How is your hiring process perceived?

High profile failings

As an avid Republic of Ireland football fan, there is frustration about the recent piece of recruitment for the country’s next manager. The decision was made not to renew the previous manager’s contract and it was assumed by most fans that a preferred candidate had been identified and readied for the role.

This seemed to be a good piece of succession planning by the Football Association. However four months after the previous manager left and it appears that Ireland is no further forward in hiring the person that will win us the next World Cup!
So what has happened?

The number one target is ex-Ireland international, Lee Carsley – the current England u/21 head coach. Talks seemed to have been on and off over the last three months, yet little progress seems to have been made. Other names have been thrown in the hat who have apparently met the FA; Neil Lennon and Chris Coleman who have both been regretted for the role, with Carsley still in the running (or not going by recent reports). As an onlooker the perception is that this is a hire with no strategy and commitment from the FA to bring in their top target or that the top target is not interested in joining for whatever reason.

Since then Ireland has appointed an interim in John O’Shea, and this appointment was a little about of the blue. O’Shea is a legend in Irish football but not a recognised coach/manager. With this short-term appointment in mind there still seems to be no recognised candidate in sight.

Since this appointment two new names have also come out of the blue including Gus Poyet – the Greece manager who once had a pint of Guinness at Temple Bar after beating Ireland – and Willy Sagnol, a manager plying his trade with Georgia, a country that seems to be twinned with Ireland in terms of qualification groups.

What others see

Unlike a football association it is unlikely your recruitment process – or lack of it – will make the written press or any football magazine show, but it does highlight the importance of public perception of your business when recruiting.

There are two areas that scream no strategy to candidates, one is a role that seems to come up all the time. That’s when you post the same job on your LinkedIn page, job boards and other social media channels on numerous occasions within a short period of time. The other problem area is when candidates are kept in a long, arduous recruitment process as you “explore your options”.

So what are the perceptions of a role that is constantly in the public domain? First impression will be that you are going through staff AGAIN! Have you misled new hires about the expectations, or do you have little to no onboarding process? Whatever the perception, it really doesn’t look good and that is where having a proactive strategy comes into place. Identifying talent before you have a need is vital. In football this should seemingly be an easy process, but for businesses less so.

The second area is that candidates seem to be in a never-ending recruitment process. They go through a four or five stage interview, and they are still only being “considered”. Unlike the first issue, this isn’t in the public domain, but please remember candidates speak to friends, family and contacts. This is particularly worth bearing in mind if you work in a niche sector and the candidate who’s hanging on comes from a competitor.

We had a scenario a few years back where a candidate was regretted at the 5th stage of the interview process after meeting a junior member of the team, who felt the candidate just wasn’t right for the role. That candidate went on to do very well at a competitor.

The minute your vacancy goes live you will get people talking (positively we hope) about the role, the company, the team and the leaders and whether this is a good opportunity or not based on their experience or perception.