Small and medium sizes businesses are experiencing continued growth in the current economy, and successful business owners may need to start hiring more staff as they expand.
Quality employees help businesses not just run, but thrive and grow. Hiring the right people on your team is crucial for the success of your business, and by putting the time and effort into finding the right candidate you could save yourself from making a costly mistake that could potentially affect your company’s future.
We have listed some of the best ways to make sure you hire the right person for the role you need to fill.
- Have a clear idea of what you are looking for
When you realise you have a role that needs to be filled or there is potential to create a new role in your business, make sure you know yourself exactly what you are looking for. Be precise and be specific, so you have an idea in mind of the kind of candidate you will be hiring. List what kind of experience you believe they will need, and what kind of skill sets they should have. Are there any specific qualifications they are required to have by law?
Once you have your perfect candidate in mind, be realistic. If you are looking for someone with a ton of experience and qualifications but offering little salary, you will be disappointed in the results you are bound to get. As a small business, you will be required to either help a less experienced potential candidate grow, or offer a realistic salary.
- Think about where it would be best to advertise the job
For roles like admin work, you will have a good chance of finding a candidate through standard job advertisement websites. If you are looking for a more specific set of skills, have a look at advertising the job on specific trade websites or trade publications. Contact nearby universities with courses similar to the qualifications the role requires, or advertise the job through LinkedIn, targeting people that have a similar skill set to what you are looking for.
If you are more selective about where you advertise the role you are looking for, the less likely you will have to waste time by trawling through a pile of irrelevant CV’s.
Check out each applicant’s qualifications, previous job history and experience in your industry. You can usually make a short list of about ten candidates would you would consider hiring from these three facts alone, but if you are struggling to narrow down, you could check out the LinkedIn pages of the potential candidates and see how they look on there. It may give you more insight of their strengths and their interests.
If you feel the need to, you could also check out other social media profiles the candidate may have. This way you could learn about their background, maturity level and life skills. Maybe try not to be too harsh, and people (especially young people) act a lot differently online than they do in real life, but it may be a good way of ensuring there are no large alarm bells.
- Prepare well structured interviews
What kind of criteria do you want this person to meet? Ask some colleagues to check out your expectations and see if they are relevant and achievable.
Decide who will be doing the interviews with you. Will the candidate have a direct line manager who can sit in, or will your HR manager be able to access the candidate’s people skills better than you?
Ask the right kind of questions to find out if the candidate has the right skills for the role, but also try to find out what kind of character they have. If they constantly blame other people as their reason for moving on from their role, or are negative about their previous workplaces, this could be a warning sign. Look beyond the technical skills side of things- will this person be able to work well with other people? Will they be able to build strong businesses relationships?
When accessing the character of an individual you might want to think of your current team dynamic and if their personality would gel with the people they would be working most closely with.
As a business owner, if your instinct is telling you something, you should probably listen to it. The right person for the role usually always feels right to you, as well as ticking all the right boxes in regards to qualifications and job history. If you are hesitant or have doubts about a person, it’s probably best not to hire them.
What to watch out for
We spoke to the head of HR at Shepherds Friendly Society, Nasrin Hossain, for the most important thing to look out for in a new recruit. She told us to be wary of:
- Unexplained gaps in CV’s
- Qualifications you are finding difficult to verify
- Candidates exaggerating the amount of experience they have
If you believe a candidate has potential for your role but have these issues on their CV, with the right kind of detailed interview questions, you can usually determine the reasons for their CV discrepancies.
Nasrin also said:
“One of the most important things to consider when you are recruiting is that you are very clear about the role and the skills and experience you require. Otherwise you can waste a lot of time and resources in recruiting the wrong person!”
Sometimes, even if you feel like you have ticked all the boxes and get a great feeling from an employee, it can still be a bad hire. It’s just a fact of life that this can sometimes happen. If you believe you have made the right decision, then the next step is to make the new employees feel welcome and valued- staff retention is a very important matter as well. Watch this space for next week’s blog: Staff retention- are you doing enough?