Taking The Pain Out of Recruitment


This week I have been working with a client on a recruitment project. I’m delighted for both of us that he didn’t make the sort of knee jerk reaction so often seen when a member of staff leaves, i.e. call a recruitment consultant and ask them to send a pile of CVs in the likeness of the recently departed individual. Instead he decided to think carefully about what is one of the most important decisions any business owner can take – who should be on the team.


Sadly, the business world seems to expect us all to just know innately how to go about recruitment, despite the fact that incredibly few business people have received any training in this field at all. The result is that most SMEs (and many corporates), make poor hiring decisions, which severely hamper their ability to grow and cause endless grief in managing the resulting employee.


Back to my client – we started by

  • looking at the business’ needs, not just today, but in 2 -3 years’ time – where were the gaps?
  • From this we designed a job description and started thinking about not only the skills required, but also the behaviours needed, (skills can be taught, behaviours are notoriously difficult to change).
  • Considered where we might find the right sort of people
  • Worked up a compelling advertisement and application form
  • Compiled an objective assessment tool
  • Wrote our interview questions and practiced an interview technique completely new to him.


He is now ready to deal with responses as they arrive and I have left him to get on with ‘business as usual’ for ten days, after which we have our next session, which includes; –

  • More interview practice
  • Legal bear traps
  • Referencing
  • Negotiation
  • Offer letter & induction.


The end result is that for considerably less than the cost of a pile of CVs he has a blueprint for identifying the talent required all the way through to appointment. A replicable process which the business can use for all their future recruitment, supported by a manual with examples and check lists. Added to which we have managed to fit in quite a lot of laughter too.


If recruiting the right team is also thwarting you then why not give us a call or CONTACT US?


Fran McArthur 1

About the Author: Fran McArthur is a business coach, trainer and no-executive director with more than 30 years of business experience. She typically works with executives, who lead organisations of up to £10m/100 employees and who wish to effect positive change. She collaborates with them to achieve their goals using her practical, common-sense approach


Walking and Talking


Ever since, as a toddler, I took my first confident steps and uttered my first coherent sentences those two activities – walking and talking – have remained among my favourites. This is fortunate because both are beneficial to one’s wellbeing and help build resilience: walking is an efficient way of keeping physically fit*, whereas talking is a good way to exercise the mind. I do, of course, have other favourite activities but not all of them can be said to be as good for me so I’ll focus on these two and, in particular, the art of combining them as one.

Sometimes I like to walk and talk alone – in which case the talking takes the form of an internal dialogue, an effective way of ordering my thoughts. I find that stretching your mind while stretching your legs is a very effective use of time: and you can add even more value by taking the dog along.

But when what you want is to talk out loud and engage with others, invite your friends along: it’s a great way to socialise, substituting a healthy walk for a potentially unhealthy session in the wine bar.

And getting down to business can also be done effectively on the hoof. A walking discussion with business or work colleagues can be a great creative stimulus: by taking yourselves physically outside of the box you stand a better chance of thinking outside of it as well. Check out Nilofer Merchant’s Ted talk – got a meeting? take a walk

The best walk/talk sessions combine all of the above. They take you on the journey towards that ultimate destination, life-work harmony, a place where everything comes together: you socialise with your network and from that interaction flows your work. In this ideal world there is no dividing life up between healthy recreation and unhealthy work practices. But if you want to get there you have to start walking the walk and talking the talk.


*Walking – ‘the closest thing we have to a wonder drug’                                                                                                          Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr Thomas Frienden.



The Author: Rachel Ward Lilley is a business & educational psychologist. After working for many years in and advising SMEs her current work relates to issues of communication, personal development, team building and motivation. Over the past seven years Rachel has extended her work into the educational field.