The following article was extracted from HR Future (online magazine) October edition.  The article aims to highlight the need for urgency when recruiting new staff and that inefficient recruitment methods most certainly result in average candidates.

New Rules of Engaging Employees by Kevin Laithwaite HR Future – October 2010

“When it comes to recruitment, the rules of engagement have changed, and they have changed fast across all sectors.  But recruitment methods simply aren’t keeping up, resulting in a situation where less than half of South African employees say they are “comfortable” or “happy” in their current role.

In our parents’ days you would get a job, hopefully with good prospects, work your way up the corporate ladder, stockpiling holidays and a pension, earn a 13th cheque every year and retire at 60 or 65 with a new clock for your mantelpiece.  And companies were geared up to deal with this.  The last 10 to 20 years saw this change radically.  People with specific skills realised they were a scarce resource and started job-hopping every 18 months.  Typically, the first to go were the best employees, who had the best prospects.  For companies, this suddenly meant having to hire continuously to replace these candidates with specific business-critical skills and also having to formulate a plan to retain their top talent, because this frequent recruitment started becoming very expensive and time consuming.

With the arrival of Millennials, or Generation Y, in the workplace we’re seeing another shift.  Lifestyle choices are becoming far more important:  But companies shouldn’t let this fool them into thinking that culture and ethos trumps individual career goals and aspirations….”“…even if employees buy into the company culture, vision and environment and so rate the company as a good place to work, they also need to have their individual goals met in order to be happy.  Collaboration is also important for Gen. Y.  Top talent wants to work with other top talent, typically in smaller teams that get pulled together in a relaxed, non-traditional working environment for a clearly defined project.  Other trends include op talent wanting leadership, and not management.  Highly centralised and authoritative management is being replaced with flat and empowered structures.”

“Weeks of interviews and frustration are the norm as companies try to weed out poor candidates produced by a flawed process.  And, once this lengthy process has finally come to an end, it’s highly unlikely that any of the really good candidates are still going to be available.  A recruitment process that takes weeks or months to get to offer stage is only ever going to deliver average candidates.  Good candidates need to be made an offer within hours of their coming onto the market.  This means that companies with the most agile hiring processes are snapping up all the top talent.  Many companies simply don’t see the changing landscape yet, or are so bogged down with HR administration that they stick with the inefficient recruitment methods they have always used.”