Recruitment and Hiring Process Guide: How Successful Recruiters Recruit and Hire Talent
In this guide, we explore what is the recruitment and hiring process, what are the 7 steps of the hiring process including tips, internal and external factors determining the hiring process, and the challenges currently faced and how to overcome them.
WHAT IS THE RECRUITMENT AND HIRING PROCESS?
Recruitment may be defined as the process of gathering and assessing a pool of candidates who potentially meet the required knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to ably fill a defined position in the organization and successfully carry out its roles and requirements.
Hiring, on the other hand, is the part of the recruitment process that involves making a decision on the most suited candidate and offering the position to them at a fee.
Purpose of the recruitment process
- Finding the best candidate – The first and foremost goal of the recruitment process is to find the best qualified talent in the job market for the position. With an ever growing pool of educated unemployed graduates and competition from numerous organizations hiring, attracting the best person for the job demands a strategic recruitment process.
- Incorporating traditionally underrepresented groups – The recruitment process also serves to bring on board traditionally underrepresented or marginalized groups, for example women, people with disabilities, and marginalized populations. This ensures that opportunities are given equitably to all sections of the job market and reduces bias in the recruitment process.
- Equal opportunity for all applicants – Another goal for a successful recruitment process is to ensure that all applicants receive equal opportunity to compete for the position as they are subjected to a standard vetting and screening process.
- Diversifying the workforce – The recruitment process also plays a role in ensuring that the organization’s workforce remains diverse by attracting a talent pool consisting of individuals from diverse backgrounds and expertise.
- Retention of the best talent – Since the process includes internal recruitment, this also ensures that the organization retains its best and most qualified talent by giving opportunity to qualified employees to take up new positions with new challenges. This ensures their personal and career growth.
- Employer brand creation – In their bid to attract qualified candidates, organizations are also building their employer brand in the job market. Qualified candidates will tend to gravitate toward better and more competitive opportunities. Therefore, it is critical that an organization manages how it is perceived as an employer so as to retain a flow of the best talent.
- Recruitment database – The recruitment process may also serve the purpose of providing a database of information and a source of candidates for future recruitment.
Importance of a successful Recruitment Process
In the long-run a successful recruitment process is important to an organization in the following aspects:
- Time saving – Having a predetermined recruitment process ensures that less time is spent when determining the best candidate for the position. As such the time spared can then be refocused to other crucial tasks.
- Saving resources – This is in reference to both human capital and financial resources. A successful recruitment process will ensure that only the necessary and relevant people are involved in the recruitment process therefore freeing up others to do their jobs. It also ensures that money is not wasted on ineffective means of attracting candidates, for instance in advertising for the position.
- Consistency – The recruitment process also ensures that the hiring managers use a standard process when assessing each of the applicants. This reduces personal bias and preference, and it gives equal opportunity to each of the applicants.
- Legal adherence – A laid out recruitment process will guide the recruiters to selecting the best candidate while following the law as well as the company’s corporate policy. This is especially the case in public office where the law may stipulate a minimum requirement for a certain gender or other specifications. Cases of malpractice will also be kept at a minimum as recruiters will be informed of the conduct expected of them while running the recruitment process.
- Credibility – An established recruitment process gives credence to the company by giving confidence to applicants that the position is genuine and they will not fall prey to con artists in the market. For example, if a company’s recruitment process involves applying for a position by first completing a personal profile online, they will be wary of counterfeit advertisers demanding something contrary.
- Transparency – Recruitment officers and managers are able to follow the process and can account for the outcome. Also, it ensures that information on the process is available to all stakeholders and that applicants are privy to feedback and requirements of each step of the process.
- Recruitment metrics – With tangible outcomes, the recruitment process is one of the measurable aspects of the human resources department. Therefore, recruitment metrics obtained from its analysis can be used to measure the success of the department and recommendations given on how to improve it.
Learn about the KPIs you should track and report in your recruiting process.
Modern trends in the recruitment and hiring process
As the demographics of the workforce keeps changing in this fast-paced world, it is inevitable that organizations also change their tactics and strategies in recruiting to be better placed to address the changes in the talent pool and their changing expectations.
