Hiring staff is a costly business and it goes without saying that you need to attract the best people to fill the vacancies in your business to help you to continue to grow. The consequences of getting the recruitment process wrong can be catastrophic. Get the wrong person in and at best, they will be a drain on your resources, resulting in a need to manage them out of the business and re-recruit in the future at even more cost. At worst, recruiting the wrong person could have a negative effect on the rest of your team, reduce morale, damage client relationships and harm your business. Here’s a recap on some of the fundamentals of effective recruitment to help you get this important task right.
Create effective job descriptions
Once you have identified the need for hiring staff in your business, whether that be to replace an outgoing member of staff or to fill a brand new vacancy, it’s important to get your job description right. The job description is your shop window. There will be the right person out there to fill the vacancy and you need to ensure the description appeals to them, communicates what you are looking for in the position and is easy to understand. It is also vital in helping you avoid applications from those that are not qualified for the position. Far too often job descriptions are full of corporate language and buzzwords which make it almost impossible to understand what the day to day responsibilities are. Ensure you convey the key responsibilities for the role, the qualifications and skills required, how much experience is needed, who the applicant will work with and report to, immediate and long term objectives and how you will measure success. By outlining in detail these points, applicants will have no doubt what the job entails and you will have a starting point from which to conduct performance reviews in the future.
Reach the right candidate
For small businesses it is vital to use every resource you have available to you. There are many options available to you before resorting to expensive professional head-hunters or recruitment agencies. Place postings on job boards or recruitment websites, use local, national or industry press, advertise the vacancy on your website, use your company’s social and professional networks and ask for referrals from your existing employees. There may also be exceptional talent already within your business that you have overlooked, so it is important to also advertise the position internally. Don’t overlook candidates from competitor firms or similar industries either! The search functions in LinkedIn are an amazing tool to help you find and reach out to these people.
Make applicants WANT to work for you
It’s amazing how many businesses get this part wrong. Many are so busy, or at worst so arrogant, to believe that everyone will want to work for them, no matter how little effort they make. The way you respond to applications, prepare for interviews, follow up after interviews and communicate throughout the process is vital in driving applicants to want to work for you. Ensure your business comes across in a highly professional manner throughout. Communicate with candidates, offer feedback and ensure interviews are conducted professionally and on schedule. Don’t give candidates any opportunity to have doubts about working for you. If you can’t get the recruitment process wrong, it will raise warning signs to the applicant that you might not be a great business to work for, no matter how much you are willing to pay them. It doesn’t take much to make the whole recruitment process seamless. Treat people with respect, establish expectations and communicate throughout.
Make the job offer properly
Once you have selected a suitable candidate, it is time to make the offer. But this must be a considered decision to ensure that you are offering terms and conditions that appeal to the candidate and that are effective for the company. Ensure you make the offer in writing to avoid any confusion from verbal communication. If an offer is conditional on your completion of checks or references, be transparent as to what those checks are and obtain consent from the candidate to undertake them. Make sure you do not discriminate in the terms offered to your employees. Do not offer a package that your business cannot afford or terms that will put you at risk in the future.