As your business grows, or as it loses employees, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to start looking for new staff which can be a very tiresome process.
But it plays a key role in making sure that you are moving in the right direction and building a strong team and an even better business.
The most challenging part of recruitment is making sure that you are bringing the right people on board. If you make the common mistake of hiring someone who underperforms, misbehaves or leaves after a few months, then you could end up costing your business a lot of money, so the recruitment process is crucial.
Writing a good job specification
You’ll first need to start by making sure that you are aware of what your business needs and what the role requires.
When writing the job specification, you need to be as precise as possible so that those applying are right for the job and not time wasters.
This means writing up a detailed job description including the day to day tasks that applicants will be expected to do, any experience, skills or qualifications that will be required and working hours.
You may also choose to include the salary which could be negotiable depending on the individuals’ experience, but this will help manage applicant expectations so that there are no nasty surprises during the interview.
Where should you advertise your job vacancy?
Consider the relevant platforms for your job advertisement.
This will vary depending on type of employment (full-time/part-time, temp or perm, internship or apprenticeship) and the industry.
Some of the most popular platforms for job adverts are LinkedIn, Indeed and Reed but you may choose to use an agency that you have worked with in the past or that specialises in apprenticeships or skilled labour – if that’s what you need.
You can even find industry specific publications that can advertise your job vacancy in their magazine or e-shots.
Be tough when looking at CV’s
Sorting through hundreds of CV’s is not an easy or fun task but it is your opportunity to narrow down the very best candidates, so it requires your utmost attention.
You need to be a tough critic when looking at CV’s and decide what is and isn’t appropriate for the role. For example, if a candidate has made grammar or spelling errors, you need to carefully consider whether this will affect their ability to carry out the job for which you are recruiting. This would be the case if it involves tasks that require a lot of attention to detail.
This should also be the case for candidates whose CVs have long gaps in employment, a lack of qualifications, poor presentation or formatting, missed any key points such as education or personal skills or are just not the right fit for the role.
You need to ask yourself the question: ‘Is this person suitable for the job simply based on how they have put together their CV?’
The tougher you are the easier it is to narrow down your interview pool and the better experience it will be for everyone involved. You just need to be cautious and consistent to avoid any accusations of discrimination.
Follow up on references and other evidence
Nowadays employers tend to only give basic references and are not permitted to include anything negative about their employees.
Nevertheless, references are still useful and shouldn’t be neglected especially in certain industries such as care or education where references for the past five years will need to be provided and followed up on.
Most employers choose to chase up references after they have made a conditional job offer; however, you can ask applicants if they are happy for you to do so following the interview.
Either way, you should contact at least one previous employer and ask for a reference so that you can a) have proof that this person worked for this company and b) find out what areas of their role they exceled in.
You should also ask for evidence of anything mentioned on the CV where needed, i.e. if you require someone with a certain qualification then you can ask the candidate to bring proof of this to their interview.
It isn’t uncommon for people to falsify or exaggerate information on their CV, so you should always check that employment history and qualifications – at the very least – are true and accurate.
Ask the right questions in a job interview
The interview process is, for most employers, the final step before deciding on who to hire so it is your last chance to find out everything you need to know and get a sense of the person you could potentially be hiring.
It is important that you prepare for each interview by re-reading each CV and producing a list of relevant questions that may vary slightly for each candidate.
Some examples of good questions to ask in an interview include:
- Why did you apply for this role?
- Why do you think you will fit in to this company?
- What will you bring to the role that you think makes you unlike the other candidates?
- Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?
- What is your biggest flaw and how has it hindered you in your previous role?
- What have you learnt in the last 12 months that can help you be a better employee?
- Examples of how they have carried out elements of the role previously
Carry out an induction day/tests
Every recruitment process will usually follow the same, or very similar, steps up until and including the job interview. But following this, many companies jump straight into a job offer which can be a big mistake.
Many applicants may have a shining CV and interview well, but this does not mean that they will fit in with the company, have the knowledge required for the role or that they will enjoy the job or work environment.
The best way to determine this is by conducting an induction day where the final candidates can spend a few hours in the workplace with the rest of the team doing some work shadowing.
This not only gives you and your employees the chance to monitor the potential recruit and decide who is the best fit for the team, but it also gives the applicant an opportunity to see whether the job is what they expected.
This could reduce the chances of them leaving the role in a matter of weeks and it will also help them settle into the job a lot quicker if they are successful.
You could also introduce a testing element to the interview process especially for a role that requires specialist knowledge or skills.
One example would be to set a short knowledge test tailored to the role immediately following the interview, whilst the candidate is on the premises, or some mock phone calls for a telesales job for example.
There are also a set of tests known as ‘psychometric tests’ which are becoming increasingly popular in recruitment processes. They are a set of tests, varying from numerical reasoning to situational judgement, that use scientific methods to measure an individuals’ mental capabilities and behavioural styles.
This could work well if you have completed interviews and work shadowing but still really struggling to decide between two or more candidates and need one final step to separate the best from those that are even better.
If you are struggling with the ups and downs of recruitment, or if you would like any support with inducting a new employee, then our HR consultants are here to help. Just give us a call on 0845 2626 260 today and we can provide a free consultation.