To remain competitive and to be able to tap into top talent, you need to apply modern trends of recruiting. Let me show you how you can us these trends which are defining the human resources operations in the global market a;
- Employer branding – More and more employers are turning to social media to strategically improve their brand. This is partly due to a rise in prospective candidates preferring companies who have a more dominant social media presence and thus availing more information about their goals and objectives and what it is like to work for them. Candidates can then assess the organization and determine prior to application whether or not they would be a good fit.
- Use of talent data and metrics – Organizations are increasingly using data and metrics to evaluate the success and efficiency of the recruitment process’ outcome. The quality of hire metrics remains to be the most used and preferred data. According to Sullivan and Burnett, quality of hire refers to a grouping of metrics that measure the degree to which candidates recruited and hired satisfy the requirements as defined. Quality of hire is being measured through performance evaluation of the new hires, the labor turnover statistics, and the hiring manager satisfaction. There is also a surge to capture rich talent profile data of prospective and former employees by use of talent sourcing technologies to optimize the recruiting performance.
- Referral systems – Employers are making use of referrals in their selection of applicants as candidates with good referrals also tend to have longer tenures and better performance. Social professional networks have remained perched in marking quality hires, but referrals are peaking with its use illustrated in the graph below.
- Improvement of the candidate experience – Organizations are seeking to improve the recruitment experience for the applicants by viewing it as a measure of business performance. They are therefore making it easy for the applicants to find and apply for the positions, ensuring the application process is brief and simple, interacting with the candidates before and during the recruitment process, and giving timely feedback to the applicants even to those who fail the recruitment. The push factors in this trend are realities of quality hires with multiple offers who will factor in experience when determining the company to work for, and also as a brand preservation measure. Candidates who have a negative experience are not likely to consider reapplying in future, and worse, may take their frustrations to social media platforms. Also, there are companies like Glassdoor which are giving candidates’ feedback and helping to rate organizations in their recruitment process.
- Use of digital and mobile communication – Many of the current candidates are very digital savvy and prefer mobile technology in their communication. Organizations have realized this and are optimizing this factor by turning to similar methods of communications, for instance SMS and social media messaging. Also, with platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook, organizations can assess the candidate from the information they provide on their social media pages and assess much more accurately if they are fit for the position.
- Video interviews – There is a growing number of recruiters who have incorporated video screening as part of their recruitment process. This is especially the case in online companies who do not require the physical presence of their employees, or positions that do not require the same, for instance online social media marketing jobs. However, the trend is also picking up among more traditional organizations.
Tips for companies looking to move with the recruitment trends
With the above stated trends shaping the face of human resources globally, companies that fail to comply with the changes find themselves being edged out by competition and missing out on the best candidates. To make sure you do not get edged out, take the following steps:
- Create a platform for dialogue with candidates and prospective candidates – This may be through an interactive social media site or via mobile services. This will help you get instant feedback and also attract more applicants.
- Focusing on the candidate – You must change your view of the candidate from merely a potential employee to a more holistic view. The candidate regardless of whether or not they fit the requirements for the current position is a client and a marketing agent. This shift in perspective will gear you up to optimize the recruiting process for current and future benefits.
- Digital and mobile strategy – You must strategize on the best digital and mobile platforms to use in order to fully utilize their benefits in recruiting. This does not imply that companies must be visible on every social media page, but they must decide on the best way to represent their brand so as to attract the best hires.
Learn about how Google recruits talent.
THE HIRING PROCESS STEP BY STEP
Step 1. Identifying a vacancy and evaluating need
A vacancy may arise in an organization due to any of the following factors:
- Termination of service of an employee – An underperforming employee may be cut out to give way to better and more capable persons to fill the position. It is important that the termination follow due process and be as professional and cordial as possible.
- Retirement of an employee – Employees who have served the organization and have come of age may leave the organization and thus opening up opportunities for others to take over. As they leave, it is in the best interest of the company and common courtesy to treat the retiree respectfully and also compensate them as required to avoid legal tussles and negative public image.
- Transfer of an employee to a different department – This may be as a result of a promotion in order to better align the employee’s skills, experience, and education with the position. This then creates a void in the former position occupied and may necessitate finding a new hire to fill the same.
- Temporal leave of an employee – This may be a maternity leave, paternal leave, or a more unprecedented sick leave. The nature and duration of the leave may influence the organization’s decision to hire or not to hire.
