Why effective recruitment is so important

Nick Stanley
By Nick Stanley

Hiring the right person for a position can sometimes feel like getting the stars to align.

Whether you’re taking on a part-timer to meet new demand or replacing an experienced team member who’s moving on, finding great people takes work.

Sure, you could cobble together a job ad, bang it up online, wait for applicants and then select the one you warm to the most, but if you expect to get the best fit for the role and your company, you’re going to need to take a more professional approach.

Why? Because the success of your business is largely determined by the calibre of your team, so recruitment can really make or break your company.

We’ve covered the common recruitment mistakes we see, shared our top tips for finding and hiring good people, and how social media can help, so let’s look at the top reasons for doing recruitment well in the first place.

Get the right talent

It’s often said that it’s better to hire no one than hire the wrong person.

Having an effective recruitment process means you start with a clear understanding of what the business needs, then you communicate that well to attract quality candidates, and carefully select the one who best meets those requirements.

It’s more than just finding the most talented or qualified people. It’s about getting the right talent for the role and the company; people with the best possible skill-set and the right personality for the team and business.

Every stage is important, from defining the job through to interviewing and reference-checking candidates, and the combined effectiveness determines whether your new employee will turn out to be an asset or a liability.

Improve retention

High employee turnover can be a real killer for your company’s long-term prospects, but if your recruitment and selection processes are effective, you will be far more likely to consistently pick people who perform well and remain loyal employees.

It's all about using defined methods and assessments (rather than gut feelings) to identify applicants who will commit to the role and the company’s mission, and then successfully bringing them into the team.

If you are regularly losing people within the first 90 days of employment, it’s a clear sign your recruitment practices aren't up to scratch.

Learn strategies for boosting employee retention.

Increase productivity

An efficient, frictionless recruitment experience increases the likelihood that new employees will be more engaged and motivated from the get-go, which improves their long-term chance of succeeding in the job and working to build the business.

A large 2012 study by the Boston Consulting Group into the relationship between people management and financial performance found that “companies adept at recruiting enjoyed 3.5 times the revenue growth and 2.0 times the profit margin of their less-capable peers”.

Quite apart from the effect of their own poor performance, hiring the wrong person can create stress and conflict in the team, and suck up management time that could be better spent on developing your people and the business.

Save time and money

Building a team of dependable, motivated employees is best for the bottom line.

No one wants to waste all the effort and money to attract, select, and establish new hires only to find they aren’t up to scratch or don’t fit, and you’re faced with retraining them, or worse, back at square one, looking for a replacement.

If your recruitment campaigns are consistently good, you’ll be way more likely to get the right person each time and have the confidence you can do so whenever the business needs it.


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Reduce legal risk

The recruitment process forms the base for the employment relationship, so having rigorous, transparent procedures that you follow for every new hire reduces the chances of finding yourself in legal wrangles.

That means being sure you hire without discrimination or bias, adhering to privacy and human rights regulations, ensuring your new employee is entitled to work in NZ, and that they get a written employment agreement to consider and sign before they start.

If you and your new employee start off with a clear understanding of the position, each other’s expectations, and rights and responsibilities, you will be less likely to need to take remedial steps or end up offside, which could lead to disciplinary action or even dismissal (increasing the risk of personal grievance claims).

Find out more about reducing your chances of personal grievances.

Contribute to team diversity

Aside from the legal considerations, robust recruitment practices that are free from potential biases and discrimination helps you create a stronger, more diverse team.

This is more than “feelgood” rhetoric or box-ticking. A diverse workforce that brings a wide range of perspectives and approaches is proven to be better for business performance and resilience, with improved employee engagement and retention.

It could be a balanced gender mix on your board, a variety of ethnicities in your customer service team so customers feel connected to the people who are helping them, or ensuring that you’re not just hiring carbon-copy employees who won’t bring fresh ideas and innovation to your team.

Being open to diversity also means you’ll draw from a wider pool of talent and be a far more attractive company to potential employees.

Frequently asked questions

Where's the best place to advertise for good candidates?

There is no complete, one-stop shop, so aim for a wide audience by advertising your vacancy in a variety of places, including social media and the more traditional recruitment avenues like job websites, publications, and boards.

It’s wise to do some research to find out where candidates in your industry are looking; this will help you target your advertising.

Also, be sure to keep a constant eye out for talent - internal as well as external - and build connections and networks so you have a bunch of good candidates to reach out to.

What can I ask referees?

Questions to referees should be relevant to your assessment of the candidate and their ability to do the job, e.g. their skills, strengths, and achievements, and how they might fit in your team. 

Look to supplement the information already collected by asking referees if the person has any areas that need developing, how the referee found managing the person, or if they had any concerns.

Be aware that under the Privacy Act 1993, the collecting of information cannot intrude unreasonably on an applicant’s personal affairs.

Get answers to more common recruitment questions.


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