Seven Habits for Efficient Recruitment and Hiring

Author: John Koloda, BComm, CLU, CFP, CHFC, RHU 


As a financial Advisor, owner of your business, you are confronted with the full gamut of running a business and, for many among you, that encompasses managing staff. Your staff might be small: a part-time secretary or a marketing assistant or a contractual technology specialist…or it may include sub-agents and a host of marketing coordinators. Whether it is a single person or a team, once you have a person on board, your people management skills need to be up to par! And the starting point is, more often than not, getting staff on board.


At KolodaCORE, we believe each situation is unique and needs to be handled according to its own specificities. Sharing your concerns with an experienced professional coach is certainly an avenue to consider as “one size fits all” advice doesn’t necessarily work its magic every time. Having said this, there are general cues that come from experience that can help you avoid serious errors when you embark on the adventure of recruitment and hiring.


HABIT 1. Know what the job requirements are before you start looking for the person who will fill in the role.


Who hasn’t succumbed to the temptation of hiring a good friend, a neighbour’s daughter, a highly recommended client’s niece…just to find that although the person was very very nice…they just didn’t fit the role. Yes…it hastened the process and you had a “body in the chair” quickly…but in the end, managing a wrongful selection is certainly a great loss of time and energy. Taking the time to:


  • list the tasks inherent to the vacant job;


  • determine the competencies required;


  • identify the qualities needed to succeed


will increase your chances of having “the right person in the right chair”.


HABIT 2. Make sure candidates who apply know what the job is all about!



Posting the job content and requirements efficiently is the first step in attracting sound candidates.


  • Ensure your posting is expressed in clear and understandable terms, devoid of jargon;


  • Use a motivating tone, not one that will discourage or scare candidates away;


  • Make sure candidates hear about your job when they consult easy access job search websites. Diversify your job postings to increase visibility.


  • Post early…as recruitment takes time.


When interviewing, make sure to validate the experience and accomplishments of applicants rather than simply taking what is said for granted. Ask them to tell the stories to back up their statements of competency (behavioral interviewing). It’s walking the talk that’s important for you!


HABIT 3: Diligence is now the secret to hiring with success!


The shortage of qualified manpower is also affecting our industry. Once you have started your recruiting process, ensure that either you or someone who can professionally support you, is looking at the resumes received and contacting the candidates promptly. People looking for jobs are anxious to get to the interview process and are more susceptible of moving ahead when called rapidly. Without rushing into the final selection, consider being responsive to candidates as soon as you receive their application. Confirmation e-mails, first screening phone interviews, etc. are different ways of preventing the loss of good candidates.


HABIT 4:   Organize your process


Recruitment is a serious management responsibility. Candidates may ask to have access to their recruitment file if they feel they have not been treated fairly. If you are doing the recruitment yourself, consider the following:


  • Set up files to gather information sent by candidates: resumes, proofs of education and licensing, etc.


  • Set up interview guides whether for first phone contacts or face to face interviews;


  • Take and store interview notes carefully.



HABIT 5:     Communicate honestly and completely


Candidates need to know about your expectations, honestly and completely. Let them know what are the mission, values, perspectives, philosophy and management practices that characterize your business. People usually want to know:


  • About requirements for overtime, work during the weekends, travel, etc.;


  • Bilingualism requirements;


  • Working conditions such as vacation time, bonus policy, training policy, etc.;


  • Structure of your organization: who provides supervision; who trains, etc.


  • Performance criteria, success indicators and evaluation.



HABIT 6:   Never, never discriminate


We are emphatic on this one as it could have legal repercussions on your business. Be aware of discriminatory practices and steer away from them, at all times during recruitment, hiring and selection phases.

  • Make sure all candidates receive equitable and fair treatment;


  • Ensure your documentation is devoid of any discriminatory comments;


  • Make your final choice based on competency and ensure that this can be validated easily.


HABIT 7: Let applicants know about the outcome of your recruitment and selection


Runner-up applicants may well be a very good fit for your organization some time later. Make it a habit to:


  • Communicate on the phone with the candidates you interviewed but did not retain. Let them know the reasons why they were not your choice and invite them to stay in contact with you if you see potential in them;


  • Make sure all other applicants hear from you either by e-mail or by a letter informing them of your decision not to retain them but thanking them for their interest.