Before beginning the recruitment process, take the time to ensure the job description is right by carefully considering the tasks you want the employee to do, as well as the education and experience your ideal candidate should possess.
“The job description will become the foundation of your resumé review process and an invaluable tool in separating good from great applicants,” says Andrew Morris, a director of recruitment firm Robert Half Australia.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations, says Morris. “Make a distinction between must-have and nice-to-have skills.”
Another tip is to act fast to secure great people. With top talent in short supply, companies often miss out because they wait too long to extend an offer. Additionally, skilled candidates are often in contention for several roles and won’t wait around. So make an offer if you find a match so you don’t miss out on your preferred candidate.
When you’re interviewing, don’t forget the applicant is also interviewing you. So it’s vital to be accurate and be aware of avoiding topics that are out of bounds.
“Make a concerted effort to clear at least 30 minutes either side of the interview. Treat the candidate and the entire hiring process as a priority,” says David Cawley, regional director of recruitment firm Hays.
He also says it’s important to put the candidate at ease from the start. “Greet the candidate warmly: smile, shake their hand, and make conversation as you walk to the interview room. Make sure you are in a private area, and if there is no space in your office, meet at a quiet café near your work.”
It can be tough to find the right person for the job. So if you can’t find someone who is an exact fit for the role, an option is to re-imagine it to suit the candidate.
“Rather than let hard-to-find talent slip through the net, invest time thinking through how else your work could get done,” says Cawley.
Options may include creating a new role that will deliver the results you need, but also suit the candidate. Hiring a part-time or temporary staff member to take on some duties could also be considered. “Great talent is hard to find so don’t limit yourself by sticking to the script,” he says.
Also, don’t always hire the same sort of people: for instance, if your staff tend to be all around the same age, don’t be afraid to hire younger or older people “Your next hire has to be a cultural fit, but be careful you’re not creating a sub-culture that limits the type of candidate you can hire. Diversity has great advantages, so be flexible enough to hire an amazing candidate who happens to be different to your norm,” he says.
It’s also important to look beyond qualifications, says Morris. “It’s easy to fall for the perfect applicant on paper but qualifications aren’t the only indicator of a stronger candidate. Soft skills, professional development and interpersonal abilities are all valuable metrics against which to judge a candidate. You can always show someone how to use a program, but you can’t teach them to be a good cultural fit.”
Morris also recommends seeking out go-getters. “One of the most valuable metrics to assess is how the candidate has gone above and beyond in their career. This includes performance in previous jobs as well as things they’ve done outside the workplace such as pursuing additional training, maintaining membership in a professional association or earning an additional certification.”
As this shows, it’s essential to get the basics right when hiring staff, including developing formal job descriptions and ensuring the hiring process is as professional as possible. But also look for candidates who have flair to help build your business’s success now and into the future.
This article was prepared by BT, a part of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, AFSL and Australian Credit Licence 233714. This information is current as at 30 July 2019. This article provides an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter or relied upon as such. It does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and so you should consider its appropriateness, having regard to these factors before acting on it.
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