Great employees are the heart of any company’s success, but finding good staff can be difficult for small to medium sized businesses, because recruitment can be a time sink and expensive, plus they may not have a dedicated HR person.
If you need to hire some new team members, we’ve compiled some key strategies and we spoke to Shiree Thomas, a Recruitment Specialist, to help you through the process.
Is it me you’re looking for?
The ability to do the job is crucial and the type of candidate you’re looking to hire will depend on a whole raft of other factors, including the role, the culture within the business and what personality types you like to work with.
“There’s a lot of competition for top candidates, but just as important is finding someone who is a cultural fit with your business and your team,” says Thomas.
Thomas suggests looking at your existing team and what traits your best people share because it’s likely you’ll want to find something similar.
“It’s good to write down the essential qualities in a hire you’re searching for,” she says.
When you know what kind of recruit you’re looking for, it’s time to find them.
Before you decide how, think about the time and money you have to spend; the seniority and specialisation the role(s) require; and how many positions you need to fill.
What have you done for me lately?
When you post a job ad you also need to consider that potential candidates are also weighing up the opportunity.
Don’t just include the skills and personality traits you’re looking for; make your ad appealing.
If you don’t have the perks larger companies can offer, Shiree suggests that, “maybe you can offer candidates the chance to use a broader range of skills, flexibility and the opportunity to influence strategy directly.”
Be as accurate as you can be about the job and conditions, it will save you wasting time with people who are the wrong fit.
Where to find talent
“Recruitment can be time consuming, and wrong hires are costly, financially and emotionally,’” says Thomas, so it’s important to choose the right channel to find your new employee.
Recruitment agencies: If you have the budget, but not the time or confidence, using a professional agency might be best.
They work either on contingency (payment upon success) or on retainer (an upfront fee for a more exclusive service).
Often recruiters are open to negotiation if you have a smaller business.
Use your network – you can offer hiring bonuses to current staff for successful referrals, or simply put it out to your connections.
Social media. Most millennials are on social media a huge percentage of the time.
Twitter and Facebook are great ways to find talent. Find out more about how to use them here.
Paid internships: Offering university students paid opportunities gives you access to the best and brightest young minds and allows both sides to try each other out.
Selecting the best
At this point, you’ve found some potential candidates, perhaps even too many, so how do you separate the wheat from the chaff before you bring them in for interviews?
“A good cover letter that reads well, addresses all the essential criteria, is typo free and grammatically correct is an excellent indication of a quality candidate," says Thomas.
"Their resume should also clearly articulate not only responsibilities, but more importantly, professional achievements.
Reference checking is also an integral part of the recruitment process – ensure the referee is someone they reported to directly and can confirm the information provided by the candidate.
You shouldn’t need to bring in more than 4-6 people to find your star.”
At this point, you’ve found some potential candidates; their resumes read well, are error-free and clearly articulate their past responsibilities and achievements.
The next step, are the interviews.
Top interviewing strategy
There’s only so much you can learn from a CV.
The interview is your chance to see your candidate’s mind and personality in action.
A great interview technique is to allow the candidate time to talk.
If you're not sure what to ask, try these - 15 of the best job questions to ask candidates at interview.
Besides being highly skilled, you need someone who shows curiosity and enthusiasm for their work, a desire to build relationships and to grow along with your company.
These qualities should come out during the course of the interview as you mine them for details about their past experiences.
Thomas suggests that you can make the interview process easier if you, “identify what competencies are required to be successful in the role before the interview".
"Ask the candidates to give examples of when they’ve had to use them previously.
If you ask each of them the same question it makes it much easier to assess and compare."
By the end of the process you should have at least one great prospect!