Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry

Maree Herath, Harvest HR director and author

Author: Maree Herath, February 2014

“We seem to struggle to get the right people for our business.” “Where can I find the right candidates?” “I don’t have time to commit to the recruitment process . I can’t even judge if I have the right fit when they are standing there in front of me.”

Over my 20 years’ experience in the recruitment industry these are just some of the statements I hear our clients say when it comes to recruiting staff. The most common theme that comes up time and again is that managers are challenged in finding the right people or, when they have a group of candidates, selecting the right people for their needs.

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Proactive managers are fully aware of the huge benefits, having the right people bring. They become high performing as they have high performers. These team members bring the right blend of skills, qualification and motivation to achieve the goals they, as an organisation,  are striving for.  They believe there is power at the intersection of people and performance and that there’s never been a better time to source and select the right people that will give them a competitive edge.

Speaking with my clients I have found recruitment issues fall in two main camps:

  1. Sourcing candidates – many organisations find themselves in a skills shortage arena. For these clients the ability to actually find the candidates is key.
  2. Selecting the Right Fit – For a number of reasons, once the company has a group of candidates to select, they are stumped on which person is best for their needs. Alternatively, they make an employment decision, only to realise upon commencement that they have got the wrong person.

I have developed a framework which culminates my formal education in business and human resources and my experience within the recruitment industry. For 20 years I have been working hand-in-hand with clients covering the full spectrum of size and status from micro, small, medium to large multinational enterprise, assisting them overcome common hurdles they have in recruiting staff.

So why do people often find themselves stuck in the recruitment process or with the wrong person in their organisation? From my experience there are a number of common sticking points.  These include:

  • They don’t identify what they need when embarking on a recruitment exercise,
  • They don’t take the time to really nut out the role including the soft skills and what a cultural and values fit looks like in an individual,
  • They conceive a position that is too broad,
  • They lack a firm start date,
  • They don’t allocate the appropriate time, people or resources to the recruitment process,
  • They don’t gain buy-in from all of the decision makers/stakeholders the role interfaces with or, 
  • They don’t use the right channels to source candidates.

And what are the issues managers face once they gain a group of candidates?

  • When they have a group of people from which to select  many organisations are haphazard and unstructured in the screening and interviewing process,
  • They fail to incorporate diverse selection tools that will yield a balanced candidate assessment,
  • They don’t ask the major questions at the start which leads to a fall-off at shortlist or offer,
  • They don’t communicate enough with the preferred candidate/s,
  • They lack the appropriate documents and templates to offer their preferred candidate,
  • Their onboarding processes are inadequate.

So how do we overcome this long list of sticking points? I focus on seven key areas of the recruitment process that, if done correctly will ensure proactive managers and recruiters not only find the right fit for their organisation but they also enjoy the benefits of being fully functional through having  the right people, performing in the right roles.

The seven key areas that I cover in Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry include:

  1. Having the Right Recruitment Framework
    The framework I have developed starts with clarifying the staffing need and crystallising what person is required and proceeds through every stage of the recruitment process including the placement and onboarding of the employee.
  2. Creating a Plan for the Recruitment Process
    Successful recruitment exercises are often underpinned by a bullet proof plan and process. I give the framework for successful recruitment and discuss every step of the recruitment process, leaving no stone unturned.
  3. Finding Candidates
    To gain a successful outcome we need to be identifying where our preferred candidates are. We will address the channels by which to gain candidates and what channels work best for different disciplines being recruited. We will also unlock the secrets of search (“headhunting” or “bodysnatching”) and when to engage this as a strategy. Once we have gained a decent pool of candidates we can progress to selecting those most applicable to your vacancy and your organisation.
  4. Getting the Right Fit
    Once we have a group of applicable candidates we can move towards selecting the right fit for our organisation. This section looks at screening methods and tools, interviewing and winning interview techniques for employers, the importance of reference checking and how to conduct a reference check that will give you the insights you need regarding a potential hire.  We also cover other tools, tests and examinations including assessment centres, personality profiles and their merit, general aptitude tests and when to perform a pre-employment medical.
  5. Making the Offer
  6. Placement
    While many roles and recruitment assignments pass smoothly from offer to placement we address common pitfalls that proactive managers need to be aware of between offer and placement and actions to take to ensure your employee walks through the door on Day 1.
  7. The Honeymoon Period
    Many recruitment exercises are seen to be complete once the incumbent commences in their role. We discuss what turns an employee off and what makes them leave in their first days and weeks of employ. By employing simple and effective processes managers can ensure the onboarding experience is smooth and the employee feels comfortable in their role, in their team and with the company overall.

