A good recruiting/staffing organization typically does strive to reduce recruiting costs, reduce time to hire, increase acceptance rates and also to improve time to productivity. However, most organizations do not spend enough time to PREPARE for recruiting. I am not talking about the process of hiring a team. But, more the understanding of the needs of the micro-organization and at the macro level of the company. Typically, the recruiting process starts when hiring managers lob a standard requisition with the details of the job and the skills required to do the job. But, how many times has a staffing manager sat down proactively with the hiring manager to understand the NEEDS of the organization prior to a desperate need to hire a person?

Being prepared for recruiting one or more personnel into any company requires a complete understanding of the functional performance of the team. Functional performance of a team is determined not only by the hard skills required for the job function but also on the soft skills needed to accomplish the tasks as a valued team member of the organization. Soft skills and values are often not given enough attention during the hiring process but plays a very critical role in the success of the person and the company as a whole. Let us probe this avenue by a list of simple questions. Is the team's values (determined by the values of the leader and the independent values of each of the team member)aligned with the culture of the company? What values are lacking in the group? How are leadership skills within the organization? Is there a succession plan in the group and is there is a need to bring in someone with the skills to lead over the long term? Does the team contain a few innovators/out of the box thinkers? Are there personnel within the company whose skills and values match better in an organization other than the one that he/she is in? Proactive, regular discussions led with questions such as these with the managers in the company can lead to building a prepared and responsible staffing organization.

With over 20 years in the high technology industry in roles ranging from engineering to CEO, I have realized that a super star team with no values or even values that do not match with the culture of the company can be a disaster. More importantly, one bad apple in a team with values can sour the entire organization. Therefore, it is the job of a responsible HR team to PREPARE every manager in the organization understand the 'complete needs' of the team in the long term. At the macro-level, it is also important for the HR organization to know the skills and values available within the entire company to consider transfer of personnel within the company prior to engaging in a high cost hunt for talent outside. With a clear understanding of the skills and values of each of the team members, the staffing team can be better prepared to add value to the team. To the HR team: KNOW your team, PREPARE your managers, HIRE the best.

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