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In 2001, a relatively unknown American academic published the results of a substantial study of 1, 435 Fortune 500 companies. The question that was posed: ‘Can a good company become a great company, and, if so, how?’  

The answers were quite surprising. To quote: ‘we expected that good-to-great leaders would begin by setting a new vision and strategy. We found instead that they first got the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats – and then they figured out where to drive it. The old adage “People are your most important asset” turns out to be wrong. People are not your most important asset. The right people are’.

So it may be fair to conclude that considerable time and effort would be devoted by companies currently recruiting and selecting from the UK marketplace. With unemployment in the UK at its lowest level since 1975, there is even more pressure to achieve this.

Although it’s difficult to obtain external data on the effectiveness of R & S, it is possible to clearly define the minimum information required to begin the process.

  • Undertake a detailed ‘Needs Analysis’: does the Company actually need to fill or create this position?
  • Interviewers need to know the applicant’s name: it’s not just the spelling or pronunciation that is a challenge, it’s knowing the candidate’s name.
  • Knowing the title of the position that the Company has advertised…..
  • Which allows the interviewers to know and understand the work content of the position: what are the ‘essential attributes’, the ‘desirable requirements’, and any other criteria involved.
  • Ensure that candidates are aware of the R & S process: then stick to the content and timetable agreed.
  • Both the Company and the candidate need to prepare for the interview: for either side to believe that they can ‘make it up as they go along’ will often lead to failure in R & S process, and in the end-result.

I have witnessed all of the above points at first hand in recent months, from both an employer and candidate viewpoint. If the same level of performance was applied to product manufacturing or service delivery, then some Companies would quickly go out of business. There is a near-zero effort at R & S process control: it’s as if this part of the enterprise operates without any supervision, be it effective or otherwise.

At NBJ Business Solutions ltd., we offer a bespoke approach to R & S: we believe that every Company is unique in terms of both individuals and team members, and that there is no one ‘best practice’ approach that consistently delivers the right person in the right position at the right time.

If you’re dissatisfied with your Company’s current performance in this area, feel free to contact us.

Acknowledgment to the book ‘Good to Great’ by Jim Collins, published by Random House Business Books in 2001