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June 2024

Create the perfect employee through onboarding and integration

An interview with Frode Hübertz Haaland, Associate Professor at the Department of Welfare, Management and Organization at Østfold University College, Norway, conducted by AGILIUM WORLDWIDE Norway (AWN).

Most recruiters are expected to find the perfect candidate. But what exactly is the perfect candidate? Following are some tips for companies on the lookout for the perfect candidate:

Hübertz Haaland

In my opinion, too many people ask for too many things when looking for the perfect candidate to fill a position and fit to the organization. Believe it or not, I've seen job advertisements for a “forward-looking scaffolder and roofer”. To state the obvious: someone working on a roof or on scaffolding shouldn’t be physically looking forward, so the last thing you want is a forward-looking person in such a position. Then we have to ask ourselves: What does it really mean to be forward-looking, and who really needs that in their job?

Hübertz Haaland has worked with organizations and management for over 30 years. He has many thoughts on how, for example, the company itself can create its perfect employee, rather than expecting the candidates selected by the recruitment company to be a perfect fit.

There are numerous factors to be considered when hiring new employees. Performance, conduct and behavior are influenced by the people you work with, and how the organization is structured. Therefore, someone who has functioned and performed brilliantly in one place can become quite ordinary or a poor performer in another workplace.

Hübertz Haaland

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and also something special that they bring to the workplace. When you select a candidate you also decide on various future scenarios for the organization. In fact, you can consider how to shape the strategy according to the people you've put in place, instead of thinking that those people should fit into the strategy you already have. Sometimes, during the recruitment process, it also turns out that what you thought you needed isn't right after all.

Many employers see recruitment as a puzzle, but in a puzzle there is only one piece of a certain color and shape that fits in each place.

Hübertz Haaland

You should think of it more like Lego bricks. When you build with Lego, you can choose between several types of bricks that fit. In this way, your attitudes towards the person being recruited are more flexible, and your approach to structuring the organization is more creative.

The process of integrating the new hire is far from complete when he or she starts the job. And at this point in time, it is possible to start shaping the perfect employee to fit into the organization.

Hübertz Haaland

Many companies have the computer and other technology all ready and waiting for the new employees on their first day, but no tasks. Even if you ask the new employee to do the less complex and slightly mundane stuff at the beginning, it's still just as important to properly introduce them to the culture of the organization. You need to have someone who explains what the dos and don’ts are, and the processes and procedures. Many organizations have a handbook for new employees, including values, mission and vision. Yet, the crucial content on culture is rarely included.

Futhermore, the on-boarding process is critical. You can create a really good employee through proper on-boarding and integration. It's very easy to get off on the wrong foot and generate dissatisfaction among new employees if they feel different from the others, and vice-versa. The right on-boarding can expedite the learning process and reduce the risk of poor conformance and early turnover.

Back to the topic of "forward-thinking roofers". It's highly important to think carefully about what is needed, what should the candidate profile include, and how this is expressed in the job advertisement. Professional recruiters can be of great help here.

Hübertz Haaland

Think about what you actually do, and what makes people want to work for you. Do you have a distinctive feature? Can you say something about your culture? When you're vague about what you want, it's harder to appeal to the right applicants and, ultimately, find the right candidate.

There is, and probably always will be, an imbalance of power in a job interview.

Hübertz Haaland

Give more thought to the fact that, it's not just the employer who has to choose the right candidate, the job seeker also has to choose the right job/employer. Employee surveys and ratings about what it’s like to work at your company can be made available to those who come for an interview. Moreover, the so-called “reverse interview” is very useful. This means, for example, that interviewees visit and talk to other employees and managers about what it's like to work for you. In this way, you also ensure that those who take the job feel confident with their choice.

In conclusion, if you choose to create the perfect employee rather than look for the perfect candidate, you're more likely to find a candidate who is well suited to the job and highly motivated. And who, with time, will create the highest value for both the company and themselves.

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