How do I go about recruiting the right people?

One of the biggest challenges for businesses looking to scale and grow is recruitment. The attraction of talent can be tough but not impossible if you know who you want and for what impact.

When you take on people either as employees or as an outsourced resource, then you should first identify your specific requirements and plan how to fill your vacancy to ensure you get the best person for the role.

During any recruitment process you must treat all candidates fairly and avoid any discrimination in terms of areas such as their sex, race, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or because they have a disability.

Firstly I would suggest you have a picture of who is the right person. The perfect person to meet the needs of the business and on matching their ethics, would be best to work with you.

To help you identify the right person, I would recommend the preparation of a job description and person specification.

A job description can be useful for understanding the scope of the work, how best to advertise, and for clarification with applicants who will have to do the job. They are also useful later when you are reviewing the performance of your recruit.

As a minimum I would suggest that a job description should include:

  • Details on the position, including the job title and to whom they would report
  • the jobs location
  • a summary of the roles objectives
  • a list of the main duties or tasks of the person

A person specification is useful to help you describe who you want and what you will look for in the candidate. It is usual to include the knowledge, experience and skills you would like them to have, separating those which are essential for the job from those which are desirable. Also consider any personality traits that would suit he role.

You should also be clear about what you are offering the person. Is it a full or part time position, permanent or temporary role, what working conditions will you provide, what terms and conditions will you offer such as a contract overview including, pay scales, holiday, sick pay etc. This way there are no surprises or disappointments that can lead to the right person leaving the business in the short term.

I also suggest you consider an impact statement. This extends the job description beyond what they will be doing to include the expected impact that they will have. Consider what return on investment you want for recruiting in this role.

Once you know who you want and what you can offer them, you now need to go and find the right person.

The most common options to help you find suitable people are advertising the vacancy, using a recruitment agency or approaching the job centre.
Advertising can be undertaken in printed copy such as newspapers or magazines or online. If you opt for printed adverts, then choose publications that are likely to be read by your targeted person.

To decide on the best method, you need to consider where your ideal person is right now and what will they be doing, watching or reading.
So for example if your ideal candidate is likely to be in employment and busy working for someone else then perhaps they need to be head hunted, as it is unlikely they are reading the job vacancies in your local newspaper. So an agency with a database of candidates to suit your ideal profile would be beneficial. Although agencies are considered to be more expensive, you have to consider this against how much you want to be involved in the process. The right agency will help you source candidates, attract their interest and review the CV’s.

Your search should encourage interested prospects to send you a completed application form, CV and references.

The next stage is then decision time.

With an application form, which you have designed to gather the information you want, you now have a consistent method from which to compare your candidates skills and experience.

The CV and references should confirm information stated on their application form such as facts like their last job to supporting claims made in the application about their ability.

Hopefully you receive a number of applications that enables you to create a preferred shortlist and invite those to attend an interview.
The best way to draw up a short list is to refer back to your job description and person specification and who meets more of the requirement you have documented.

When it comes to the interviews, you should be consistent with your questions to all candidates and have a record of your discussion. The questions you ask should be planned in advance to draw out the additional information you desire. It is recommended to have a method for identifying your best candidate. It may be a scoring of the response to each question. This approach would also support your decision if ever challenged.

As well as interviewing, some businesses are suited to asking the candidates to undertake a form of test. This could be practical tests, psychometric tests or assessment centres that are generally used for senior appointments, ubut becoming more popular.

You objective from the interview and any testing is to find the right person with the competence and ability to do the job, who suits the business and can become the right person.

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