Sharing knowledge and experiences on recruiting (left-right): Tore B. Johannessen (Qualified Professionals), Thomas Kiledal (HR Manager, HMH), Bent-Ståle Johansen (CEO, Tratec), Patricia Sandnes Hartmann (Manager, Likestilt Arbeidsliv Agder), and Bjørg Hansen (Vice President HR, HMH).

“Playing it safe and hiring people with the same background as yourself, will not contribute to a diverse workplace”.

Admitting such previous mistakes when recruiting, Tom Fidjeland, CEO at GCE NODE, warned against a too narrow-minded approach when searching for talents. In his introduction to a recent seminar on Effective Recruiting Strategies and Best Practice, Fidjeland urged cluster companies to build more expertise in this field.

Bjørg Hansen, Vice President HR at HMH, said search for qualified personnel is high on HMH’s agenda. Adopting the best recruiting practices and promoting a proactive attitude to hiring, are musts if you want to find the best talents.

“Unemployment rate among engineers is close to zero, and six out of ten engineers in technology companies report that they are considering changing jobs. We are working hard to keep our best people and attract new talents,” said Hansen.

Competition for skilled workers is getting tougher, according to Bjørg Hansen, Vice President HR at HMH.

For HMH, and others, it is all about employer branding; the communication of your company’s employment value proposition. What benefits will an employee receive in return for the skills, capabilities, and experience they bring to the company?

“Long-term focus and succession planning are important measures. If we find a talented candidate, maybe we should hire that person before there is a job opening,” Hansen said.

Bent-Ståle Johansen, CEO of Tratec, has noticed intensified competition for skilled manpower. Tratec works hard to be more visible to future employees. Participating at university career days, is among the measures taken.

“In order to come across as an attractive workplace for the new generation, we use our own employees as ambassadors. That gives us more credibility. We also have good experiences using when recruiting. It is low cost and effective,” said Johansen.

With activities in several geographical locations, Tratec makes a point of searching for talents locally.

“When searching your neighborhood, you will probably discover much talent and competence. People who live close to the workplace, are also more likely to stay longer,” Johansen pointed out.

More than 30 representatives from various GCE NODE companies followed the seminar on best recruiting practice.

Tore B. Johannessen, Partner in Qualified Professionals and former HR Manager at Siem Offshore, shared valuable knowledge about the hiring process. He stressed the importance of knowing what you are looking for.

“Your first step is to write a clear and detailed job specification. If you don’t know precisely what you want your new employee to do, it is hard to find the right candidate. Many companies put too little effort into a good job specification,” said Johannessen.

He also warned against falling for appearance and eloquence when you really should be focused on formal qualifications, experience, and training.

“You need a clear structure in the hiring process. Ending up with the wrong guy, can turn out to be an expensive mistake,” said Johannessen.