Recruitment most of the time is one tasks that managers try to avoid at all costs. It is time consuming, laborious and more often than not, ending up in hiring the wrong candidate.
In theory, recruitment should be an easy process. Many managers and entrepreneurs when starting hiring, follow the usual routine – write the job spec, put an ad, advertise on Linkedin, wait for the CVs to arrive and then they hire the person they like the best. In reality, the recruitment process is much more complex than that and there are plenty of things to consider before making an offer.
When recruiting a new person to join the team, there are quite a few things to think about, for example is the candidate going to get on with the rest of the team and will they fit in the organisational culture. What if they exaggerate their skill set and in reality are incapable of doing the job? How can you get the best people to apply for the position and wanting to work with you?
Recruitment mistakes are expensive. Besides wasting money, they also waste time and the company resources as well as may hold back the projects and deliverables as well as the team. These are just some of the reasons why learning how to recruit the right way is a smart move for managers and especially entrepreneurs and start ups. Firstly, it will save you money and time. Secondly, recruitment is one of the most important parts of manager’s job and being able to do it well, id what differentiate good managers from the bad ones.
Why effective recruitment is so important
There are quite a few reasons why to learn to recruit people in the right way and do it effectively. For example:
- you will save money, time and resources – just think about the last time your company hired a wrong person and what the consequences of this have been, or made any other hiring mistake and how did that turn out. It took time and money to hire that person as well as a lot of energy and effort that could have been focused somewhere else. The process itself takes a long time and takes away from the business at least a couple of months and in some cases much longer. And, if the person hired is not the right person, you will need to go through the whole process all over again!
- the right people doing the right job are much more productive, happy and satisfied – the people that feel good in the work environment, get along with the team and doing the job they like are also much less likely to leave. Describing the role or responsibilities vaguely or promising candidates something that you can not deliver on, will lead to dissatisfaction and likely high turnover. And this is a serious problem as for the company in whole, but also for the impact it has on the team’s productivity and morale.
- a poor choice or a wrong hiring decision may cause conflict and stress within your team – if the new hire doesn’t get along with the team, is there for himself, has different values and is not a team player, this will most likely cause issues and the team’s productivity and output will drop.
In the end, it is absolutely worth it to put the extra effort and time into getting it right the first time, rather than fixing the mistake later on.
Creating a new or open position
There some preparation that needs to be done before starting the recruitment process and looking for a new candidate. Here are some steps that you can follow to to make sure you have everything ready:
- Look at the role or the position that you need to fill – is it a full-time or part-time role, would it be better suited to a permanent person or a freelancer, is it a role that is tied to a certain project and will have an end date or will it be ongoing. These are all the things to consider. Having a freelancer can be an easier option as they are easier to manage than permanent employees, but you will need to allocate an extra budget for them as freelancer cost are more expensive than the salaried employees. You will also need to bear in mind what effect bringing a freelancer in can have on your team.
- Create/amend/update a job description – it is extremely important to have a job description as detailed as possible. It will help you to find the right person for the role and it will also manage candidate’s expectations as to what they will be doing in their new role. Make sure your job description reflects the reality of the role.
- Decide what the performance criteria for the position will be – how will you evaluate how the person is performing and if they are doing well or not. Will they have strict KPI’s or work to certain targets? Will they work on delivarables and projects or if they are doing some sort of routine work how will they be evaluated then? Think about when and how you will communicate than to them as well – will you have a daily/weekly/monthly catch ups or will there be a formal performance review every three, six or twelve months.
- Use past experience – if you have a person still in the position you will need to be recruiting for, have a chat with them and see what was working and what wasn’t. what should be improved and changed. They will give you the most invaluable insight. You can also speak to your team members and get an understanding of what worked and what didn’t with the role as it currently is and you can then change or adjust it accordingly to suit better the business needs.
- Your company vision, mission, values and culture – if your company’s culture is very laid back and chilled, someone who is used to working in the corporate environment, will most likely feel uncomfortable and will not fit in. It works the same other way around. Or if your company sells a product that produces a lot of waste and polluting the environment, a person with strong environmental and sustainability views will, again, probably be not a great fit as their and your company’s values do not match. You will need to take this into account.
