Like Brexit, the US presidential election result was another upset for the polls at the end of an increasingly negative campaign on both sides. As the world waits to see what’s next, we draw out the lessons HR can learn from this eventful time:-
No hire is better than the wrong hire : The immediate impact of the election result was threefold. The Canadian immigration website crashed, Indeed reported a tenfold rise in Americans looking for Canadian jobs and Google searches on ‘how to move to Canada’ increased by 350%. If your hiring process is failing to attract the type of talent your business needs, go back to basics, analyse your recruitment data, your employer brand and your candidate experience. Don’t risk the wrong hire because your choices are limited, the repercussions for your business might be greater than you think.
Broaden your candidate base : Candidates for the US election are traditionally drawn from a talent pool requiring vast amounts of wealth or financial backing to stay the course in a long campaign. The president elect may not have held political office before but his significant wealth enabled him to mount a successful campaign. If you continue to recruit from the same talent pool based on a limited criteria, eventually your options will narrow. For example, job applicants in the banking sector are often filtered according to the secondary school they attended and their family’s wealth. Incorporating screening through anonymised CVs to reduce bias expands your candidate base and gives you more flexibility in your final selection.
Make sure your candidate has nothing to hide : The longer the election campaign went on, the more defamatory information was revealed. Thankfully, hiring strategies don’t rely on competing candidates attempting to smear other job seekers but the election debacle highlights the importance of background checks. CV inaccuracies are on the rise but employers still skip this important part of the process after making their final candidate selection. Don’t regret your hiring decision after it’s too late to do anything about it.
Positive leadership is the key : Robert Quinn, professor of the Michigan Ross School of Business recommends that a leader must be able to ‘see and nurture the entire workforce, clarifying the highest, collective purpose, articulate it and continually reclarify it’. Leadership which fails to achieve this will prove divisive, as the US election and the protests from unhappy voters over the outcome have proven. Successful leadership must also be mature, a trait which has been lacking at times in the election campaign. Deloitte’s High -Impact Leadership: Leadership Maturity in Mid-Market Organisations, found that mid-market organisations with higher leadership maturity are ‘seven times more likely to build talent for a competitive advantage’.
Don’t fall in love with your candidate : From the Democrats’ side, Hillary Clinton’s selection as candidate had a sense of inevitability about it from the outset. A combination of technology and collaborative hiring can prevent bias in the recruitment process to ensure the right candidate, not just the obvious one, is hired. Adopt an evidence based approach incorporating behavioural and situational questions during interview. It will save your business the embarrassment of an unsuccessful selection further down the line.
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