- Expansion of operations – As a business grows and expands its operations, it is inevitable that it will require to also employ more personnel in order to cope with the increasing responsibilities.
Once a vacancy emerges as a result of the above scenarios, it is important to first analyze the need to bring in more people to handle the responsibilities left behind. Some factors to be considered include:
- Relevance of the vacancy – It is important for you to consider the relevance of the position in light of the organization’s goals and structure. You must answer questions such as, how is this position contributing to the core business of the organization? Are there other positions playing the same roles as those in the current position? Does the position efficiently manage the current roles? This will help you to determine whether or not the position is relevant to the organization or is in fact redundant. Should you find the case to be the latter, it would then mean the position has to be done away with and resources directed to other staff.
- Cost considerations – It is incumbent upon the hiring manager to determine the cost of hiring in the new position so as to ensure that the candidate selected is the most cost efficient alternative, not only with regard to remuneration, but also in the quality of service that he or she will deliver. Costs may include advertising costs, and consultancy costs.
- Streamlining functions of the vacancy – It is important to do a job analysis in order to ensure the position meets the current requirements. Past functions should be considered and if need be, new ones added for more efficiency. Supervisory responsibilities should also be determined and on the whole, the responsibilities should be aimed at more production.
- Developing capacity of existing staff – Organizations should also evaluate the benefit of new hires as opposed to the possibility of developing the capacity of existing staff by distributing the current responsibilities of the position to them. Should the benefit and cost effectiveness of hiring new personnel far outweigh that of the existing staff, then the position should be open for new candidates.
Best practices when identifying a vacancy and evaluating need
- Use of metrics – It is advisable for organizations to make use of data such as cost per hire, turnover statistics, and time to fill before embarking on a recruitment process. This may help the organization to be better informed of the costs of hiring new personnel as well as anticipate how much time will be used in the process.
- Open-door policy – Maintaining open communication with staff and managers will help the hiring staff to get more feedback on the position and how best to fill it.
This is how much cost per hire can differ between companies, functions, industries, and locations.
Step 2. Develop a job description
A job description is a tool that outlines the required skills, competencies and education for the fulfillment of the roles and duties of a job.
Functions of a good job description
- It provides the applicant with a first impression of the organization.
- It describes the skills, competencies and experience required for the role.
- It helps in managing the employee’s performance.
- It is also useful in setting the organization’s and employee’s goals.
- The job description provides a basis for the position evaluation and job classification.
- It is used to create equal opportunity and pay for employees.
- It is also necessary to avoid legal potholes. For instance, in America, where a position requires a specific physical ability, it may be necessary to exclude applicants with a hindering disability and listing this requirement ensures compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Components of a job description
- Job title – It should be brief and should reflect the content, scope and purpose of the job.
- Position summary – This gives a summary of the duties and responsibilities of the position, as well as outlining its purpose.
- Duties and responsibilities – This communicates the expectations of the position and outlines the roles, tasks, and responsibilities to be undertaken.
- Job requirements and qualifications – This includes the minimum education and experience requirements for the job, and also any certification and skills necessary.
- Relationships – This stipulates the working relationships involved in this position, that is, who reports to the employee and whom the employee reports to.
- Physical demands – This describes the physical demands and mental capabilities required in the job. For example sitting, squatting, bending, and lifting, and how often and for how long the employee is to undergo such routines.
- Working conditions – This describes any conditions that the candidate may find disagreeable or uncomfortable.
Steps in developing a job description
- General Information – Describe the program or department and its purpose and how it fits in the organization. This information will help align the position and the general objectives of the program. Provide the position summary by describing purpose and overall objectives of the position and its responsibilities. This may be achieved by answering the question, how does this position support the function of the program or department?
- Identifying the major functions of the position – This can be done by listing those tasks assigned to the position and categorizing those that are related. The major functions should then by arranged in order of importance. The next step is to determine the duration that will be spent in performing each function. Finally, distinguish between essential and non-essential functions of the position. To make it easier to identify the essential functions, the recruiting staff can consider the questions; does the job exist to perform this function? How much time will be spent performing the function? Can co-workers perform this function if necessary?
