Selection Recruitment

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					FINDING The right HR Professionals To deliver on an HR Strategic Mandate

Table of Contents

Executive Summary- Changing Reality for HR functions A new way for HR to think Defining your selection needs Attracting the right candidate Conducting the selection interview Question technique



This document sets out to show how HR select can help your HR function achieve the new Business Partnering Strategic Mandate. We are not a recruitment agency but specialist consultants who employ a number of means including headhunting to find you the right people. Our rates are comparable if not cheaper than most recruitment agencies. HR Select has developed out of the needs of our clients. Our clients are continually asking us (after restructuring their HR function) to find them the right calibre of person to take their HR function forward. (For more detail in regards our consulting approach ask fro more information about HR Academy) We have over 100 potential employees on our data base at any given time, including HR managers, Training Managers, Strategic Business Partners, SAP consultants, trainers, talent experts, payroll consultants, and administrators. We seldom exceed this number as we stringently select all candidates, by taking them through detailed structured interviews.



The challenges facing organisations in Africa and specifically South Africa have never been greater. These have led to a number of new market realities centred on customers, technology, industry, and Southern African needs which impact directly on an organisations sustainable success. The scope and scale of these new realities imply that the success of an organisation is more than just a mention in a strategy session. In essence competitiveness requires strategy implementation throughout all layers of an organisation linked to a dynamic infusion of employee awareness and buy-in. Organisations drafting a strategy and declaring a new vision, although, necessary, are not sufficient for business success. Business success requires creating an organisation that accomplishes stated goals, both quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, we know today that an organisation is more than structure and strategy; it is the sum of all staff capabilities representing that which they are able to do well, which translates into the organisations DNA or culture, and unique identity. These unique capabilities must derive from an integrated set of HR investments, where the HR practices of staffing, training, rewards; communication, organisation design, etc. are all aligned around building capability, capacity and, in turn, heightened staff performance.


The entire premise for the current changes in the HR function is to envisage a new value adding HR function HR strategy must focus on how to efficiently and effectively deliver value added HR services linked to the subsequent creation of a unique organisational DNA. This delivery in turn results in the HR function playing a “serious part” in facilitating an organisation strategy is achieved. In order to create value HR cannot solely begin with the HR function and what we wish to provide to the business units but rather with what the business units need and want us to provide to them. HR must keep line of sight on the business needs. This focus must include external customers.




When compiling the job specification we consider the following. (Note that we have generic job specifications for all HR positions.)

Job title and position within the organisation Job location - is travelling involved? Competencies required? We have a dictionary of all possible competencies required for HR positions. All our job specifications include competence requirements. What are the main responsibilities of the jobholder, e.g. people, premises, materials, equipment, money and confidentiality? What degree of authority has the jobholder? What decisions can they make without referral? What are the significant duties? We pay attention to both regular and occasional duties. Particularly important are those tasks that can be critical to success or failure in the job. These are likely to be tasks which people find either difficult or distasteful. What new products will need to be introduced? What kind of supporting services will be needed? For example, will secretarial and administrative help be required? There is also a focus in regards the structure. Research has shown that in order for HR to act strategically, administrative as well as research tasks have to be removed from the primary tasks of an internal consultant. Most notably through the establishment of, Centres of Excellence and Shared Service Centres. What kind of training and supervision will be provided? What are the conditions of service, for example, salary, pension and fringe benefits? 4

What are the career prospects, e.g. transfer, promotion? We undertake succession plans using a succession template, as well as biographical details of all employees using a biographical template. These templates are already designed and are customised for our clients. It is particularly important to focus on potential dissatisfactions, distastes, difficulties and reasons for failure in considering all aspects of the job. This is especially important if the HR function is to change focus to become more strategic. How is the job likely to change over time? We evaluate future trends and scenarios, to ensure we have a prospect to take HR into the future. STEP 2: CUSTOMISE INTERVIEW PACKS. (Note we have generic interview packs for most types of positions already designed) We consider the things we need to plan to assess during the job interview. The following are guidelines: Health, appearance, physical characteristics Personal circumstances, e.g. location, travelling, time, interests and hobbies Psychological aspects, e.g. intelligence, memory, communication skills, temperament The candidate’s past, e.g. work and social attainments Define the required attributes needed for the person to be successful in carrying out the job. These attributes should be noted as either desirable or essential. When assessing potential candidates, those without the essential attributes can be immediately discounted. Those with these attributes can then be ranked, depending on the attributes they possess. We focus on structured behavioural interview questions that emphasise the how. Each question has a developed best practice answer. We score delegates on both originality, and level of answer. Strict guidelines are set within the guide. All our interviewers are experience consultants in the field.



There are a number of ways to attract the right type of candidate. However, you should always remember that the method chosen should be cost effective. Equally, you are bound by law to ensure that there is no discrimination, which excludes either sex or impacts on race. Commonly used methods we use are: Our existing data bases Internally: company notice boards, memo, -mail Advertising, e.g. TV, radio, press, internet Headhunting - directly approaching candidates. We include the following in all our ads: A brief description of what the job entails Experience and qualifications needed Location of the job Benefits package Our advertisements are designed to attract applicants, but are also kept straightforward and simple. Research has shown that most people prefer traditionally worded advertisements.


When conducting a selection interview, we keep these 2 key objectives in mind: 1. To obtain the information we need we match the candidate against the prepared specifications (job and person). 2. We give the candidate enough information to help them make an informed decision about suitability if offered the post. Our interviews are made as objective as possible by following these guidelines: We prepare thoroughly We know the job description and employee specification 6

We read the candidate's application thoroughly, looking for inconsistencies and omissions. We plan the agenda and shape of the interview, i.e. its beginning, middle and end. We consider the information the candidate may ask for and ensure that we have it at hand. We remain free of preconceived ideas about candidates.



We do not ask leading questions, i.e. questions that seek agreement to your point of view e.g. “Wouldn’t you agree that...” We avoid asking multiple questions at once. We ask open questions including words such as who, what, where, why, etc. This encourages the candidate to talk and will enable you to uncover the information you need. We do not evaluate responses as they are given to us. Giving this feedback during the interview may impact on the applicant's responses. Questions we ask There are a number of things about the candidate that well want to know more about: Intellectual skills Interpersonal skills Commercial skills Knowledge/experience Career/personal achievements Future aspirations We ask open questions that will allow the candidate to respond expansively. We listen carefully to their responses, and are prepared and able to probe for specific information, e.g. How do you align HR strategy to organisational needs? How would you ensure HR plays a more strategic role? How would you deliver in regards organisational strategy? 7

How would you develop a people strategy that builds competitive business advantage? How would you meet your business partner needs? How can you become proactive in meeting your business partner needs? How do you optimise service delivery? How do you ensure you contribute to the achievements of the organisations goals? How would you develop a fit for people practice in an organisation? How do you prioritise? How do you make that decision? Etc.


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