Recruiting Challenges: The Learning Process

Laura Ingram - AAIM Employers’ Association

Our member companies continue to struggle with recruiting effectively, and all indications are that the challenge will not let up any time soon. Companies are increasing investments in advertising and job posting avenues, with inconsistent results. But one thing we find consistently is that companies with the greatest success have a clearly defined culture, have internal alignment and clarity regarding each role, and engage in continuous recruiting.

In talking with our members about their challenges with talent acquisition, one company shared a synopsis of their experience with us, which reflects what we have heard from so many others. Keith Canova, VP of Operations and Business Development for CenterPoint Technologies, Inc., an AAIM member company providing alarm monitoring services, described their greatest talent acquisition challenges as follows:

  1. First… you must understand the position you are hiring for. Unless you fully understand the position, it is almost impossible to hire the right individual.
  2. Understanding your organizational culture. Do you have an organizational culture? Is there an individual focusing on creating one?
  3. Knowing where and how to search for the right employee that will be a good fit for the position and within the organizational culture.
  4. Defining a talent acquisition process. Depending on the size of the organization and what the individuals within the organization are used to doing, you may or may not have the resources to source, filter, interview, hire and train the talent. To do this correctly requires time and a plan. A lot of companies, and the people making decisions within the company, seem to think: “I’ll place a ‘help wanted’ sign and fill the position, no problem.” You might get lucky doing it this way, but you won’t have consistency.

After trying several avenues for external recruiting support with no luck, Centerpoint discovered that the internal planning process was most critical to success, combined with other efforts to bolster their overall HR and talent acquisition system, such as shoring up employee policies, job descriptions and performance management. When asked what their greatest talent acquisition successes have been, Keith said, “The learning process!” and shared these points:

  1. One size does not fit all. Just because you had a successful process at a previous company does not mean that process will work at the new company.
  2. The reason the process was successful at the previous company was because it went through the planning process for specific positions.
  3. I believe we are on our way in determining the who, what, where, when and how by working with AAIM’s talent acquisition and assessment consultants.
  4. Defining a model employee for each position and defining the type of employee we really need took some time, but was “Huge!” in terms of making progress.

Because a company’s true competitive advantage lies in engaging employees, rather than simply filling seats, these lessons are critical for all of us as we seek to solve our talent acquisition challenges. With careful planning and a holistic approach, we can maximize our resource investment and make long-term hires that provide the engagement and competitive advantage we all need to succeed. iBi

Laura Ingram SPHR, SHRM-SCP is Vice President, HR Services for AAIM Employers’ Association.

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