No doubt you’ve heard the expression that says something about blaming the process not the people when things go wrong in an organization? Unfortunately it rings true, and preventing process failures starts right at the beginning – hiring the right people, with the right skills for the right job. And that too, is where the process focus must begin – as soon as the resource need is identified.
So how does this work? Let’s take an example. You need an Accountant. So you send your HR department the following request: I would like to hire an Accountant, with a degree in Accounting and 4 years of experience.
Check, that’s done!
When HR sends you the pool of candidates, they all meet those “qualifications”. But as you interview what you think are the top three candidates, you are shocked to find out two of them have never used an automated accounting system and one does not know how to use Excel – all requirements of the process to perform the monthly reconciliations this position is responsible for.
Being the astute Manager that you are though, you quickly realize you should have focused on the process to perform the monthly reconciliations, which would result in HR sending you a more qualified candidate pool. (Thank goodness you didn’t make a huge hiring mistake)! So you pull out the process documentation, which defines the monthly reconciliation process from inputs to outputs, (updating it since no one has done so in some time), and prepare the following recruiting request for HR:
I would like to hire an Accountant with a degree in Accounting, and 4 years of experience performing monthly reconciliations or similar analysis. The process to perform the monthly reconciliations includes pulling data from XYZ system on customized reports, transferring the data to Excel spreadsheets using pivot tables, and then analyzing and resolving differences by pulling source transactions from the XYZ system.
Now HR can send you a more qualified pool of candidates, with the same basic degree and experience, but now with knowledge and experience performing montlhy reconciliations using automated systems and report writing tools (maybe even those used by your company) along with Excel skills, analytical and reconciliation experience.
And as a bonus, after you hire that highly qualified candidate, the documentation they need to perform their processes is complete and up to date.
Process Focus = HR Success!