Hunting Heads by John H. McConnell Kiplinger Books, 2000, 288 pages, $24
According to human resources consultant John McConnell, many companies, notably small to midsize firms, make themistake of treating recruitment as an ad hoc process -- making a decision to hire new employees "with little planning andless thought to its ramifications." As a result, hiring a good employee is often by accident, not choice.
In Hunting Heads, McConnell leads managers through the step-by-step process of hiring employees, starting with a first stepthat many companies skip: deciding when to hire. Managers must ask themselves whether the company absolutelyneeds a new employee, McConnell argues. For example, are there alternatives to a full-time employee? Should you outsourcethe work?
Defining the job, obtaining qualified candidates, preparing for and conducting interviews, making the decision, and offeringthe job are the other recruitment steps covered in detailed, well-organized chapters.
The final chapters of the book offer an overview of some of the key issues that will affect your company's employee retentionrate. These issues not only include compensation and benefits, but also work environment issues, such as how well yourcompany meets employees' security and safety needs or provides opportunities for socialization and self-fulfillment.
Throughout the book, several themes emerge. Perhaps the most important of these is planning. "Businesspeople are moreprone to action than preparation, but action without direction often leads to chaos," McConnell writes. Obtaining expertadvice on legal and other matters is also emphasized. While McConnell offers general legal guidelines, for example, heurges companies of all sizes to acquire an employment attorney.
Supported by checklists and frequent examples, Hunting Heads is a thorough, practical, nuts-and-bolts manual on one of thekey management concerns of today.