Saturday, 5 November 2011

Tips and Tricks for HR, Recruiters and Hiring Managers

So this is my second kick at the can at blogging.  My first blog mentioned some of the challenges a person faces when looking for another job; be it full-time, contract or consulting.   I thought it would be beneficial to anyone on the hiring seat by providing meaningful solutions to some of the problems I identified in my earlier blog.   In the future, I plan on blogging for those who are on the other side of recruitment that are in search of a new job opportunity.

Before I provide the tips and tricks I want to convey my enormous respect for recruiters both internally and externally.  I have partnered with a number of professionals that have 'saved my bacon' as an human resources (hr) manager.  I have also encountered a number of polished hr colleagues who have a strategic pulse of their organization and the external environment.  Some of these seasoned veterans in the fight for recruiting and retaining talent have shared their best practices with me.  Some of the points below are theirs and others are my own.  I would also like to mention that I was once a recruiter for Manpower, and for two recruitment firms--one was a partnership and the other was my own.  I still perform recruitment duties, from time to time, but I prefer to partner with the experts that have leveraged social media and have an established network of candidates.

Below are some tips and tricks that I have learnt and practiced over the years.  Recruitment and retention is an ever evolving process attributed to technology and globalization.  I would appreciate it if I could get some additional suggestions from you.

Have a Plan of Attack
  • Have a recruitment plan/process in place.  The plan will describe who is responsible for what in the recruitment lifecycle.
  • Communicate the recruitment plan to all stakeholders; the plan should take into consideration everyone who is affected by the process.
  • If you are using the company's website, web/discussion forums, blogs, social media please ensure your information is current--remove all filled jobs from the websites.
  • etc.
  • If applicable, leverage from the employee referral network.  Provide the employees with useful tools such as postcards, a company website that outlines the company's culture and benefits of working there.
  • If you are the hiring manager or hr and are using an external recruiter please provide them with a valid job description that does not change.
Time Management
  • For those responsible for the hiring process, both internal and external, be honest with the candidates and get back to them on a timely basis.  Do not keep them waiting; be respectful of their time by keeping them in the loop.  It is your reputation on the line as well as the company's of being a company of choice to work for.
Staying Current
  • Keep current with social media, hiring practices, legislation by:  attending seminars, reading association's website and staying current with the newspapers.  (web has some important information but you need to filter what is not reliable.)
Interviewing 101
  • Make sure you have valid interview questions and that you use them for each interview.  
    • Make sure you take down notes for each interview
    • It is ideal if you can have a tandem interview; one person asks questions and the other writes it down.  Take turns in asking questions and jotting down the candidate's answers.
    • Ensure that they are compliant with human rights legislation
  • In Canada; do NOT throw out the interview questions ever; this includes those selected and not selected.
    • The reason you need to retain information forever is that if a complaint is filed against you and/or the organization it is the onus of the company to prove they were not in the wrong.
    • You need to prove due diligence in your hiring practices for:  wsia, human rights, employment equity and pay equity.
    • There is no expiry date for pay equity.
Keeping track
  • Use an applicant tracking system.  If you do not have one; acquire one or build one yourself.  This is to manage the talent database for current and future pipeline recruitment.  You also want to track who you do not want to call back as candidates did not make the cut.  
    • There are many systems available that range from standalone or are part of an Human Resources Information System  [HRIS/HRMS], or a dynamic system such as SAP.
      • (Adequasys, Dayforce, Peoplesoft, ADP, QHR, etc)
    • Worse comes to worse use your C: drive,  MS Outlook and place the candidates in folders labelled with the position name.
    • You can even use excel or access to keep track of candidates.
  • Use a time management tool that tracks the beginning and end of the recruitment lifecycle for each hire.
    • This tool should also have a reminder system for you to contact the candidate on their status.
    • You can use MS Outlook or any other reminder system.  You can even leverage a sales system such as Salesforce for reminders--it could also be used as an applicant tracking system if you are creative.
  • Use a dashboard or even a powerpoint presentation to show the C-Suite your efforts in recruitment.
    • Providing quantifiable information on:  how many candidates applied, pre-screened over the phone, interviewed, selected, offers accepted/refused, timelines of each of the above, costs, who referred them (vendor/employee),
There is so much more information that I have missed or purposely omitted due to blogging constraints.
I would appreciate other people's input to share best practices in this process so that all stakeholder's benefit.



  1. There is a lot of good advice in here for new HR job seekers as well. Next time I go to an interview and am asked about my organisational skills I will be sure to refer to some of the techniques in here!

  2. i work at a start up company who has never done recruiting before and this was extremely helpful in guiding me along the path to successful recruiting. Your ideas are very practical and if executed properly are easy to follow! Great post!

  3. These are very helpful tips, Anita. Human resources is a very demanding work, and every staff must really have the proper qualities and skills for them to accomplished their job right. Having a guide like this will somehow help others to enhance their management skills. Moreover, every company nowadays conduct training programs for their employees to help them learn the latest employment practices and laws. |Gwyn Mcclay| @

  4. Very Helpful article.The tips and tricks mentioned in it are really very informative and I'm sure this will definitely help many corporate individuals. Thanks for sharing.