One of the most crucial things a business does is recruiting new staff. Getting this right can literally transform a small business but getting it wrong can have long term negative repercussions and potentially lead to employment claims. In our experience employers often underestimate or are unaware of the risks when recruiting, it can be very time consuming, therefore it pays to approach any recruitment like a business project and by taking some simple steps you can increase your chances of a successful appointment.
SOME THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE YOU ADVERTISE A VACANCY
• Does the role exist? Someone may have resigned but when was the last time you reviewed the structure of the team?
• Has the role changed? It is always important to review the existing job description to establish what role you are recruiting for. Technology, product changes and many other contributing factors could have a considerable impact on what the job looks like now compared to when you recruited for the role last time.
• Where and how to advertise? Adverts should accurately describe the role without discrimination, on a website or in a publication that will reach the right people to attract the best response. You can help attract the right candidates and filter out those who are not suitable by adding questions relating to qualifications, location etc.
• Shortlist – We recommend conducting a short telephone interview to establish basic match requirements, i.e: What is your current/last job title; What are your salary expectations; What is your notice period; The role is based in Pershore; is this a suitable location for you to commute to.
Preparation is key!
• Ensure that you have reviewed the CV of the candidate and have a list of standard interview questions.
• Reserve an area to interview in and ensure that you won’t be disturbed.
• Be comfortable in providing information about the Company, role and the benefits on offer.
Check out social media
LinkedIn can provide you with a greater insight into the candidates you are about to meet, it is also a good way to compare the submitted CV to the information they have loaded onto their Linked In profile.
Give a warm welcome
• Ensure that the candidates are provided with as much information as possible prior to the interview such as date, time, location, car parking and whether they will be required to carry out any testing. This will help the candidate be prepared, resulting in less stress and nerves for the interview.
• Make the candidate more comfortable by asking about their journey and offering a glass of water or a hot drink.
• Introduce any interviewers and explain how the interview will be structured.
Be consistent with your questions
• Ask each candidate the same interview questions. This will allow for consistency in the interview process and provide a basis to compare each of the candidates.
• Stick to one question at a time and use open-ended questions to encourage a more detailed answer. Questions like ‘tell me about’, ‘explain or describe … ‘ are better to start an interview than questions that result in a ‘yes or no’ answer.
• Avoid questions that may be inappropriate or even discriminatory. Questions relating to marital status, disability, race or religion, pregnancy are just some of the topics that could have serious repercussions for your company.
Have a chat
Make the process feel like a conversation, it will help relax the candidate, which in turn will help them provide a more natural answer. Don’t be afraid to probe further if you don’t get the information you need or would expect when you have asked a question.
If the conversation takes a diversion, let the employee continue as long as it provides you with useful information on their skills and experience. Don’t be afraid to bring the conversation back on track if the information is not relevant.
Listen & pause!
• You can show the candidate that you are listening to them both verbally and through your body language, this will encourage them to speak more openly about their experience and qualifications.
• A couple of seconds silence can feel like a lot longer when you are waiting for a candidate to answer a question. Whilst it’s tempting to help them out with prompts, don’t be afraid to let that silence go on for a little longer than feels comfortable. This will give the employee chance to think and may encourage them to talk about something that they weren’t intending to in order to fill the silence.
You interview the candidate not vice versa
• An interviewer should aim to do 20% of the talking compared to 80% by the Interviewee.
• Whilst the candidate needs information from you try and restrict this to details about the role, the company and benefits.
• You should ask the candidate if they have any questions for you at the end, answer their queries but stay on topic.
You should take notes to remind yourself of the candidate when it comes to the final selection. They do not have to be comprehensive but sufficient to reach a conclusion and where necessary provide feedback. It is important to remember that interview notes can be evidence so only write what you would be comfortable explaining to a third party!
Fit the Interview to the Job
• Sometimes an interview just isn’t enough, how do you know that a chef can cook – get them to make you something. How do you know that Finance Assistant is any good with numbers – get them to talk you through a profit and loss report. Get the candidate to talk you through a real-life issue/scenario that the role would have to deal with.
• You can also use online tests to help you identify the best candidates at the shortlisting stage or at interview.
Make a good lasting impression
• At the end of the interview make sure the candidate knows ‘what happens next’ when they will be contacted with an outcome. Make sure you stick to this, otherwise the candidate’s impression of you may deteriorate.
• Every candidate that walks through your door could be a potential client, customer or referral. Interviewing can be great PR for your Company regardless of whether you employ the candidate or not. Offer to provide (constructive) feedback to candidates that want it.
This article only covers part of the overall process that includes referencing and good induction procedures. If Recruitment isn’t for you then Businessynergy offer an end to end recruitment service that concentrates on giving you the best opportunity of finding the most suitable candidates and filling that important vacancy.
We can also provide training to those recruiting on behalf of your company to help them improve their chances of employing the right people for your business.