NEW: Every organization should have a standardized recruitment policy

The Sunday Mail

Memory Nguwi

An organization is only as good as the quality of the people it hires.

Organizations that don’t pay attention to the people they hire often face performance issues.

I have found from experience that some organizations have deplorable hiring standards. Such low standards set the bar too low for who joins the organization. Some organizations end up hiring to fill a position even if the quality of the hire is poor.

Organizations such as Amazon set the bar very high when it comes to recruiting, which is why they are so successful. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said:

“Setting the bar high in our approach to hiring has been, and will continue to be, the most important element of’s success” (it’s not just the most important HR function, but the most important business). You can see that the commitment to hire the best people comes from the top office of the organization. I wish most African organizations could emulate such an example.

An organization that settles for second best when hiring will fail to compete in its market of choice. Here’s another interesting quote from Jeff Bezos, as stated in an article here “If you can’t hire quality, don’t hire at all.” “I’d rather interview 50 people and hire no one than hire the wrong person.

To recruit quality talent, you must work on your recruitment and selection policy. Every company should have a recruitment and selection policy. A recruitment and section policy aims to ensure that the company recruits the right people for each role in the organization. Good people mean employees who, from day one, start adding value based on the demands of each position. However, there is no point in developing the right recruitment policy if you do not follow the approved recruitment policy when hiring staff.

I would like to invite you to look around in your own business community or in your country as a whole, and you will find that organizations that tend to do well have high recruiting standards. Look at the top five companies on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE) and you will realize that they have high recruitment and selection standards. You can also check out the latest five companies; they don’t have very high recruiting standards. I read a book called Work Rules by Laszlo Bock, former vice president of human operations. It clearly explains how Google leveraged its recruiting and screening policy to attract the best talent available. It’s clear from this book and other scientific research that the performance of your business largely depends on the quality of the people you hire. Organizations that hire people on merit far outperform those that don’t.

So what is a policy? A policy is a standard that a company follows when executing its strategy or business model. So, the first step in designing a recruitment policy is to clearly define your philosophy regarding the quality of people who join your organization. For example, some organizations believe that they will only hire the best and brightest people available in the market. After that, you need to link this philosophy to your business strategy. What does your company need in terms of personnel in the short, medium and long term? Once that’s clear, you need to be clear about attracting and selecting those people.

Let’s start with how you will attract the talent you need. Your organization’s ability to attract the right talent starts with the quality of your employer brand and the value proposition of the employee experience. Good employer brands attract top talent cheaper than unattractive employer brands. So how do you know your employer brand is strong in the market? First, check the quantity and quality of candidates applying for the jobs you advertise. Inferior employer brands struggle to attract candidates regardless of the method used. It is beneficial to create a credible employer brand because it reduces hiring costs.

Creating the right employee experience is something you should work on as a company and make it part of your policy. No need to attract the right talent and let them suffer throughout their work experience in your organization

In your policy statement, you should state what you believe in regarding critical recruiting issues. For example, what is your position on diversity, the employment of relatives and the priority given to internal candidates when a position becomes available? Responding to these statements will send a clear message to internal and external stakeholders.

It would be helpful if you were also very clear about the procedure followed in the recruitment and selection process. For example, will you use recruitment agencies to find candidates? Will you advertise internally and in newspapers and other job portals? If so, what do you hope to accomplish? In most cases, having your policy allowing you to use multiple candidate sources ensures a wide reach, which provides a good pool of candidates. Do you have minimum hiring standards for each role that get you started in the hiring process? It’s an exercise in futility to start the recruiting process without knowing the type of person you need. The recruitment process aims to attract the right candidate to your organization.

The selection process begins with the pre-selection of candidates who will respond to your call for CVs. Be clear in your policy whether this process will be done internally or by external consultants. For some leadership positions, you may want this process to be done by outside consultants for a variety of reasons. The main reason is that board members and other key stakeholders may have vested interests. This is a serious challenge that must never be allowed to happen, regardless of the justifications. Each individual must be selected on merit.

Your policy should be very clear about whether or not you will use psychometric assessments as part of your screening. When deciding to take psychometric tests, remember that cognitive abilities predict over 65% of the variation in individual performance. If you don’t use psychometric assessments to assess cognitive abilities and personality, you can almost select the wrong candidates. All of the top performing companies locally and globally use psychometric assessments to screen for supervisory, technical, professional and leadership roles. They are also used to select high-value specialist areas such as apprenticeship trainees and graduate trainees. Other companies extend psychometric profiling to all positions in the organization. In the most successful companies, in addition to written psychometric tests, candidates for all management positions and beyond go through assessment centers.

Once applicants have gone through the above process, the policy should outline how you will conduct reference checks, qualifications checks, criminal record checks and credit checks before an offer is made. of employment is given to the candidate. Once an employee is released, you can now offer them a job.

The final part of your recruiting process is induction. Again, your policy should talk about a thorough onboarding process that will get the recruited person settled in quickly and reduce the time it will take before they start providing value to you.

With a good recruitment and selection policy, you are guaranteed to get the best candidates for each position. When you hire the best talent available, your organization succeeds in the process.

***Memory Nguwi is a work psychologist, data scientist, lecturer and AMP; Management Consultant – Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resource consultancy firm. E-mail: [email protected] or visit our website at