Recruitment is not an easy job, whether you run an agency or are just looking to hire someone new for your business. But it’s one of those jobs that a lot of people think they know, having been through it before. The trouble is, this attitude means that the actual process of recruitment tends to rely on people’s memories and experiences, with little official process in place. The same goes for the related processes for recruitment, including things like induction and training – all of which sets up a new employee for their time with your business.
Unfortunately, a lack of proper process can lead to all sorts of problems, including new recruits not really understanding what they are supposed to be doing or seemingly ‘not following advice that’s been given’. After all, you have a process for that, right?
But sometimes your process will be a lot more involved than you think it is, which is why it’s so important to break it down, streamline it and write it down. – something not a lot of businesses bother to do. At least, that’s what one of our clients found when we sat her down to break down the process of recruitment.
A Typical ‘Process’
We need to be really harsh for a moment, because if you really looked at your business, you would probably realise that only your really experienced, most long-serving employees actually know every step in your business process.
For example, let’s look at ‘Stan’. Stan has been in your business since he was 18, and has worked his way up from a warehouse worker to the main service manager. All across the UK, businesses have at least one, if not more ‘Stans’, and they all look the same:
- All the ‘Stan’s’ in the business are close to retirement age.
- Stan’s are relied on to show new employees the ropes, including your business processes. They are usually expected to be able to just get on with this, without any guidance.
- You think you have a great written process, but it has gaping holes in it that make it difficult to follow. The response? A new hire is told to ‘go ask Stan’ to fill in the blanks.
- Stan put together your business processes – which are a vague list of bullet points, and not really processes at all.
- If a relevant question is asked, the answer is ‘oh yea, good point. We don’t detail that in the process, but ask Stan, he knows!’
- The processes you do have are often full of industry-specific jargon that often needs extra explanation (unless you are Stan, or a Stan equivalent).
- All of the Stans within your business actually use different processes to achieve the same goals, and use different terminology for the same activity.
Does that sound familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one! But you can’t blame your new employees for being confused – instead, it’s time to take a look at your processes and work out what the actually are.
Practical Process Mapping
The recruitment process is often a lot more complicated and lengthily that you would think, with a LOT more steps. When we worked with a client on their recruitment process, they discovered what they thought was a simple 10-step process was actually more like a complicated, 58-step process, which meant they had 48 undocumented steps they were doing, but didn’t have written down. And how did they discover this? Through practical process mapping.
So, how does process mapping work? It starts with getting everyone in the business in a room and getting them to talk about what they do. If you are focussing on one specific process, then you only need the people for that process in the room (though you may find out there are people involved you wouldn’t expect), and if you’re doing a process audit or overhaul for your whole business, then you will likely need everyone there. During this time each employee writes down every single step in their job, with help from some practical process mapping experts. Each step is written on a post-it note, and then arranged on a wall for all to view. Once it’s all written out and displayed like that, it becomes easier to spot holes, inefficiencies or duplications in your process, and easier to fix. While there are a lot more ins and outs to understanding your processes, the bare bones of it are quite simple.
Understanding your processes doesn’t have to be a big, difficult thing, and you don’t have to struggle through it alone either. At Libreea, we work with business owners who want to understand their business processes properly, and use that information to create real change within the business. We regularly run practical process mapping workshops, where you can come along with your team and draw out all of those processes step by step, and optimise them at the same time.
We also run talks and seminars on process mapping, with our next one coming up on the 12th of November in London. At these talks, we cover the basics of what a process is and how to apply it to your business, right through to helping you identify the ‘right time for process’, the benefits of process mapping and how to implement process tools and software within your business. If you would like to know more, sign up to the event here, or get in touch with us today for your free consultation.