In this blog, small business recruitment specialist Rebecca Wallace offers six tips that can help you attract and secure the kind of top-shelf employees that can boost your company’s performance.
For any business, the most valuable asset is its people. Hiring the ‘A’ players builds great companies and performance. Poor recruitment processes can result in miss-hires and can cost a business in excess of 10 times the candidate’s annual salary. And in this competitive environment, as a small business this loss would be devastating to your bottom line.
With limited time and resources, recruiting staff in a small business is challenging. While recruitment agencies offer comprehensive end-to-end management of the recruitment process, for small businesses the cost of outsourcing this HR function can often be an issue.
Here are some practical tips on how to recruit staff for your business. Following setting up the recruitment groundwork, such as assigning someone to be responsible for hiring, knowing your unique selling proposition as an employer and developing your online presence to attract staff, it’s time to tackle the six steps of how to recruit staff successfully:
- Writing a position description: Writing a good position description (PD) is the first step in your recruitment process. It is the start of a successful relationship with your new employee. The PD ensures both parties, from the onset, are aligned to the expectations of the position. It will not only offer guidance for your potential employee to make an informed decision but provide the added benefit of clarifying your own objectives for the role.
- Writing and posting the advertisement: Writing a successful advertisement and posting it in the right place is essential for attracting a qualified pool of candidates for your position. Your ad is not a copy of your position description, but a marketing tool for attraction and is best to be written in the suggested format. Once you’ve written the ad, it should be posted on online job boards and networking sites for maximum return.
- Phone screening: Good phone screening is a time saving activity and ensures you’re not interviewing unqualified candidates. Sort CVs based on the skills and experience match to your role and only phone screen the top ranking candidates. When screening, start with ‘show-stopping questions’ like salary expectation and location preference, this will avoid long conversations with candidates you can’t hire. Don’t book face to face meetings until you’ve phone screened all shortlisted candidates, call back only the highest scoring candidates for interview.
- Face to face Interviews: For a good result in the interview, you will need to be well prepared. Give yourself at least an hour for each interview and another 20 minutes for writing notes. The meeting should include a balance of selling the opportunity and your organisation, and interviewing the candidate. Use behavioural descriptive interview questions throughout the interview; these questions often start with, “Give me an example of a time when…”.
- Reference checking: Reference checking is about making educated hiring decisions. Hiring an employee has an immediate and ongoing impact on your business, therefore thorough due diligence is required. Ask candidates for two referees and three points of contact for each. Once you’ve done two successful reference checks, you can move to offer.
- Offer and employment contract: If you have two candidates in the running, make a verbal offer to your preferred candidate and don’t inform the second candidate until you have a signed contract from the first. If the preferred candidate asks for more time to decide, no more than two days is reasonable. Ensure an employment contract is produced swiftly after receiving a verbal acceptance as your candidate will not resign from current employment until he/she has something in writing.
Rebecca Wallace is Founder of How to Recruit Staff, an online resource assisting small business owners with the recruitment process, and Managing Director of Launch Recruitment.
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