Sunday, April 8, 2012

‘Quality Of Hire’

Recruiting is a 'bi-directional consultative sale' (hat tip: Hank Stringer).  That means the recruiter is always juggling a close on both ends of the deal. When fitst viewed, the recruiting problem looks simple. Really, though, there are so many nuances that generalizations end up being the source of problems.

One of the most bizarre notions in the current HR culture is that 'quality of hire' is a meaningful measure of anything.

The complex relationship between the Recruiter and various hiring authorities strains conventional definitions of organizational boundaries. Simply described as "workflow" or the hiring manager input, these relationships range from those in which Recruiters are logistics coordinators/sourcers (and the hiring manager has exclusive decision making authority) to more collaborative arrangements to situations in which Recruiters have actual hiring authority.

If anything is clear about recruiting processes it is that Recruiting represents the entrance to the organization. As such, it includes processes that are designed consciously or unconsciously to provide organizational evaluation of both the candidate and the process itself. The wide variation in Recruiting processes is not a flaw. It is an initial indicator of the organization's culture. The process from initial courtship through the completion of "onboarding" always includes a number of very soft cultural evaluations and rites of passage.

Hiring decisions are typically made at the workgroup (department) level. New team members can be understood as levels of quality"

Typically, the highest level of quality is something like: The person most likely to bring synergy to the team.

The second level of quality is: A person who can do the job without adding additional burdens to the team.

The third level of quality is: A person who can do the job without adding burdens to the team after a short learning curve.

The fourth level of quality is: A person who has the skills and temperament required for the job but needs complete training.

The "hiring manager" is tasked with maximizing the output of the total team in pursuit of a set of assigned objectives. In other words, the hiring manager's assessment of "quality" is a function of expectation (based on resources available to fill the slot) and overall consequence for the team. This molecular quality level is, occasionally, at odds with the atomic level because of the unique composition of a particular workgroup.

For example, adding a high powered, fully qualified no training required member to the team may upset the apple cart to the point that productivity is reduced. In cultures that emphasize longevity, hiring less qualified candidates allows the organization to continue its forward movement in more critical areas. The third or fourth level of quality is the right choice in these circumstances.

Thanks to John Sumser / HR Examiner


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