What can we learn from the search for the new Bank of England Governor.

The search for what many believe is the second most important job in the country, after the prime minister, has concluded with the appointment of Mark Carney who will take over as Governor of the Bank of England when Sir Mervyn King, the current Governor steps down in June 2013.

What can we learn from this high profile search for Mr King’s successor? Well I think there are a number of interesting factors that highlight the challenges all organisations, public and private face in finding and hiring  top talent. Are your hiring processes helping you win the war for talent or are you still relying on traditional job advertising methods?

Finding Talent: Every hire is important and can have a massive impact on your business both positive and negative, especially if you make a bad hire. I guess as jobs go they don’t come much bigger than the Governor of the Bank of England. But how do you find potential candidates with the necessary experience and qualifications for such an important job? I’m not sure advertising the role in The Economist and a Government recruitment website was anything other than a political gesture. I would love to know how successful these adverts were in attracting candidates who’s hats weren’t already in the ring. Whether you’re the Bank of England looking for a new Governor or a growing Fintech company looking for a Sales Director you need to be proactive; identify the top talent in your industry and reach out to it. Traditional job advertising is now regarded as the least valued method for attracting talent. Headhunters, outside recruiters, employee referrals and company websites are far more effective.

Engaging Talent: It’s probably easier to engage with potential candidates when the job is Governor of the Bank of England. You and your organisation might not be on par with the Bank of England and The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, in terms of gravitas, or the likes of Apple and Google when it comes to employer branding, but you want to create the same impression when reaching out to top talent. I don’t imagine for one minute that Mark Carney or any of the other candidates for the Governors role had to complete an online application. Using the same traditional “one-way” processes as you would for active candidates is not the engaging experience that is going to help you win the war for talent. Change and adapt your processes to be more interactive and focused on the candidates needs and wants.

Interview Process:The interview process needs to be well defined and everyone involved needs to be clear on what their role and responsibilities are. But it also needs to be flexible as seems to be the case with Mark Carney. It’s been reported in the Wall Street Journal that the Treasury created a separate process for Mr. Carney that allowed him to formally apply and be interviewed on the same day. It’s often said the interview process is indicative of what it will be like to work for an organisation. Unnecessary delays, repetitive steps, lack of feedback and inability to make decisions lead to a poor candidate experience and talent dropping out of the process.

When was the last time you reviewed your hiring processes and looked at how your organisation engages with top talent? Are you still relying on traditional advertising methods and job boards to fill your open roles?



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