Unemployment topped 2 million last week and may even challenge the 3 million plus seen in the 80’s during the coming year. Make no mistake this is not just a miserable situation for those personally affected, it is a real toll on business and on UK plc. Apart from anything else it means less people with less disposable income to buy goods and services, less confidence from those in work to spend and less tax revenue for the government to invest in public services.
But does more candidates on the market with lowered expectations on remuneration pose an opportunity for employers? Lets be honest of course it does, it would be disingenuous of anyone to say differently. This situation does however come with an increased risk of getting it wrong and far from saving money, costing money!
Not many employers are presently taking on employees because their business is growing, but there are employers out there who are recruiting – why? Certainly there is the odd position falling vacant through retirement or other ‘natural causes’ but also because smart employers know that now more than ever it is not a tenable situation to carry people who are not top performers. In an article entitled “Cruelty Kindness or Natural selection” the dangers of persisting with the wrong person in the wrong job were discussed and some winning strategies from some of the worlds most successful companies examined. Let’s face it, now is not the time to go into the game with the second XI.
That’s not to say that everyone who finds themselves unemployed right now is second XI, good candidates are out there for no fault of their own but this situation where there are more people available makes the necessity of a robust and effective selection process vital:-
- Candidates who are out of work apply for inappropriate positions – they have families to feed but for an employer wrong person is still a costly mistake
- Some candidates will take jobs they don’t want…. “for now…”
- More choice does not always make for better decisions!
Commonly employers will use invalid criteria to hire:-
- Hiring in your own image “what we need is another me”!
- Pirating from your competitors – if he worked for X he can work for me!
- Hiring based on experience (20 years experience in the business…. All of it bad!)
- Hiring based on qualifications
Now more than ever employers need to hire with their heads! in fact now is the time when you really do need to make sure that your company is winning the best people….. unless of course you are finding these relaxing and profitable times and you don’t need to fight!
Chris Ball is a Director of MBA and a member of the Institute of Business Consulting www.ibconsulting.org.uk , MBA Associates Ltd is a specialist consultancy that partners clients to Recruit, Retain and Develop Top Performing Teams. Using sophisticated and proven methods that are different to the usual recruitment agency MBA has an enviable track record of Job Matching with currently over 80% of candidates recruited are retained after one year (statistics from Harvard Business review show 14% success rate is average on CV alone!) MBA can be contacted on 01242 821 432, firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website at www.mba-associates.co.uk
© Chris Ball March 2009