As the candidate market squeezes employers looking for the next great find, is there a danger we sometimes panic and just appoint the best person we can find, whilst our backs are up against the wall?
I have certainly experienced this across two decades in business and with hindsight have always come to rue my hasty decision making, easily identifying the point at which I made my mistake, going against my instincts and appointing just because we needed a ‘bum on a seat’.
I wonder too about the current Brexit politics. It doesn’t matter how you voted or which party you support, my question today would be, do we go with the best option just because we’re under pressure or do we rethink the situation/hold out for a better fit option? Perhaps Theresa May’s sticking to her guns demonstrates phenomenal Resilience? But when does Resilience that we admire turn into being ‘Stubborn to a Fault’ that, in turn, causes nothing but trouble? Have you ever been guilty of this?
Either way, in politics we are currently in the same position as recruiting employers are so often…being forced into a position where our backs are against the wall and feeling under pressure to go with something that looks half way acceptable and hoping that what we’re saying yes to, is right. Is what is on the table the right offer? It’s nigh on impossible to ever clearly answer that question when you’re under intense pressure and being scrutinised from all angles. But in my 50+ years on this planet so far, this back against the wall position is where I have experienced people making the most atrocious decisions.
So how do you find the courage to say ‘no’ to every single candidate that has applied for your job and tell the business you’ve got to start the process all over again? And equally, how do you know when it’s your expectations that are unrealistic, rather than the candidates simply not hitting the mark?
My approach is to go back to basics, check the facts, rethink the detail and keep asking questions… Is the salary level right, could we have better worded the job ad, are we interviewing in the right way, what is the market doing, what are candidates looking for, what can we learn from our existing staff, are we focusing on what is important for our business or getting caught up with trivial or irrelevant stuff, are the right people interviewing, what do we need to do to make us stand out and draw in the right candidates?
And when asking questions, it helps to have others in the team who can give you a straight answer – as opposed to the answer they think you want or an answer that pursues their agenda rather than business agenda…
…if every time you ask a question no one challenges you – perhaps it’s time to rethink who is in your team, as this lot won’t be giving you the variety of ideas and opinion you probably need.
…if every time you ask a question you are met with silence as though your question was in fact rhetorical, perhaps you need to ask yourself whether you have the calibre of people in your team you need or whether your management style inhibits free speech.
…if every time you ask a question the immediate stance of those around you is to do some back covering or personal agenda promoting, perhaps it’s time you put some time and effort into team culture and adult behaviours.
…if every time you ask a question, people close you down saying you just need to get on and make a decision, then perhaps its time you did some decision-making analysis so you can demonstrate to others that the best decision making comes when enough questions are asked, irrespective of urgent time scales. Understanding the real cost of recruitment mistakes in your business would be a useful statistic to have to hand too!
I don’t know where Theresa May and our Brexit negotiations are leading us, but I do know there is little I can do about it other than steel myself for whatever outcome emerges. I also know that what we can all do when trying to recruit during this sardine tight labour market we find ourselves in is…stay true to what we identified we needed, differentiate ourselves from our competitors, never bow to pressure as that just creates problems further down the line and above all, keep challenging and questioning ourselves to ensure we never get to be the person they call ‘Stubborn to a Fault’.
This is a personal blog written by Helen Jamieson. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Jaluch Ltd. The views and opinions posted in response to this blog are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent those of Helen Jamieson or Jaluch Ltd. Jaluch Ltd is not responsible for the accuracy of the information within this blog.