Recruitment: Is there no alternative?

'If we are to preserve culture, we must continue to create it.’

Johan Huizinga

People make places

They say people make places, but – and this is often neglected – places also make people. An individual never thinks, creates or delivers alone, they do so in relation to the workplace, in collaboration with colleagues, and under the direction of management. An individual only ever thrives in the right environment.

Hiring the right people is important, but who are the right people? How to access them? How to ensure the recruitment process delivers an employee suited to the available role, and suited to the environment they will have to operate within?

These are pressing questions for any business; ‘work culture’ is not wishy-washy new age talk, it is rooted in neurobiology. Humans are inherently social beings who are shaped by the spaces they occupy. Understand your business, understand how and why your top performers deliver the results they do, and – chances are – you will better understand who to recruit.

Recruitment: the present malaise

In light of this, it seems increasingly absurd that so many outsource their recruitment to agencies whose interests are not aligned with those of their business. The priority for recruiters (the clue is in the name) is delivering a person to a role. Whether this is a square peg, rammed into a round hole, is beside the point. For the middle-man, commission is commission, right?

As such, the way that most businesses currently recruit warps the recruitment process entirely. The act of recruitment itself, of shoving a square peg into a round hole, should not be the priority. The priority must be: what value can this person provide this business in the long run?

We’ve all heard recruitment horror stories: advertising fictional roles, manipulating CVs, informing candidates of interview questions in advance. The fact is – in a world in which the recruiter’s income depends on the prospective employee hiring their client – this is a logical outcome, a product of the structures, interests and incentives at play.

Recruitment: the alternative

It doesn’t have to be this way. The process is inverted, backward. Companies should be the clients, not prospective employees. And they should be exclusive clients, paid a flat rate: competition for commission breeds a cowboy culture in which the priority is never long-term, suitable and sustainable employment.

Your work culture is what delivers results, and your work culture is produced in dialogue: between people and the places and teams in which they work. To sustain a culture, to refresh it, to get buy in from employees, a well-informed, well-intentioned recruitment process is essential.

There is an alternative to the present malaise: analyse your strengths, understand what you are looking for, and build a process that embeds new employees into their environment. As Johan Huizinga put it: ‘if we are to preserve culture, we must continue to create it.’

Give us a call at PACC on 0161 883 1149 to see whether we can help find the candidates to preserve and create your culture.