How to ensure you are recruiting the right people

For a small businesses in particular, recruiting the right employees can be a challenge.
Key elements of recruitment are knowing the sort of person you want and being clear about what you want them to do.
HR and recruitment advisers will all focus on a job description but personal values and other qualities may be far more important since you are often looking for someone who will ‘fit in’. This is key to handing over responsibility when you have done it all yourself up to now.
Finding potential candidates, knowing how to interview them and selecting someone can feel somewhat random as on paper many candidates look fantastic.
But don’t worry about getting it wrong, probation periods and a trial and error approach will eventually find the right person providing you don’t keep anyone who isn’t right.
Despite the above, it is worth taking the time to write an accurate job and person description. It forces you to think about exactly what is required for the role and will provide a checklist throughout the selection and interview stages.
Every job and role description should include the job title and the position in the company, details of the line manager and any other members of staff reporting to them, a summary of the general nature, main purpose, and objectives of the job, a list of the main duties or tasks of the employee, which skills/qualifications are essential and which are desirable, plus any equipment or software requirements and the salary and benefits. The checklist of criteria for candidates should also cover the intangible qualities you are looking for.
Sourcing candidates can be an expensive process if using a recruitment agency. Advertising in local media and dealing with applicants yourself can be much cheaper although more time consuming. There are other alternatives worth considering such as looking through records of past interviewees, advertising in places frequented by your ideal candidate, actively searching profiles and social networking sites and attending suitable events or asking existing staff.
Interviewing can be tricky but the aim should be a positive experience for both interviewer and candidate. A checklist of questions and keeping notes of responses and your impressions will help.
If your selection process has already identified those who have the right skills it’s worth remembering that at interview stage you can focus on the person and how they will fit in.
Only after you have offered someone the job will you really know if they are right so don’t be afraid of choosing the wrong person. You can try again. Whichever process you adopt for recruiting staff, don’t keep on the wrong people, don’t keep on those that don’t ‘fit in’.

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