While recruiting, you are always building your company DNA and that DNA is clearly visible in the daily work in your organization after the hiring has been done. But it is also visible to all your important stakeholders since the employees are typically the ambassadors of the firm in whatever they do – even at their free time.
In the business of today, success is not so much about access to raw materials, machinery or financing anymore, but instead it’s increasingly about innovation, continuous learning and adaptation to the ever-changing market conditions. Many companies have already realized that and implemented “people first” practices, in which they hope to nurture their employees and teams towards growth and performance.
Yet we still quite often witness companies, who do not see recruitment, talent attraction and retention as part of their strategic priorities. In such companies, recruitment is done by people who are often distant to the business priorities, e.g. by a HR team working in isolation as a soloed non-business centric function. In a way, the CEOs and leadership teams in these companies have decided to “outsource” the hiring function to others, without personally being involved in the process. And without enough dedication, attention, time or business acumen, recruitment can become a hazard for the overall business.
Is your company one of these organizations? How have you chosen to conduct your recruitment process? To test yourself, see the following four points about the strategic importance of hiring:
Company DNA - Your recruitment outcome defines your company culture. Every new person in the team brings in something new that is either aligned with your anticipated culture – or not. While recruiting, you are always building your company DNA and that DNA is clearly visible in the daily work in your organization after the hiring has been done. But it is also visible to all your important stakeholders since the employees are typically the ambassadors of the firm in whatever they do – even at their free time. A good recruitment plan should stem from the strategic objectives and values of the organization. The company DNA that gradually builds up long strategic hiring decisions is one of the most valuable assets of your organization. And unfortunately, the DNA is also very hard to change afterwards by any managerial actions if it goes haywire.
Productivity - Depending on the business you are in, the productivity differences of the recruited people may be massive. For instance, a good software developer in digital business can be at least ten times more effective in his/her daily work than a poor performing developer. Typically, and strikingly, the best developer earns only two to five times more than the poor one. In other words, if you hire professionally you get top performers in your team and get very good value for your money. But if you fail, you end up paying big bucks to an underperformer. Further, if you hire professionally, you manage to find loyal and committed people who are willing to put 100% of their time and effort to help you and your company grow. But if you fail to hire loyal and committed team me,bers, you cannot expect high productivity either. As simple as that. When it comes to company performance, it really matters who you manage to hire.
Process quality - Recruitment takes time and energy. Starting from the definition of requirements, job description writing, interviewing and ending at contracting and on-boarding, plenty of working hours will have been spent. In case your company has unlimited resources, that´s not a problem. But for any regular companies with EBIT targets and strict annual goals the time spent on recruiting is taken from some other activities that matter. Further, the time and energy spent might still be completely wasted if the recruitment outcomes are poor. There is always a risk related to hiring. Recruiting completely wrong people – e.g. unmotivated, dishonest, and untalented – can be extremely costly and you only realize this way too late only after the individuals in question have messed up something or somewhere. In extreme cases, you might even face legal issues, e.g. if your hiring included discrimination or bad contracting with the hires. It is therefore extremely important that you manage your hiring process for efficiency, quality and compliance.
Future projections - Recruitment is linked to various HR-related things in your company, such as talent management, staff trainings and succession planning. You may think that you hire people for the vacancies you have open right now, but if you take a long-term perspective, you realize that you hire people to grow into new positions within your company. After all, most leadership hires are internal in most organizations. If you fail to recruit good people who can grow in their roles or take lead in the future, you´ll face problems sooner or later. To avoid this from happening, your recruitment should not be tactical, opportunistic or reactive; only trying to quickly replace employees who have suddenly left. Instead, your hiring should be strategic, proactive, and even visionary so that you ensure that your employees have the potential to grow – and that you have given them clear paths for personal development. So think of your recruitment as a strategic investment towards the future of your company.
To summarize, and to exaggerate a bit, recruitment is not a low-priority support function that can be done by unexperienced or unmotivated part-time officials with no visibility to critical business priorities. In contrast, recruitment is a strategic function with direct impact on organizational performance and bottom-line, which belongs to the agenda of the CEO and the leadership team, on a day-to-day basis.
Regardless of the size or industry of your organization, your ability to recruit qualified staff is critical and it basically defines your competitive edge. With successful hiring, you can create a winning corporate culture, drive performance and efficiency, ensure high quality standards, and build clear future projections for your business. So, the next time you meet the CEO of your company, ask him/her (or, if you are the CEO, ask yourself): “How is our hiring doing right now?”
Fuzu is a Finnish-Kenyan company that develops career guidance, online learning and recruitment services for the emerging markets. We help people to take the next step in life, get inspiration and unleash their hidden potential. Click here to see how Fuzu can help your company in taking your recruitment to a more strategic level!