It’s extremely expensive employing new team members. I said this to another employer once and he immediately reacted by discussing the cost of advertising, recruitment consultants fees etc. I proceeded to develop the conversation further by introducing the costs of the time associated with reading over the countless CVs that will come in (many of which, no where remotely suitable for the role!); then the correspondence inviting people for interview (and of course telling all the others that their application isn’t being taken further), and then conducting the interviews themselves. For this latter aspect alone, let’s say two of your most senior members of staff interviewing 9 people over 3 days, and then second interviews for the chosen few thereafter. By the time you add it all up, for a small SME the costs involved with taking you up to the new person arriving for their first day at work can very quickly come to thousands of pounds. Then the ‘new star’ for the team arrives and within days it is obvious to you (and probably everyone else!) that you have made a mistake. The person you interviewed is not the person that is now sitting within your team. What do you do? – well that’s a whole book in itself, and not for this blog.
However, as part of your initial recruitment process did you seriously consider the candidates in a way that gave you the greatest chance of a successful result. First of all, did they have the right technical skills for the job? Secondly, did they have experience that is relevant to the role they will be performing? These two things together give you a good indication regarding their skillset and it is often where the recruitment process pays the greatest emphasis.
But what about asking yourself, “Can they actually work well within our business and are they a good fit for our team, our customers and our working environment?” I would say that this ‘good fit’ is a far harder ask of you when considering who is the correct choice. There isn’t really anything you can refer to. There is no ‘certificate of competence’. It’s more down to your gut instinct and this will be something that could be very difficult to explain to your HR department when they are challenging your thinking. I can hear it now, “Why are you choosing a candidate that has got less technical skills than others in the process?”
However, let’s think about it like this. If someone would be a ‘good fit’ for your team, but they were lacking some aspects of technical expertise, it’s going to be far easier to get that ‘right’ person the additional technical skills (e.g. send them on a course) than get the ‘wrong’ person with all the ‘right’ skills at the outset, fitting into your business. This second option may very well come back to bite you many times over as you struggle, and probably fail, to integrate them successfully into your organisation. So when making your choices, always consider ‘good fit’/ ‘bad fit’ very highly in your ultimate decision for successful recruitment, and for goodness sake don’t write off the best option for lack of some technical ability.