How many times do you recruit the same person? (Editorial)

This issue examines staff recruitment from a number of angles. The CloseUp looks at campus recruitment and the next generation of workers. There’s a feature on companies looking to become employers of choice for older Canadians. And these Insight pages include the words of Bank of Canada Governor David Dodge, who notes that Canada’s productivity requires developing the next generation while making better use of older workers. There’s also a look at how recruiting minorities is only a part of the hiring strategy at the Ottawa Police Service — you need a plan to retain them, or else what’s the point?

Finding the best people you can afford — whether they’re young, old, diverse, management, professionals, blue collar — is one of the main reasons HR departments are created. Shortages and skills gaps come and go as supply and demand ebbs and flows, but recruitment is always there — the task that never ends.

Hopefully, the recruitment insights in this issue will give HR professionals a few ideas on how to best fill vacant positions. But once you’ve snagged the talent you need, don’t stop.

What about those qualified and eager people whom you deliberated over but didn’t hire? Or those who came close but lacked some credentials and experience required for the available opening?

In addition to conducting well-planned recruitment campaigns and searches, HR professionals need to catalogue jobseekers who don’t make the cut this time, but should be called back for interviews when other vacancies occur. Unfortunately, too many resumes go into the trash bin when hiring managers have found their “stars.”

What’s needed is a system that keeps potential hires on file in an easy-to-retrieve format for hiring managers.

It’s not enough to keep Jane’s application to the accounting department in a dusty file drawer. If her qualifications didn’t land her in the accounting department, but she seems right for marketing, will marketing know about her three months down the road when it is looking to hire someone? Wouldn’t it be great to call her back in and save a lot of time and expense in searching for a candidate who has already made herself known to the organization?

People can be turned down for positions for a number of reasons that have nothing to do with future employability with your organization.

Perhaps there were just too many qualified people to chose from (it would be great for HR if that happened more often). The person may not be right for the available job, but perfect for another one down the road. Perhaps the candidate wasn’t the right fit for a department, but would do well in another area of the company. (You don’t think every department has the same culture do you?) Or maybe your hiring manager made a big mistake in not snagging that person.

With an efficient system that creates a pool of potential hires, you may get another crack at the star performer who was overlooked.

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