- Determining the qualifications required – These are the minimum requirements that are to be met for this position. They should be relevant to the duties and responsibilities of the job. They should be specific and verifiable by a review of the resume. They are to enable the performance of the essential functions. Preferred qualifications are more advanced and above the minimum requirements. They are generally used to narrow down the talent pool for a better fit for the position.
- Determining physical and environmental requirements – These maybe obvious from the tasks to be carried out. They are specific to the position and location of the job. It is therefore important to note any unusual physical demands or environmental conditions.
How to write a great job description.
Tips for a concise position description
- The position description should be structured in such a manner as to reflect the needs of the organization.
- Gender neutral language should be used.
- There should be limited use of jargon, acronyms and technical language.
- The language used must be accurate and aptly communicate the requirements of the position. Vague words or those that may be misunderstood should be avoided.
- The requirements section should contain only the essentials as listing too many skills may reduce the talent pool significantly.
- The position description should be constantly updated to reflect any changes that may have been adopted to the position.
- Focus should be given to the job requirements rather than the incumbent.
- It is crucial that the position description is shared by people who have first-hand knowledge on the intricate workings of the job. Managers and the incumbent may be brought in to analyze the final job description or earlier on in the process.
Common mistakes in developing a position description
- Failure to understand the inherent job requirements – Inherent requirements of a job are the essential outcomes that are aimed to be achieved by the position. They are inherent if they cannot be achieved in any other capacity other than the defined position. Often times recruiters fail to clearly define the inherent tasks of a given position and hence fail to attract the right people.
- Use of subjective terms and opinions – This is especially when describing the roles involved. Words that are subjective fail to communicate precisely what is expected of the candidate and may cause frustration once the employee attempts to carry out his duties.
- Use of words that may be considered discriminative – In an attempt to describe the desired candidate, organizations often make the mistake of using language that may well be discriminative. For example, use of the adjectives “youthful”, “able-bodied” and the like is best avoided.
- Out-of-date descriptions – This may be a result of changes that have been adopted by the company over time which are not reflected in the position description due to neglect or lack of awareness of the hiring staff.
Step 3. Develop a recruitment plan
A recruitment plan enables you to lay out a strategy to attract and hire the best fit candidate for the position. Make sure to include the following elements in you recruitment plan:
- Posting timeline – This may be predetermined by company policy, open until filled or an ongoing recruitment.
- Placement goals – These are determined for every placement and are reviewed in order to streamline the plan to achieve those goals.
- Additional advertising resources – There are many platforms for employers to attract candidates. They include online job boards, social media, print advertisement, job fairs and campus recruiting.
- Agencies – These represent marginalized and under-represented groups and help widen the talent pool.
- Resume banks – These are a ready source of resumes and companies can easily sift through already available resumes to find the best fit.
Steps for developing the recruitment plan
- Create a timeline allocating time for each activity from the date you must fill the position back to the day you will advertise the position.
- List the position or positions to be filled alongside their descriptions and requirements.
- Determine the best method of advertising for the position and outline the costs.
Tips for developing a successful recruitment plan
- Employers should make use of market research data to find out the most efficient means of advertising and hence attract a wider pool of candidates.
- While setting time lines, it is important to allow for eventualities.
- If the recruitment process involves working with teams, you should communicate the recruitment plan before its execution so as to allow for adjustments to be made and synchronizing of the different schedules.
- The unit manager should approve of the recruitment plan in order to allow for funds to be released for its implementation.
Common mistakes in recruitment planning
- Fixing rigid timeframes when planning and hence rushing the interview and other stages in the recruitment process.
- Use of inefficient advertising methods which translates to fewer candidates being reached.
Step 4. Selecting hiring committee
A hiring committee is instituted to protect the selection and hiring process from bias and hence come up with the most suited candidate. It is therefore important that the committee be constituted by staff from across the board and under-represented groups and women are included.
The committee should also have an individual with a strong understanding of the role and its importance in light of the department’s objectives and if possible with previous experience in the same role. It also should include someone with technical know-how of the job. Lastly, an individual who will be in close contact with the position such as the immediate supervisor.
Tips for selecting the hiring committee
- Ensure the hiring committee is as diverse as possible. This will bring in different perspectives and a deeper assessment of candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.
- It is crucial that none of the members of the committee has vested interest in any of the candidates or any other conflicting interests.
- The hiring committee should be well versed with the recruitment process and are often given brief trainings prior to the interview.
