Every step of the employee recruitment and onboarding process is essential in determining whether you’ve made the right choice by bringing a new hire onto the team.
No organisation ever wants to make a bad hire, but bringing the wrong person onto the team can do more harm than you might first realise.
A timely example of this is the rise and fall of Liz Truss as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. A simple Google of her name will show you articles full of commentators calling her the ‘wrong person for the job’ and claiming she was ‘out of her depth’ and a ‘profile for failure’, both before and after her resignation.
Regardless of whether you agree with her Party’s politics, there are lessons to be learned here for anyone looking to make the right choice throughout recruitment.
So, what went so wrong?
An example of bad recruitment
There were a few defining features of Liz Truss’ short stint as Prime Minister. The first was, of course, her handshake with Queen Elizabeth, two days before Her Majesty’s death. The Queen had seen 15 Prime Ministers as the longest reigning monarch – a fact that bears even more weight when we see how quickly Ms Truss exited the role.
Secondly, she will be remembered for her short tenure. With only 45 days in the role, she didn’t manage to last through a typical probationary period. She is not alone in this. The UK Government is experiencing something familiar to many businesses all over the world who are staring down the barrel of exit interviews and the costly exercise of starting the recruitment process all over again.
Above all the rest, however, Liz Truss will be remembered for the reputational damage she caused her Party. With the right choice for a leader, the Tories might have been able to weather the storm and come out the other side intact.
Instead, they are losing long-time votes and any trust they may have had from the public that elected them is slipping away. Some commentators are even suggesting that during her 45 days, she may have damaged 40 years of efforts by her Party.
Recruitment and onboarding have a role to play
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to bringing a new hire on board. The candidate needs to be the right choice, with the drive to make it work, but organisations also need to be working hard to ensure that the candidate can thrive.
As you go through the recruitment and onboarding process, there are seven alignment markers you should be looking for and actively working to ensure the candidate is a good fit. I mention these in my book, Career Success.
- Shared values – do the values of the candidate align with your organisation? These values are the foundation of success for your organisation and the individual candidate.
- Structure – are the structures within your organisation clearly communicated to candidates and easily understood? Are there hidden networks that new hires can tap into for information and influence?
- Style – allowing space for employees to create their own personal brand means that employees can choose the ways in which they gain the trust and confidence of those around them.
- Skills – are there opportunities for employees to use their unique strengths and prove themselves?
- Strategy – allowing new hires to take the lead on 1 or 2 winning projects means they can build trust, credibility and value, quickly.
- Staff – do employees know how they fit in and where they can contribute?
- Systems – it’s important that employees understand the tools they’ll be using and the processes they’ll be following so they can contribute effectively and be taken seriously.
As you revisit these seven factors of alignment, you can see how there are multiple ways in which organisations – and the Tories – can go wrong. Liz Truss – just like many other employees before and after her – made mistakes from the offset.
She wasn’t able to bring the team together, she set an agenda that was her own, rather than the Party’s and she refused to deal with key stakeholders. At the end of the day, she wasn’t able to gain the confidence of anybody who was in there to give her support, whether that be the British public or members of her own Party. And this is what it comes down to for many employees.
If an employee is unable to fit in with the culture, work together with your team and gain their trust, it will be impossible for them to stick around for any length of time. Recruitment and onboarding help you to ensure that these factors are taken care of to give employees the best chance of success.
In a tight candidate market, it’s worth considering whether an interim role internally might be a better route to take, rather than making the wrong choice because your candidate shortlist isn’t up to scratch.
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Feature image credit: Instagram
Image 1 credit: https://slate.com/technology/2022/10/liz-truss-iceberg-lettuce-contest.html