Recruiting The Best Talent
I’ve been reading in the press again this week how difficult small companies find it to recruit the right staff and how this fundamentally hampers their progress. So why is it that we find recruitment so difficult?
Recruiting new staff is often a rushed or distressed activity, made necessary by the loss of an employee or the recognition that the existing team can no longer cope with the day-to-day pressure. While professional search companies can charge fees of 25-35% of salary most SMEs would rather ‘do it themselves’ via ‘the little black book’ or more likely on-line. The desire to get a quick solution can however often create a lack of planning and thought in the process.
Start by considering exactly what skills you require – not what the last person did, but what you really need to take the business forward. Before you start writing any ad, do a job description and then consider what are the 4-6 essential skills for this role, (the key qualifiers).
If you are going to search on-line, consider which sites might the type of people you are seeking visit and then produce an advert, which provides some background to the company and clearly states the essential skills required, (key qualifiers) and finally the form of the application, (CV, covering letter, details of current package, etc).
Deal with your responses objectively – score each candidate against your key qualifiers and only interview those who have these attributes. If you are unsure, do a quick telephone interview to get the evidence you need.
When interviewing avoid theoretical questions about what they would do, but ask specific questions about what they actually did do in a situation, (behavioural interviewing). The best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour.
Finally – research your preferred candidates -find out any information you can and take references, but don’t ignore gut instinct!
One further point – for that critical senior hire consider whether, by doing it yourself, you are getting a person who ‘can do the job’ or one who will excel – it may well be worth that seemingly unreachable fee for a professional search.