Common mistakes in selection of the hiring committee
The most common mistake is failure to diversify the committee. Often the members selected are from one department and thus are not representative of the entire organization. This limits the assessment of the applicant to only one perspective of his or her suitability for the position.
Step 5. Post Job and Implement Recruitment Plan
Once the job description had been finalized, the job should then be posted in the predetermined platforms for the set number of days. Once the minimum number of posting days has been reached, applications should then be reviewed by the committee.
Companies should use multiple avenues for recruitment in order to widen the pool of candidates reached.
Best practices for posting the position and implementing the recruitment plan
- Since the objective is to attract as many qualified people as possible, it is at this point that companies recruit passive candidates.
- The hiring manager must monitor the progress of the recruitment plan in order to ensure all set goals are achieved.
Common mistakes in posting the position and implementing the recruitment plan
Often there is a lack of continuous monitoring during implementation which backsets the success of the process.
Always think about what candidates you are trying to reach: active vs passive job candidates.
Step 6. Review Applicants and Develop Short List
After the end of the posting days, the hiring committee then embarks to review all the applications and determine which best meets the required qualifications. It is of importance that each application be reviewed by more than one member of the committee in order to eliminate bias.
After making the final review, the committee will then come up with a short list of the best qualified applicants who will then proceed to the interview stage.
Tips for reviewing applicants and developing a short list
- If the applications received are too many, the hiring committee can work in teams in order to move through them faster.
- It is important to know the targeted number of interviewees.
- It is easier to shortlist candidates using an elimination method.
- The hiring team must first understand the roles and responsibilities of the position and know the necessary requirements of the job. The chairman of the hiring committee should then again go through the short list to ensure that the selected candidates meet this criterion.
Step 7. Conducting Interviews and selecting hires
This is the most crucial part of the recruitment process. It may involve one or more interview sessions where candidates are subsequently eliminated.
The committee may choose to use video interview or in-person or both. It is critical that the team be prepared and have a documented procedure and set of questions based on each section of the position description.
Once the interview process is complete, the hiring committee should then use its evaluation tools to come up with a decision as to the best suited candidate after which they will conduct reference checks before making an offer to the successful candidate.
Tips and best practices in conducting interviews and selecting hires
- Pre-screening the selected candidates ensures that only the very best candidates make it for the in-person interview and also saves time.
- Interview questions should always be objective.
- Recruiters should look for compatibility of the candidate with the company’s culture.
- It is important to be consistent with the questions asked.
- Non-verbal language is just as important in communication and recruiters should pay attention to it.
- The interview process is also conducted by a panel to eliminate bias.
Common mistakes in the interview process
- Failure of panelists to prepare for the interview
- Evaluating candidates on the wrong factors
FACTORS DETERMINING THE RECRUITMENT AND HIRING PROCESS
These are internal and external factors that influence the recruitment and hiring function in an organization; they maybe within or outside of the organization.
These are also called endogenous factors. They are usually within the organization’s control, and include:
- Personnel utilization – A company may decide to utilize its employees’ skills set and expertise and thus avoid hiring new personnel. This may be due to a managerial decision to build the capacity of the current workforce and thus enhance efficiency and production.
- Recruiting policy of the organization – A predetermined organization policy may very well dictate whether or not an organization involves itself in the recruitment process. For instance a company’s policy may stipulate internal hiring only or temporal hires. A common example is where most multinational companies have a policy that ensures local hires only for certain positions.
- Size of the organization – Larger organizations tend to recruit more people and therefore as the process is less cumbersome for them due to the structures, personnel and resources at their disposal. The recruitment process is more difficult for the smaller scale organizations as the limited resources are directed towards their core business.
- Cost considerations – There are a variety of costs related to recruiting and hiring including advertising costs, consultancy costs, panel remuneration, and time costs. Therefore the costs incurred may deter an organization from hiring more people or affect their strategy. Companies may prefer to hire several positions at one time in order to lower their cost per hire and therefore increase efficiency.
- Organization’s image – A company’s image or brand affects the number of applicants that would be attracted to the positions they offer. An organization with a good brand as an excellent employer will have no problem drawing a large and diverse pool of talent. On the other hand, companies known to have undesirable employment history such as low pay will experience a greater difficulty getting the best hires.
