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Best practices in hiring include selecting the correct recruitment channels, designing the selection process well, complying with relevant legislation and corporate policy, and timing the process for optimal efficiency.
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Recruitment channels are aplenty, ranging from advertisements in newspapers and job portals, to free classified ads and threads in social networking media, and in-house referrals. The best practice is to select the channel that provides the best value for money and maintains the image of the business, and adopt an integrated and automated approach that leverages all possible eligible mediums.
Good business hiring practices is to identify the recruitment medium that targets candidates and which provides the best response. This primarily comes through experience, and a process of trial and error spanning over several recruitment processes.
One mistake many companies make is to opt for the most economical recruitment medium. This is a mistake, for top talent may not access such mediums, or such mediums may be inappropriate for the company’s positioning, leading to serious dent of the corporate image. An ad for a clergyman appearing in a porn magazine is a case in point.
Best hiring strategies consider the effectiveness of the investment, or a ratio of the number of relevant or quality candidates who apply to the investment when selecting the medium to place recruitment ads.
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While talent remains in perpetual short supply, there is no dearth of applicants for just about any position advertised. The success of the recruitment process depends on separating the wheat from the chaff in the most cost and time effective manner, and this requires designing a robust selection process.
The key is to identify the most relevant selection tools from the many tools available, such as written tests, psychometric testing, in basket exercises, interviews, group discussions, and more, and to ensure scientific validity to the selected tools, to reveal whether the candidate possesses the critical skill-sets required for the position.
Regardless of the selection tools applied, the selection process takes place in two stages: the elimination stage and the selection stage. The focus on the elimination stage is to reject unsuitable candidates. Common selection tools used during this stage include sifting through resumes and written tests. The application of selection science and data analysis such as seeking information of key measures of success in quantifiable terms makes the process easy and efficient. One example is to shortlist resumes based on the candidates sales per hour in the previous job.
The selection stage aims to identify the best candidate from the applicants who survive the elimination stage, using tools such as assessment centers, group discussions, in baskets and more.
The best practice is to subject the selected candidate to a background check before making the job offer.
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One important dimension of good business hiring practices is to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and corporate policy.
The legislation relevant to recruiting candidates are anti-discrimination laws such as:
- Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
- Americans with Disabilities Act that mandates companies to make reasonable accommodation for otherwise handicapped eligible employees.
- Age Discrimination Act that prevents companies from rejecting candidates just because they are above 40 years old.
- Fair Employment Act that prohibits racial discrimination.
- The proposed Employment Non Discrimination Act that disallows discrimination based on sexual orientation,and more.
The recruitment process also needs to comply with company polices. For instance, if the corporate culture speaks of affirmative action, people would expect the recruitment process to back up the talk. Similarly, if the company policy speaks of hiring people from colleges and training them for a career, it becomes inappropriate to seek out experienced hands for entry-level positions.
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Another of the best business hiring practices is timing the process correctly to ensure the availability of the right candidate at the right time.
The recruitment process should ideally make available candidates as and when required. This requires pacing the recruitment process to ensure that the selection process is over and candidates have sufficient time to join, get accustomed to company operations, and acquire training if required just when the need arises, which could be when the incumbent leaves or when a new project starts. At times, the company would want to seize an unexpected new opportunity, or an unexpected vacancy might arise owing to sudden attrition. One best practice is to maintain a pool of candidates in shortlist to ensure ready appointments if required.
While pacing the recruitment process to suit business needs ranks high as a best practice in hiring, considering candidate availability is also part of best hiring strategies. For instance, the best time to advertise for fresh graduates is the time when college ends.
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Good business hiring practices add to the corporate reputation and contributes to the success of the company by making available top talent as and when required.
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- Kronos. "How Science Has Changed the Way Businesses Hire." Retrieved from http://faculty.mdc.edu/ydiaz4/Chapter%20Articles/Chapter%208%20Articles/Best%20Practices%20in%20Recruitment.pdf on April 22, 2011.
- Rensselaer. "Laws That Govern Us in Fair Employment Practices." http://www.rpi.edu/dept/hr/recruit/laws.html. Retrieved April 22, 2011.