I have been musing since the start of the new year on that perennial question “when is it that you realise that you have joined the older generation?? ……”
I have always thought of myself as relatively knowledgeable, up to date on the zietgeist and excited by change and new things and ideas. I’m also a (slightly) younger generation than my two esteemed partners in Breathe. So, I’m relatively young, modern and hip, yes? Unfortunately, I feel I have to confess that I have joined the “old chaps” brigade. I’ve fooled myself for a while that I’m ok because I use the latest technology, the web and understand about social media, but I realise that I will never utilise and harness the techie stuff in the same way that the youth of today do (listen to me….). Their brains and instinct about how to communicate are just simply wired/trained differently from me (sharply brought home to me last week when visiting the Apple store to purchase the latest iPad Mini and seeing my two and a half year old daughter happily sit down and play on an iPad having never been near one in her life before).
Like almost everything, the Recruitment process has changed dramatically because of the Web. My natural instinct in terms of communicating with people or finding out about them is to want to meet them, talk to them and ask them questions and relate to them. I’m naturally a “people” person and I have spent much of my career fishing for, and finding, great people to work with, as I believe that the success of any organisation, big or small, comes down to the group of people you put together. Even as a “people’ person though, I believe that the Recruitment process has unconditionally changed for the better: from both the candidates’ and the recruiters’ perspective. The reasons are simple: it’s faster, it’s more targeted, massively more cost effective and it reduces the risk of appointing the wrong person, or from the candidate’s perspective reduces the risk of him/her saying yes to the wrong job.
From the recruiters’ perspective, the type of additional information about the candidate is almost always insightful and compelling. By simply looking at Facebook/LinkedIn or by Googling the name of a candidate, you – the recruiter – obtain a raft of information usually not featured on the application/CV. From the candidates’ perspective, there is an opportunity to properly understand the type of practice you are applying to, by visiting the practice’s web site, reading the Google patient reviews, looking at the competitors’ web sites, and Googling street views to see the practice itself. The very bright ones will even mystery shop the practice and test drive its online booking service. All of this being achieved without leaving the comfort of your fireside!
From application to interview, although Skype/FaceTime has been around for 6 years, it’s only fairly recently that we use it almost as easily as we use our mobile phone, making interviews easier to have without wasting people’s time on travel. This fact alone has a dramatic impact on shortlists, as it encourages the recruiter to have a far longer shortlist, meaning it’s fairer and the best person is more likely to get and take the right position.
Headhunting or targeting potential candidates that are not actually looking to change position right at this instant, is now far easier because of the digital environment. Decide what skills you want, what experience you need, then decide where ideally you would like the candidates to live. Then fire up the laptop and you could be talking to your Mr/Ms Right in moments! So, even though I may now be the older generation, I’m definitely harnessing the technology to go fishing for the bright young things. I’m not saying that the days of just sticking an ad in the BDJ to find your perfect candidate are over, but that is now just one part of your strategy in recruiting the right person.
Well, it’s not quite that easy: there is a bit more to the process than simply generating a list of candidates. You may get lucky in finding Mr/Ms Right early, but most typically, Recruitment is a detailed process that takes skill to sift and identify the appropriate candidates. It starts way before you post that ad or go online:
It doesn’t stop once you make the offer, either. Getting the induction process to work for both recruiter and recruitee is vital to ensuring you have Mr/Ms Right.