Recruitment? A matter of speed and quality

01 Dec 2011 10:49 | Deleted user

Recruitment? A matter of speed and Quality
Interview by Alessandra Zocca


Salvatore Maranto, HR Manager Italy & Spain at SPX, part of SPX Corporation, a Fortune 500 multi-industry manufacturing leader that provides its customers with highly-specialized, engineered solutions to solve critical business issues.

PWI – Salvatore, how do you define "talent"?
Mr. Maranto - “Talent”  is the flair in an individual able to quickly bring about impressive results  and innovation, through a “magic” mix of: management skills, technical-functional skills, personal qualities and stamina, commitment and values.

PWI – Salvatore, in your opinion, is “leadership” a talent?
Mr. Maranto - Leadership may be a component of a talented person.  Actually, talented people do not necessarily need to be leaders, as they can develop their talent in several different ways (technical, commercial, administrative, etc.).

PWI - Scouting for, attracting, selecting and recruiting the "right" and talented people is a crucial and vital process for a company, isn't it?
Why then - often - do companies assign these responsibilities to employees with a lower seniority position and age? Don't you think that ensuring the company has the optimum human resources to fulfill the vision should be a responsibility of senior management?

Mr. Maranto - Senior managers have the right experience to perform an effective selection, unfortunately recruiting and selecting potential candidates is a time consuming process especially in cases of high volume and HR Directors/Managers need to delegate to their team members, who often haven’t gained the adequate expertise in selection techniques and tools and have a limited knowledge of the company business.  In SPX, we ensure that our employees (regardless of age or  seniority) are given the correct tools to be able to effectively short list the right talent. We run effective hiring courses across EMEA to help HR and Hiring Managers choose the most appropriate talents.  In some cases HR Directors choose to assign recruitment to external  head hunters or specialized companies, incurring in higher costs and – sorry to say that – questionable quality results.

Which are nowadays the key factors of recruitment?
Mr. Maranto – There are currently two main factors: speed and quality.  In our company we have set time ranges for recruitment and these time frames are shrinking more and more: 40 days for high responsibility job positions and 20 days for lower level jobs.  The other factor – quality – is a must: the direct and indirect costs of a wrong recruitment  can be very high, which is why we spend a lot of time during the early stages of recruitment to get the right people on our short list.

Which are the key competencies, qualities and professional background of the best recruiters?
Mr. Maranto – Taking into account the necessary differences between recruiting for a high position or for a low job, I strongly believe that recruiters need the following competencies:
•    Know the company business deeply
•    Understand how each function contributes to the company success
•    Live the company culture and be fully aware of “written and unwritten” company rules
•    Interact successfully with the functions/the team leaders in order to build together the correct profile of the position being recruited to
•    Master the relationship with Head Hunters and stakeholders
•    Master social media  both actively (highlight your own company in every social medium to create a positive and attractive image on the labor market ) and passively (publish a job offer and wait for candidate replies)
•    Know all the interview techniques  to spot candidates competencies, qualities and motivation; develop the emotional intelligence to help select talent, or rely upon external psychology experts to  identify candidates’ psychological profiles
•    Sell/market your company to valuable and suitable candidates
•    Market/sell the most suitable/valuable candidates to the hiring functions
•    Become an expert of the labor market and be up-to-date with the salary/benefit package trend for each relevant professional profile
•    Master the legislation of your relevant labor market.
Based on the above requirements, it is clear that the optimal recruiter profile – for positions from middle to top management - includes a high professional expertise/background and “seniority” (meaning years of business experience and specific expertise).

Which are the differences between recruiting as Head Hunter/ interim or within the company ?
Mr. Maranto – Interim management recruiting is more complex than it looks, but for some reasons  if a company uses interim staff, this is seen as less critical then hiring permanent staff for the job. Based on my experience Interim Recruitment agencies tend to be too expensive in relation to the quality they offer, at least in Italy. We normally keep in house the recruitment of middle management to high positions, but for the top business critical jobs we consult with our internal Talent Sourcing function who specialize in executive level positions. In those cases the commitment to excellence is maximum and both the HR Director and the Functional Directors are fully involved.

How has recruitment evolved in recent years (in terms of relevance, globalisation, organisation structure, processes)?
Mr. Maranto – The globalization phenomenon has also impacted the area of recruitment: it means both extending recruitment to international labor markets and spotting out local candidates with proven international experience, background, culture and mind-set. In the last few years  I have also remarked that there is in recruiting a parallel trend to the business arena trend: more and more sense of urgency, quality as a “must” and a consequent war for talents.

How, in your opinion, will recruitment evolve in the next ten years?
Mr. Maranto – I would envisage two main streams: a further development of recruitment tools based on the social media – unfortunately Italy is behind Europe - and the reinforcing of “word of mouth” on the other side. Retaining employee loyalty to the company will surely be one of the greatest future challenges, above all in companies where the excellence of employees’ technical competencies is the basis for business growth. The key factor, then, is rather to develop and retain the most skilled people than hiring and laying off according to business ups and downs.

In the light of the EU Parliament resolution regarding women quotae, how do you envisage the impact on recruitment?
Mr. Maranto - In the short term I do not envisage any significant impact. I guess that companies will continue to hire female or male employees according to their culture and to the competencies availability. In our company we have never made any gender discrimination, we have always successfully hired, and will continue to bring on board, the right person for the job, irrespective of their gender.

  Short Biography
Born in Milan (Italy) in 1964, Mr. Maranto graduated in Business Administration at the Bocconi University (Milan.) He first joined Accenture (where he worked in the Change Management practice on various assignments in Italy, Germany, Turkey, USA), then Unisys Italy (where he worked as HR Business Partner) and finally SPX Italy, where he covers the position of HR Manager Italy & Spain.
SPX Corporation is a Fortune 500 multi-industry manufacturing leader with 15,000 employees in more than 35 countries worldwide, with a product portfolio that includes cooling systems for power plants, food processing systems, process equipment that assists a variety of flow processes, and diagnostic tools that aid in vehicle maintenance and repair.
Salvatore Maranto
HR manager
SPX Service Solutions Europe

Disclaimer - Any views and opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of SPX Italy, nor do they constitute a legally binding agreement.

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