The more detailed the job description is, the more information you and the candidate give and get, the more likely you are to find the right person.
Where and how to advertise
There are a plenty of options now how to recruit new staff. Here are some ides:
- Online – there are plenty of free and paid job boards where you can advertise – it will depend a lot on the budget that you have. There are also job boards that specialize in certain roles or industries. If you are hiring for a relatively niche skill set, finding a job board that specializes in the roles you are hiring for, would be a good idea.
- Social Media – with social media taking over every part of our lives, recruitment is no exception. Social Media is a great way to showcase your company’s culture, examples of work that you do and all the fun stuff your organise for your employees. Millennials (and they will be the majority of the workforce in the next couple of years) want to know what the company stands for, what it’s values are, what is the culture like, before they even look at the job ad. Having a strong employer brand and translating it into social media, is extremely important these days. It is time consuming, but it pays off. If you choose the right strategy and position yourself correctly, you will not have to worry about looking for people. People will be looking for an opportunity to work with you.
- Referrals – always works if you have a good network. Saves you time and money. You need to be careful though not to end up with the team of people all thinking the same way. People usually tend to recommend people who are the same as them, and you’d want to have some diversity in the team, so there are different ideas, views and perspectives. ‘Sameness’ kills creativity.
- Recruitment agencies – they have been around for years and still not going anywhere. Bare in mind the costs though – most agencies charge between 12.5% and 20% of the annual salary which comes up to quite a lot of money. If you have no luck finding the right candidate on your own, look for one or two persons independent agencies, rather than huge recruitment companies. They will be more likely to make a deal with you and lower the fees.
When you receive a number of CV’s, you should start filtering them to make sure you are left only with the suitable ones.
Stick to your job criteria and first, remove the candidates who are clearly unsuitable for the role. Then look of they have relevant skills and qualifications.
Take a look at where they live and if their commute will be too long, it is also best to take these out as well.
Then go back to your job description and determine which skills would be absolutely essential for the job and check every candidate against those skills.
Now when you have a list of the candidates you think might be best suited for the position and it is time to interview. Here are some guidelines that will help you to get the most out of the interview process:
- Use behavioral questions – ask how the candidate would deal with the particular situation or circumstances. It will give you an idea of how they think and what their reaction is likely to be in the real life scenario.
- Ask for examples – ask a candidate to give you an example of how they have applied any particular skill in the past.
- Ask what are their values or what is important to them – this will give you an idea if they will fit in the team and the company.
- Write things down – even if your memory is amazing, you will not remember all the answers by the time your are done interviewing ten people. You need to have solid notes to be able objectively compare candidates.
- Determine what type of personality is the best fit for the job or what kind of traits the ideal candidate should have – do they need to be creative or analytical, aggressive and proactive or someone with the softer character would be a better fit? Person’d character comes out in a safe environment, so try and make the candidate feel comfortable and at ease and watch what happens.
- Let the candidate ask the questions – remember that the interview is also an opportunity for a candidate to find out more about the position and role. Also by the questions they ask, you will have a better idea as to what is important to them in their job.
Offering the job
Now that you have found your perfect fit, it is time to make an offer! Here are some things you need to do:
- Write out a formal offer – you need to put everything on paper with as many details as possible. The offer should include the start date, remuneration, any benefits you offer, number of holiday days, any bonuses (specify if the bonus is discretionary and shouldn’t be taken as given and the criteria for the bonus – i.e what is it based on.) Your offer letter should also outline the next steps – what does the candidate needs to do and if there is a deadline for the offer after which it will expire.
- Make a call as soon as possible – call the candidate and make a verbal offer first, congratulate them and say that you are excited for them to join the team. Say that the formal offer is on it’s way and let them know when they should expect to receive it.
- Get in touch with all the unsuccessful candidates – you should keep all the candidates informed as to weather they have been successful or not and if they have been put through to the next stage of the interview process. Getting back to the candidates who have been unsuccessful is a good habit to get into and it will save you from candidates who have applied for the position and never heard back, badmouthing your company. Even worse if they do it on social media or websites like Glassdoor.
This is an outline of a recruitment process that will help you to attract and retain the right candidates and eventually build a winning team that will drive your business forward.