We want to make this easy for you because you don’t have time to muck around with this. So, let’s get on with it so you can go back to running your business. Here’s the HR Gurus ‘how-to’ of recruitment:
- Know what you want
- Have a structured approach
- Make your decision for the right reason
- Hire and familiarise
Know what you want
It’s really important that you plan out what you are looking for before you begin. This will help you make an easier decision when you get to the end of the process, and ensure that you get the right person for the job. The first step is to put a job description together that outlines the qualifications you are looking for, experience that the job requires, and also key skills to make sure the person can perform. In the corporate world, we did learn one or two interesting things amongst the jargon and here’s a pearl for you: planning is 80% of the job; the doing should be 20% (and it should be EASY if your planning is right in the first place!).
The key skills for the role are important. For example: If you are hiring a sales manager, the last thing you want to end up with is someone who is analytical and hates talking to people. You want them to have strong influencing and relationship-building skills.
Have a structured approach
It’s easy to get off track when interviewing people – conversation can get side-tracked and before you know it, your interview has taken an hour and a half and you haven’t gotten what you want! So, it’s important to have a structure and stick to it.
The first part in planning your recruitment is deciding the salary range you are willing to pay. It is important to research to ensure you are not paying below standard market rates – you will never attract great people.
Then, think about where you want to advertise. There are a number of mediums, but most cost a lot of money – so start with your employees. Do they want to refer anyone? Other options for advertising include recruitment agencies, in the newspaper or online yourself. Unless it’s a specialist role, it is much more economical for you to advertise yourself. Recruitment agencies are specialists in their area, and more often than not, they will charge you a pretty penny for their efforts. If you do need to use a recruiter, don’t be afraid to negotiate heavily on price (which we are sure you are great at, as a cost-conscious business!).
Next part is structuring the interview questions. You want to know about their working background, qualifications, and also their skills. The key is to develop the questions you will ask and stick to them! If you ask everyone the same questions, you will get an even picture of who can do what. In HR Land, the hot-tip is behavioural interviewing, which basically means asking people to give you real examples of how they have approached situations in the past. Sound scary? It’s not really – it’s simply the idea that past behaviour predicts future behaviour. So if you can get some real examples of how someone might have approached an unhappy customer in the past, it is more valuable than a hypothetical question with a hypothetical answer.
Lastly, write everything down! You won’t remember it all after the interview, and you certainly won’t remember it after 3 or 4 interviews. Plus, this also protects you if someone feels they weren’t treated fairly during the process – you will have everything on paper to prove your process was sound.
Make your decision for the right reasons
Once you have done your interviews, you need to select the best person, and selection decisions should be based on the principle of merit:
- Organisational fit
- Interview performance
- Assessment against selection criteria
Think about their skills and experience in relation to the role. Try to avoid prejudices such as age, gender (i.e. a married woman in her 30s might want to have kids soon), clothing, football team etc. It’s not relevant to how they can do they job – you want the best person!
Once you have selected someone, reference checks are the best way for you to double-check your opinion of them. We recommend getting at least two references from your preferred candidate, and don’t be afraid to ask the referees direct questions. This will validate the areas of strength you have seen, but can also provide you with more information on areas that you have concerns about. Before you call the referees, make sure you check with the candidate that they are happy for you to call them. This is important, and in some cases, legally required.
Once you are happy with the references – go for it! Offer the successful candidate the role and get them a contract as soon as possible so you can get them on board. If you delay this part, it doesn’t reflect well on you as a potential employer and you could lose them before they even start!
Lastly, it’s important to get back to the unsuccessful candidates as soon as possible – it is a tougher part of the recruitment process, but it’s vital. For example, imagine how you would feel if you applied for a job, got an interview, felt really excited about the opportunity, and then never heard back about it at all. People are super sensitive when it comes to employment, so it is basic respect and common courtesy – and, the unsuccessful candidates will appreciate any meaningful feedback you provide them.
Hire and Familiarise
So, you have a new employee, congratulations! But the recruitment process isn’t over until you get them in the door and show them that they are welcome and appreciated (basically, what is commonly known as ‘induction’). You need to spend some quality time with them when they start. This is essential. We know you are thinking ‘this is all fluff, and I don’t have time!’ but fluff it is not. Sure, there is a bit of touchy-feely stuff that you have to do, but in the end, it is about making you more money!
Yes, inducting people into your organisation well and effectively will not only save you money, but it will also make you money. Remember this from earlier:
‘People make up their mind within the first 3 months (or 90 days) of employment as to whether they are going to stay with their new employer or not.’
Do you know what impacts on that decision? It is whether or not they like the place. Pretty simple. And it is up to YOU to show them that you are a great place to work for (remember, great people need great places to work).
Take the old adage ‘you only get to make a first impression once’ and you have the entire idea of a good induction summed up.
So, here are some hot tips for inducting your new employees:
Be ready for them
Tell people there is a new person starting, and on which date.
Organise their workspace – whether it be a laptop, mobile phone, car, credit card, toolbox, or desk.
For a new employee to start and have nowhere to sit does not make a good first impression on them. It’s also important that a person has their own space so they can put their things down, and not have to rely on others by going back and forth from desks that don’t belong to them.
Plan time in your diary to spend with them during their first week. (PS an hour is not enough time).
Meet and greet
Yes – it is that simple. Go and greet them when they arrive, show them around, and introduce them to their team. A common mistake that we see a lot of our clients (and colleagues) making time and time again is not meeting/greeting their employees on the first day. ‘But I’m too busy!’ you say. Are you too busy to try and save the 85% – 100% of salary that turnover could cost you?
Probably not – this is the critical time for you to make sure the person’s first impression is good.
Show them what their job is. People need to know what they are meant to do. Have you ever started a new job and been told ‘here are all the policies, read through them’ and then been left on your own for the rest of the week? Boring, boring, BORING!
Granted, people need to know what the policies are, but this can be integrated into their first week. Knowing what they are meant to be doing is vital – new people are raring to get into it, so let them! Just remember, it will take them a little while to get into the swing of things, but if they feel they can contribute right from the start, you will notice their confidence really increase. The important thing is to show them what they need to be doing, coach them and spend a lot of time with them. This period is no time for impatience or the ‘I’m too busy’ line!
Pay them and make sure it is correct
Many people leave their prior job and have a gap in between commencing a new job – so finances can often be tight. Naturally, people are very sensitive about money, so will often check their first pay packet diligently. If there are errors, you are off to the wrong start – remember, pay is a delicate matter, so it’s good business practice to get it right, and on time.
So, in a nutshell, that’s recruitment for you. It is the first step in managing your people well to make yourself more money. As you go through the next few chapters, you should hopefully be able to really see how important this first step is. If you don’t get the best person, you could be creating a headache for yourself in the long term! So, remember, find the best person and hire them for the right reason. The rest should be easy….
Should you need any assistance with your recruitment needs or in developing a recruitment process tailored to your business, give HR Gurus a call, its what we do!
From the HR Gurus Team!