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Fill in the Blanks: 
A Closer Look at Recruitement and Selection
By: Serely Geraldine D. Alcaraz

Hiring is the most important, and usually the most difficult, thing you’ll do as an entrepreneur.
- Shawn Riegsacker, President and CEO of Centro -

If we ask any business owner and entrepreneur about their biggest challenge, most will reply, almost instinctively, with the same answer: hiring the right person for the job.

Indeed, hiring new employees can be an overwhelming and daunting experience. Aside from being incredibly time-intensive, the rigorous process involved in “filling in the blanks” and recruiting and selecting the right person is not for the faint-hearted. Imagine the massive costs involved with making the wrong choice – wasted salary and benefits, lost business opportunities, culture and relationship issues, and more.

“The cost of making a wrong hiring decision, especially when you’re a start-up with limited funds, is the most expensive cost you’ll incur,” says Shawn Riegsacker, President and CEO of Centro, a digital media company in Chicago. This is the reason why “at Centro, we spend what I’m sure many would consider to be an excessive amount of time in our hiring and selection process - 10 hours with each new hire. Up until we reached 75 employees, I personally spent two hours with each candidate before we hired them.”

This is the reason why we devoted the March issue of The People Manager to recruitment and selection. As people managers and human resource practitioners, we face the challenge to fill vacant positions; find “the one” with the right skills, experience, and attitude; and select the person with the best fit for the job. In fact, Adam Robinson, in his article, “How to Hire in Chicago,” identified three keys to success when we’re thinking about adding new staff to our companies:

· plan on investing anywhere from 30- 50% of your time directly involved with interviewing and selection

· run your candidates through a standardized, repeatable process, ensuring that you get a consistent evaluation (i.e., don’t wing it!)

· start recruiting at least sixty (60) days before you need the position filled

Whew! Easier said than done, indeed!

So what’s in store for this month’s issue? In our February’s General Membership Meeting, PMAP President Bong Austero mentioned about the new look and feel of our People Manager magazine. From this month onwards, you will see new columns like “Expert Advice” where experts and gurus answer your burning questions about this month’s theme. Many thanks to PMAP Past President Grace Abella-Zata for addressing Miss Recruiter’s concern about retaining new hires. We are also featuring “HeRo Profile” where Darwin Moya interviewed no less than our 2010 People Manager of the Year, Mr. Lito de Guzman, regarding his career in HR. Watch out for more new features in the coming months.

In addition, we have our regular columnists, Dina Loomis’ “Watch Your Image” featuring “A Precious Gift,” and Moje Ramos- Aquino’s “Choice Cuts” on Recruitment and Selection featuring “The Wisdom Network” by Steve Benson and Melissa Giovagnoli. We also have feature articles from three past PMAP Presidents – Ernie Cecilia on “The Job You Seek Does Not Exist Yet,” Grace Abella- Zata on “Recruitment and the Pursuit of Employee Happiness,”and Mark Go on “Racing to Stay Away from the Bottom.” There are also articles from Kimberly Schenk on “The Recruitment Process – 5 Advantages to Knowing Every Step,” and contributing writers, Tita Puangco on “Living Ethics in Recruitment and Selection,” Jocelyn Pick on “Selection Strategies for Reorganization, Redeployment, and Recovery.”

This is really what we envision People Manager to be – a resource for PMAP members, people managers and HR practitioners. So learn from the articles, enjoy the features, and whenever possible, implement these in our respective organizations.