Recruitment – the devil is in the detail

By Michael Braidwood CCM

During the pre opening of any business one of the key outputs of the General Manager is assembling the right team. With our large 33 hole complex due to open in 6 months time I and my senior team colleagues have been spending a large amount of time going through the recruitment process.

I enjoy this process, but it also makes me nervous as you never quite know how the candidate will fit into the team once selected, there are many variables of course being will they actually like working in a country like Qatar with the summer heat, different cultures and very transient society.

Sourcing candidates

Sourcing candidates these days is a little easier, there is a lot of ‘top talent’ out there and also with the aid of numerous specialist recruitment companies you are never short of viable candidates. I am however reluctant to post job adverts as you get inundated with CVs of which rightly you should respond to, but a very high percentage of the CVs don’t fit your criteria. So when looking for prospective candidates we are very prescriptive on what we are looking for, this really helps narrow down the applicant list.

For the example of this Tribal Tuesday I am going to describe the process we went through for our Sales and Marketing Director, a key appointment for any new business.

In this position we were looking for candidates who: had strong experience in the field of sales and marketing, had a solid knowledge of the golf and hospitality environment, had strong knowledge of all related sales and marketing department disciplines, can work on their own initiative, have regional experience and can bring something new to the table such as digital marketing.

From this we managed to drill down to a short list.

Apples to apples
When reviewing CVs you get such a variety and it can often be difficult to directly compare them. So what I do is send the short listed candidates a questionnaire so I can get the information I am looking for. I also ask them their remuneration expectations and current packages as there is no point on moving forward with some if their expectations are way out of kilter with your budget and salary scale. Click here to see an example questionnaire

The questionnaire submissions usually help me narrow it down to a final two or three.

The interview
Some positions I am happy to do interviews over the phone or Skype, but for key positions I need to meet the candidates face to face. I typically try and bring them over for a face to interview which is a day of activities.

The itinerary is as follows –

  • Comprehensive show round of the facilities and briefly meet other members of the team
  • Presentation delivered by the candidate – on this occasion the subject matter was ‘present in 20 minutes what you believe your first 100 days in the role of the S&M director would look like’ , this is key for me, as a S&M Director I need to know they can present.
  • A one hour competency test – click this link as an example . This gives me a strong indication of their S&M knowledge, that they can write a press release and work their way round a departmental budget with sensible budget lines and figures !
  • Then we do the face to face interview with a wide range of questions of which some are situational and actually have right and wrong answers ! Click here for some example interview questions
  • Here in Qatar Education City is part of a much wider community, Education City, so I take the applicants for a tour of the city and lunch, during this time I get a chance to find out more about the candidates and it gives them a chance to see the whole community.

Following the interview day more often than not you will have a preferred candidate however you still need to do your due diligence.

Its important to follow up on references, if it is references supplied by the candidates you kind of expect to get favourable answers, however if you probe deeper and ask specific questions you might find out a bit more. Click here for example reference questions.
Also its important to approach you wider network (the Tribe!) to see if you can get any neutral info, you will be surprised what can come out.

Now after all that process you should feel confident in your final decision.

But it does not end there !, your on boarding programme and induction process are key to getting your new recruit off to the best possible start and bringing in the $$$. (more on that in a future Tribal Tuesday)

Michael Braidwood on the benefits of a rigorous recruitment process.
This process might appear long winded, however I believe you are leaving nothing to chance. You have built up a great case to demonstrate to any of your bosses that you’ve followed a solid process, further more the candidates know you are a serious operator and that they will need to turn up to work with their A game.

All part of building your club’s brand.

For more info on the recruitment process please contact Michael on [email protected]

Michael Braidwood CCM is the General Manager of Education City Golf Club in Qatar and is responsible for the pre and post opening of this much anticipated golf club.He was formerly the Director of Education for CMAE, Operations Director of Braemar Golf Developments and General Manager of the Royal Golf Club, Bahrain.A PGA Advanced Fellow Professional and CCM Michael has an all round club industry skill set.