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Improving Your Recruitment Strategy: a Smart Investment

Olivier Blanc, GEM ESC 98
Published on
26 April 2018

Having the right recruitment strategy can have a direct impact on company performance. By improving the recruitment process and reducing mistakes, a company can save over the short and long term. What advice can help improve recruitment, in particular for key positions?

Since 2017, Olivier Blanc (GEM ESC'98) has been in charge of recruiting managers and other employees at Go Concept, a group that specializes in consulting for technology innovation. With more than ten years experience in the new technology and software industries, he shares with us advice to improve recruitment for key IT jobs. He also contributed to the HR R.O.I. white paper published by the Grenoble Ecole de Management alumni network.

The cost of failure

"According to DARES, 13% of recruitments end in failure," underlines Oliver. When you consider the fact that a recruitment and its integration phase can cost approximately 15 to 25% of the new employee's yearly salary, a mistake in terms of recruitment can be very costly. How can we minimize such mistakes and ensure the process is reliable?

Ensure everyone agrees on the type of talent to recruit

First step: "Ensure that top management and the concerned manager agree on the type of profile. This approval is the first engagement," explains Olivier. Define the profile's various characteristics: junior or senior position, years of experience, education, salary, required skills for the job, etc. This definition is essential to create a successful recruitment process.

Finding the right candidate: a multi-channel approach

It's important to use a multi-channel approach when looking for candidates. "Only 15 to 20% of available talent is registered with Apec or Pôle Emploie (French governmental organizations for job employment). You can find a large pool of candidates thanks to social networks (LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.), conventional job offers, résumé websites (Monster, Cadremploi, etc.), managerial networks, business schools and tradeshows," adds Olivier.

The first positive résumés should be delivered to key decision-makers and then a second round of approval is required for everyone to exchange and be on the same page. The next issue is to define who will carry out the recruitment process in order to ensure the company selects the profile that best matches the job.

Recruitment: a collaborative decision

"At Go Concept, we invite 25 people for a first interview for managerial positions in IT and engineering. We use conventional techniques to listen to, interview and evaluate candidates. After a first interview, we ask candidates to submit a written summary of their motivations for the job, the company and what they can bring to the company (skills and know-how). This helps us identify candidates with little motivation."

The process also includes a 15 minute interview in the morning, evening or at lunch time, which helps fluidify the process and increase efficiency. "Many of our potential candidates are already working professionals. We also carry out role play scenarios at our assessment center in order to test a candidate's behavior in professional situations." The final stages of the recruitment process include second and third interviews carried out with top management in order to have multiple opinions about the candidate. These interviews enable exchanges about the details of job responsibilities, salaries and discussion about other potential recruits.

Key points for a successful recruitment

  • Evaluate interpersonal skills
    Skills, experience and education are prerequisites. But interpersonal skills are the deciding factor. "At Go Concept, our employees are our primary ambassadors," explains Olivier. As a result, an employee's personality is an essential factor in choosing the right person for the job. Key points include a candidate's comfort with interpersonal interactions, their curiosity for the sector, their ability to think critically and the capacity to be persuasive during negotiations.
  • Avoid jumping the gun at the first signs of a positive candidate
    A recruitment process should run 15 days to six weeks, including posting the job offer, carrying out interviews and finalizing the recruitment. This includes checking references with previous colleagues and managers as well as validating school diplomas.
  • Find the right talent and catch their attention!
    Go Concept successfully closes a recruitment 1 out of 5 times. The key factor is to be convincing. "Once you've found the best candidate, you have to ensure everyone understands the job requirements. But you also have to identify motivating factors that can convince the candidate to take the job. That means being quick to react, in particular in terms of competition."
  • Support during the integration phase
    "The integration phase requires three to six months, during which you should follow up with the new employee every two to three weeks. This is a delicate time when a new recruit can easily disappear. Sometimes a company can keep top talent through simple things such as a salary increase."

Recruiting at Go Concept

With 250 employees, Go Concept was created in 2009 to provide consulting for innovative projects. Recruitment is a key part of the company's growth. "Successful recruitment is essential because it determines how long an employee will stay at Go Concept. Everyone participates in the recruitment process (managers, top management…). Our process has been finely tuned," says Olivier. Go Concept plans to hire 150 employees (mostly IT engineers and business managers) in 2018, and the same again in 2019. This will enable the company to fill job positions for its offices in Lyon, Grenoble, Belfort, Nantes and soon, Paris and Strasbourg. Positions will also be available in Switzerland, Belgium and Canada.

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