These days it is tempting to delegate time-consuming tasks to other people, especially those as challenging as the recruitment and selection of new team members. Especially in larger organisations, there are often entire HR divisions and groups of personnel managers who will help with the recruitment process, with the team leader only occasionally required to discuss requirements or to turn up for final interviews. While potentially saving time and effort, leaving critical hiring decisions to people who will not ultimately be responsible for the employees can be a bad choice.
Ultimately, when hiring new employees it is the leader’s responsibility to closely manage tasks such as job descriptions, interviews and the final selection of candidates. Taking the time to personally select new employees can have two major benefits: firstly, it will give you control over the type of person you want in the organisation – only by personally interviewing candidates and reviewing their cv’s will you get a true understanding of their abilities and experience. Secondly, putting aside a considerable amount of time to finding and interviewing new recruits demonstrates your interest in your employees, showing that you understand that people are your most important strategic asset.
Other reasons why leaders need to be personally involved in the selection and recruitment of employees include:
· Successful teams are generally made up of the right type of people – employees who work well together and are suited to their individual roles within a group. While internal HR managers (or head hunters) may focus on finding people who will fit into the general culture of the company, as a leader you should be looking for people who will add value to your team, both from a work perspective and personally. Only you have the inside knowledge and experience to know if a potential candidate can do this.
· The consequences of hiring badly are very costly, time-consuming and can be terrible for overall team morale. Unhappy employees can be disruptive and cause efficiency levels to fall throughout an entire group of workers, and it has been estimated that companies may have to spend up to 3 times the salary to replace an employee who has decided to leave or is fired. There are many reasons why some employees simply don’t work out – from personality issues, mismatched expectations or a misleading job description to poor team chemistry – but a thorough and well-planned selection process can help to iron out many of the potential problems before interviews even begin. As long as a team leader is heavily involved during this initial phase critical factors such as the job description and role requirements will help to narrow down potential candidates.
Part of being a leader is taking responsibility for the people in your team and their performance. Having a measure of control over the type of candidates your company hires is critical to ensuring that not only your team but also the whole organisation will be set up for future success.