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News & Features - May 2012

Getting the Right Staff

Monday 14th May 2012

Hiring the right StaffA crucial game plan is to always have good staff in place or waiting to come into place when others leave. Hiring good quality staff can never be underestimated especially when your organisation needs the right skills and mind set to take over a specific role.

There is no doubt that there are more people out there searching for jobs. The automatic assumption is that filling that role is going to be easier, however this could be further from the truth. Recruitment has become actually harder especially as the volume of applicants has increased and subsequently organisations have struggled to deal with this. Sometimes there is little or no assessment done up front. It might be easier for entry level candidates but for senior level staff – who hold the key to any succession strategy, the opposite is true. The very best candidates are generally still working and in the current economic uncertainty they are more likely to stay in a secure job.

Be absolutely clear as to the experience you are looking for, be authentic and transparent about the job, the office culture and assess work load priorities as this can actually influence applicants. Whether you go for an in house recruitment scenario or an agency, much will depend on your requirements and resources. If you have a full time person who can handle the work load, then in house is often more cost effective. A niche recruitment agency who specialise in an area can also be helpful but this depends on how you work the agreement. Internal recruiters can and have often spread themselves too thinly. Using a recruitment agency is often free but try to find one that specialises in a particular field. The more you put into the start the better the client/agency relationship. Demonstrate a clear requirement and give specific detailed job descriptions. Sometimes client’s requests are almost impossible to meet, the right person simply does not exist and this is where a recruitment company’s knowledge of the market is crucial. The right person might not be available but can they suggest another option?

Recruitment is not just about getting the right employee but also about treating all candidates respectfully. It is vital to have the right resources behind the process so that it can function well. By getting the right employee, not only will your charity/NGO benefit in the short term but it will eventually groom a successful person.


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Top 10 Executive Hiring Blunders

Friday 11th May 2012

recruitment consultancy NGOIf you’ve been around for more than a few years, you are likely to recall occasions when a new hire was made for a senior role and the person turned out to be the colleague from hell.

Whose fault is it when the person you hired to overhaul the entire organisational IT system turns out to be short-tempered, a hopeless communicator and makes enemies of numerous department heads before the first month is up?

This is just one example of how hiring a senior executive can and does go very wrong when the hiring process is insufficient.

Research conducted shows that 56% of newly hired managers and executives fail. The ten most frequent mistakes made in hiring were found to be the following (in reverse order):

10. Desperation hiring – insufficient time planned for the recruitment in 55% of cases.

9. Ignoring top candidates’ needs – 55% of failed hires showed plenty of focus on organisation’s needs and little on top candidate needs.

8. Failure to probe for core success factors – With the top five predictors of long-tern success being self-motivation, leadership, comparable past performance, job-specific problem solving and adaptability, hirers failed to probe for these qualities in 56% of cases.

7. Fishing in shallow waters – in 62% of cases Only aggressive candidates were attracted whilst selective and sleeper candidates were overlooked in the search.

6. Performance bias – ‘Best actor’ was hired in 63% of cases as opposed to the best candidate.

5. Historical bias – used only past performance to predict future results (68%).

4. Snap judgment – Recruiter relied too heavily on first impressions in 72% of failed hirings.

3. Inappropriate prerequisites – in 76% of cases, hiring teams placed too much emphasis on specific education, technical skills and industry experience.

2. Superficial interviewing – backgrounds and claims were not probed deeply enough in 92% of failed hire cases.

1. Inadequate job descriptions – resulted in hiring process being solely focused on experience and skills and not on company expectations. In fact 93% of failed executive hires made this mistake at the outset.

By Rob Llewellyn – Business Transformation Consultant



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Accounting for International Development (AfID) to provide UK Volunteer Accountants for UK Charities

Friday 11th May 2012


In response to the many requests for help from our UK charity partners and the generous offer of support from our increasing network of qualified accountants, Accounting for International Development (AfID) are now offering a UK Volunteer Accountant programme.

The programme, much like our very successful overseas programme, is designed to give charities with limited resources access to qualified accounting expertise and support. In essence we want to introduce you to our network of great accountants that would like to share their skills and experience with organisations supporting those in need.

If you think that your organisation would welcome this kind of support and you would like to explore a partnership, please contact Anneli Kimber anneli@afid.org.uk or 0207 559 1422




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