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Ask The Expert: Strategic Planning

It takes strategic planning and an implemented recruiting system to be successful in the search for a top employee.

But not every company is geared up for the arduous task of recruiting. It takes time, money and a plan to get the process going and ensure success.

Clearly, a strong recruitment plan is expensive. What are some of the possible recruiting costs?

There are many, and they include advertisements and promotional company materials such as brochures, DVDs or other print or multimedia products you create. Also, don’t forget about the recruiter’s salary, if you use one.

There are also costs to attend job fairs, such as travel and any associated expenses. Travel expenses are something to consider, especially when you fly prospects in for interviews. Training is a big expense, but it only comes into play once you make a hire. The same goes for classroom materials that you use for training and orientation.

How much could you typically spend on recruiting new employees?

The cost involved is certainly more than the price of a newspaper advertisement. To determine your cost per hire, you must add up all expenses and divide by the number of people hired each month. Understanding this amount will help you to recognize the importance of recruiting and retaining top candidates.

With such an important investment, what’s a key element of ensuring the right hire the first time?

It is critical to create a detailed job description in order to find the right employee. When creating a job description, provide the required skill set and education, primary purpose or contribution to the company, daily, weekly, monthly and annual responsibilities and appropriate chain of command.

Make sure your new hires know the critical details of their job and where they fit within the organization.

What steps are most successful to ensure you’re recruiting top-quality employees?

Place advertisements through multiple outlets such as newspapers, Internet or radio. Make sure to screen calls and review faxed or e-mailed resumes. Place a contact call to the candidate and schedule an interview. It can be a traditional face-to-face setting or phone interview. Many companies now focus on the phone interview as a cost savings factor. This concept is catching on throughout large businesses as well as privately held companies.

Why is the phone interview gaining momentum?

Don’t underestimate the importance of a phone interview and the cost savings that go along with it. Not only does the interview or screening save time, which allows for more interviews, but it is a key component of the recruiting process. A phone call is an opportunity to learn more about a candidate than you can just reading their resume. Treat it the same as a face-to-face interview, use a consistent set of questions to maintain a structured interview and evaluate candidates accordingly.

How do you narrow down the field once you’ve tapped a select few candidates?

The selection process can be difficult, depending on your need. Increase your chances of success by reviewing the candidates resume for length of time on the job; short-term employees could mean a lack of commitment. Also, look for gaps or overlaps in employment, and ask for an explanation. Be sure the candidate’s skill sets match the needs of the position you are hiring. Finally, trust your instincts. Did the candidate make a good impression?

Should the goal be long-term retention?

Retention is essential to the success of your business, so selecting and retaining the top individuals is important. Select those individuals who will continue to develop their skill set and increase their value to your clients and business.

Creating an environment that is thriving, challenging and positive is the key to retaining talented people. Other factors that influence retention include incentive plans, benefits and growth potential within the organization.

Once you implement a recruiting system in which you can measure costs, turnover, quality hires and retention, then you will be able to accommodate your growth or sustain your current success.