- Make sure you get the job description exactly right
- Consider how much on-the-job training you’re willing to offer
- Make sure you prepare for interviews
- Tailor questions to the individual candidates’ CVs
Your business may need to take on some staff in order to grow. Once you’re aware of all the extra responsibilities you’ll have to take on – and have ensured the business can afford it – you can direct your attention to finding the right person. Business writer James de Mellow goes through the recruitment basics.
First of all, you need to define the role. What are your goals for the new position and what skills will a prospective employee need to have to achieve those goals? When putting a job description together, think about the tasks that the employee will have to perform, the responsibilities that come with the job and the opportunities for advancement that they might have.
You’ll also need to consider how much training you’re willing to offer the new recruit – how competent do you need them to be from the start? It’s important to know the personal attributes you’re looking for in a candidate and have a general idea in mind of what salary you’re happy to offer. When writing the job advert, try to be as specific as possible in all areas.
Read all the applications you receive carefully. This process should eliminate anyone who is unable to do the job – only interview candidates with the necessary skills and experience.
You have to do almost as much preparation for interviews as the applicants! Write down the questions you want to ask, making sure you tailor some of them to the information on each individual CV.
Let the applicants do the talking, but make notes throughout, including the questions that they ask you. It’s important to avoid hypothetical questions: ask the applicant directly about how they have handled particular issues or situations in the past. If asked about salary in an interview, it’s best to give a ballpark figure – you don’t want to get into specifics until you’re making a candidate an offer.
Making the final decision
You might come across a candidate who just ‘feels’ right for your organisation but does not meet your original criteria perfectly. Some entrepreneurs place greater emphasis on the personal attributes of a candidate and his or her ability to fit into a business’s culture. They would say that skills can be taught, but that it’s difficult to force someone to fit into a culture. However, others would rather stick to their original criteria and this is very much up to the individual entrepreneur.
When you’ve decided on your preferred candidate and you’re ready to make an offer, you must get all the important things in writing. Salary, working hours, holiday rights and sick-pay policy need to be put in a contract.