- Rate of growth – Organizations that are rapidly expanding their operations tend to recruit new personnel at a faster rate in order to cope with the increasing tasks and responsibilities. However, companies with a slower or stagnant growth rate employ at a slower rate and in many cases downsize their labor force.
- Supply and demand – The forces of supply and demand in the labor market directly influence the availability of candidates. When there is high supply of labor than the company’s demand, the recruitment process is simpler as the talent pool is flooded. When the supply is lower than demand, employers have a much harder time securing the best candidates and may have to counter with very attractive remuneration packages or sourcing internally.
- Labor force demographics – The population distribution also affects the recruitment process. Currently, most Western countries are experiencing labor shortage due to low population and are seeing older people delaying retirement to fill in the niche. And the trend is expected to continue in coming years as shown below.
- Labor market – When there are high rates of unemployment, organizations are able to easily recruit as labor is abundant. However when the unemployment rates are low, candidates are harder to find and therefore the recruitment process becomes much more difficult and costly.
- Legal and political frameworks – The recruitment and hiring process is regulated by laws and policies that often dictate their choice of hire. Anti-discrimination laws have ensured the inclusion of previously discriminated and underrepresented persons in companies’ recruitment.
CHALLENGES FACED IN A RECRUITMENT AND HIRING PROCESS AND HOW TO OVERCOME THEM
Labor market competition due to an influx of recruiters
Recruiting firms have swarmed the market and with this turn there are many options open to the candidate. It is therefore harder for companies to attract and secure the best fit for their positions.
The company should therefore look to expand their recruiting sources through social and professional networking, advertising, referral programs, campus recruitment and recruitment of “passive” employees.
Multiple offers to the best candidates
The best candidates often have a number of job offers within their reach and many companies lack the tact and skill to win them over. An organization should improve its candidates’ experience in order to counter this.
This can be done through having a pre-selection interaction, where the applicant can have access to the company’s information such as company’s corporate culture, mission, social corporate activities, et cetera.
It is also important to provide prompt feedback throughout the recruitment process to the candidate so as to build confidence.
Many hiring managers are not conversant with modern technology and often use outdated recruitment strategies that do not resonate with generation Y preferences nor meet their expectations. As such, these recruiters have a harder task getting the right people for the job.
The hiring managers should research on the most appropriate and current technologies in order to keep abreast with emerging trends and attract a wider pool of the tech-savvy workforce.
High labor turnover
This is in part due to preference of adventure over security for most of the current candidates with many of them looking for more challenging opportunities. It is therefore much more difficult today for employers to retain their workers. This however need not remain a challenge.
The management should ensure constant evaluation of the performance and satisfaction of its employees and create more challenging opportunities for the deserving to advance their careers. This will also give insight on any factor within the workplace that is hindering optimum production.
Many companies are feeling the effects of the economic recession. Human resources have not been left out with many departments getting sliced budgets. It is therefore important that recruiters find cost effective ways to hiring new talent.
One of those options has been to outsource, which does significantly reduce operational costs, but companies can also optimize modern technology to hire at much lower costs.
Candidates dropping out
This happens when a candidate after going through the entire recruitment process, backs out before accepting the offer. It results in lost time as well as resources as hiring managers have to begin their search again.
These incidences may be significantly reduced by maintaining communication with the candidates during the recruitment process and encouraging feedback, as well as utilizing recruitment metrics such as quality of hire.
The task of selecting the perfect candidate may seem daunting to many, what with the ever changing market trends, candidates with diverse social-cultural orientations, restrictive timelines and budgets. This guide is designed help you navigate the recruitment and hiring process much more easily and point out the ways you can optimize this process and turn it into an enjoyable and beneficial experience for your organization as well as for your potential employees.
With the highlights on the emerging recruitment trends, you shall be a step ahead of the competition in the recruitment game, optimizing the cost efficient and time-saving technologies that generation Y are accustomed to.
The step by step outline of the process and common mistakes employers make will enable you to keep off the often times costly landmines as well as have a firm grasp of what the process entails. It shall make it easy for you to design your own recruitment strategy tailored around your organization’s needs and objectives.
They say success is when preparation meets opportunity, and the details of the factors driving the labor market and challenges recruiters face will enable you to be better prepared to meet them head-on and achieve your recruitment goals. Good luck!
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