get out that you have integrity and people will still want to work for you.
It is often the case in higher education institutions that the HR department is something to be feared and loathed, but the reality is the HR department has a vital role to play from recruitment and training to retention and counseling of employees. HR departments that generally get recruitment right will see longevity in their employees and receive solid referrals for job vacancies.
Let us go back to the hiring portion because first impressions mean a lot. You have that potentially great employee with all the right credentials, and they want to work for you. That is a great start, especially after transcripts and references check out. Then you drop the ball because you drag your feet on the formal background check, or you do follow up with the hiring manager on a start date, and before you know it, more than a month has passed. You should not be surprised that the excellent candidate has since moved on and found other employment because you did not communicate with them.
Communication is key! We teach it, but why can’t we practice it more often? Do not get the reputation for ‘not really hiring’ or for being ‘that place you do not want to try and work’. Communicate with your candidates, even a simple hello I know you are there will do. In this day and age of economic hardship, people are suffering enough in the job market; so why add to their pain?
Practice what you teach!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III