Imagine you’re getting married. How did you ‘recruit’ your spouse?
Did you go looking for someone with a Proven Experience in Breadwinning, and a Degree in Neighbourliness with Honours in the Politics of the Bedroom?
Or did you team up organically with someone you liked? Their ideas, life experience and world view was different from your own, but something about them struck you as right. You connected. And they passed the friends test.
Okay we live in dangerous times full of tiger mothers and speed dating and some people go at marriage with a checklist and will answer yes to Option One.
Whatever you do, take a broader view when recruiting for your business.
Recruitment. That word sends shivers down the spine of many a small business owner, and an echo ricocheting through the echelons of big business.
The right recruits create the culture of your workplace, for better or worse.
It’s like a marriage. So get it right!
A survey by online job site Indeed reported that '97% of small business owners have difficulty making the right hire.’
Many employers see recruitment as a deviation from their core business. We say it goes to the heart of your brand and should be given your fullest attention.
'If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs." - Anonymous
Outsourcing is an attractive option, but daunting once you calculate the agency fees. Although in-house recruiting costs in time, once absorbed it can be preferable to a jaw-dropping invoice.
Those in the know use a handful of golden strategic moves.
'A clever business thinks first. It’s the only way to get value from your advertising budget.' - Jen Gutwenger, #HR
Become the candidate. Search the internet as if you’re the job seeker. Key in the job title and location, and use the data generated to kick start the process. The top search results give you the best advertising sites to use, similar vacancies, and highlight variances between your job and the rest.
How does your role or company differentiate itself? What will the best candidate be looking for? Are you offering it? And how could your job ad look and read better.
“Write a creative, pithy, eye catching ad and you’ll get candidates to match. Write a humdrum ad and you’ll get the rest.” - Fiona Stocker, Boutique Communications
Be yourself. The standout skill in recruiting is your own ability to create a comfortable environment. It gives the candidate every opportunity to be themselves and talk candidly.
Prepare the room for a conversation, not a briefing. Desk and chair placement is paramount - don’t sit behind a desk!
If prescribed questions are your thing, write them down and use them. But do so in a relaxed fashion and be comfortable with moments of silence. These prompt gold nugget moments – when the candidate fills the space by talking unscripted.
“Just write out some questions and ask them." One of the biggest mistakes in conducting an interview.
There are many HR and recruitment agencies offering e-books full of tips and templates for in-house recruiting and best practice principles.
Government agencies have specific on-line resources, particularly for small businesses.
In Australia the Fair Work Ombudsman provides many useful templates and guides for the lawful employment of staff.
The challenge is finding appropriate recruitment tools and techniques for you, closing the gap between your offering and best practice principles. Great candidates are attracted to the company which appears most professional. Don’t let them slip through the net due to simple oversights here.
Hire on merit, not technical ability - it’s a classic mistake. Anything technical can be learned – software skills, the nature of your widget manufacturing. What you’re looking for is not a background in widgets. It’s the attributes which will be a great fit with your team and bring something new and wonderful to the table. A great team player; a lateral thinker; and if it’s an executive, someone who genuinely gets on with everyone, from the shop floor to the Boardroom.
Hire on merit. That doesn’t mean someone who thinks like you. It means someone whose thinking you like. Hire the person you’d like to spend time and generate ideas with. Hire the person who speaks from the heart, to yours.