As this book will be used by managers within an organisation and recruiters from the recruitment industry, I cover how to engage a recruitment firm for employers and how to work with clients from an external recruiters’ perspective in the appendices section.

Bodysnatchers – Unlocking the Secrets of the Recruitment Industry is the first definitive guide to help proactive anagers significantly increase their chances of getting the right fit for their organisation, the first time. I have shared my best knowledge and experience based on the trials and tribulations I and my clients have faced in the recruitment process and I believe there’s never been a better time for organisations to function fully by attracting and securing the right people. If you are tired of getting bogged down in recruitment or are frustrated at continuously getting the wrong person for your team then stop faltering and start excelling.

Gaining and keeping the right people starts with and ends with recruitment. Once you learn and apply the secrets of the recruitment industry you can truly become a key player in your industry. I have personally witnessed the difference between the right and wrong fit of people in an organisation and it is through people organisations truly succeed.

Watch Maree’s book launch video

About Maree Herath

Maree has 20 years’ experience in Recruitment and HR with some of Australia’s leading recruitment brands including Morgan & Banks, Hudson and Talent2. With tertiary qualifications in Science and Business (Human Resources Management) Maree has worked in Melbourne, Perth, Hong Kong and currently resides in Geelong, the Gateway to Victoria’s Surfcoast. The majority of Maree’s recruitment expertise comes in the recruitment of technical, specialist or executive roles in oil and gas, trading, logistics, property, construction, engineering and manufacturing industries.

Maree knows the recruitment industry really well. She is an internationally recognised and awarded recruiter with a successful track record in undertaking recruitment,  selection and executive search assignments to successfully source candidates for difficult to fill roles for clients ranging from boutique manufacturers to top shelf oil and gas consultancies.

Over her 20 years, Maree has gathered the networks, harnessed the best communication channels and refined the tools and methodologies to attract and select the right people for key positions in her clients’ businesses.

Maree is known for creating great recruitment outcomes with, through and for people and her clients are ecstatic with the results Maree and her team deliver.

Maree is Director of Boutique Recruitment Firm – Harvest Recruitment a national specialist recruitment services provider. She founded the business in 2009 when she moved to Geelong as she was keen to showcase best practice in recruitment locally while still maintaining connection with her national clients and contacts.  Clients come to Harvest Recruitment for their unique traits including:

  • An intimate understanding of technical and specialist disciplines and the skills, qualifications and attributes of potential incumbents.
  • Superior Consultant knowledge of their industry sector/s and each industry’s respective disciplines.
  • Taking the time to understand how their clients’ businesses operate first.
  • Their ability to respond urgently to clients’ requests with a “placeable” shortlist.
  • Gaining the right fit for their clients where placed staff stay long after their probationary period and often years within their clients’ businesses.

Maree is a natural and educational presenter and has most recently presented at Victoria’s Small Business Festival on sourcing and selecting the right people for Small Business Owners. She presents and facilitates at her company Harvest Human Resources’ Breakfast Briefings held in Geelong for the local business community and hosts webinars that expand her audience beyond her company’s geographical borders. She readily assists job seekers and most recently presented to Deakin University’s International Student body on graduate employment tips. She hosts monthly careers workshops and her company Harvest Recruitment and Harvest Human Resources is a regular exhibitor at Jobs, Skills and Careers expos. Maree also writes newsletter articles and provides training for people returning to the workplace and is creator and key contributor of her company’s blog.