28th November 2017
As your business succeeds and grows, you need to make sure your team grows with it. Making sure that there’s enough people on your team to handle the increase in workload is vital for maintaining that upward trajectory, and for keeping the morale of your team high. But hiring new employees can be a tough task to get right.
You need to bring in the best talent available, without overspending, and making sure that you’re both well-suited to each other as an employee and a job role. Here are some of the things to consider when looking at an effective employee recruitment strategy.
Finding talent to recruit
First things first – who’s going to be looking after the recruitment process? Ideally in the long term, you’d have a dedicated in-house recruiter or even a whole recruitment team, but for many businesses this isn’t viable due to their age or size.
You can hire recruitment agencies to help find the new employees for you, but this is expensive and they aren’t always reliable. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of completely unsuitable candidates being put forward for interview by lazy recruitment agencies who don’t know how to find the right people. So relying solely on an agency isn’t the right way to go.
Instead, use a mix of different channels. You can list the job yourself on numerous job websites, like Indeed, Reed and TotalJobs. Advertising on LinkedIn is easy too. Also make sure you add the job role to a relevant landing page on your own website. It may be that you don’t currently get the right traffic to encourage people to apply direct, but it’s best practice and as your brand grows you’ll want to be able to take advantage of people coming to you, rather than you having to go find them.
One tried and tested method of finding new talent is by offering a referral incentive for your current employees. Even a portion of what you’d be paying a recruitment agency can be a huge financial reward for your existing team if they’re able to recommend people for your vacancies.
f course, it also makes sense to put checks in place to stop this from being exploited, such as only paying out after the new employee has passed a probationary period to prove they are well-suited to the role.
Finally, consider the job description. Putting a job description together can be a chore if you aren’t comfortable with that style of writing, but don’t be tempted to just find a template option from the internet. You need to attract people to apply, and a boring, run-of-the-mill job description packed with formal jargon will not appeal.
It doesn’t need to be too far the other way – wacky job descriptions aren’t likely to be taken seriously. Instead, just be clear on the role, on the values of your business, and as many of the benefits as you’re prepared to agree in advance. Salary is a sticking point, but if you want to leave room for negotiation then at least add a salary bracket.
The interview process
When you’re ready to interview a selection of candidates, you need to work out how you’re going to structure the interview process. How many stages will it consist of? Will all the interviews be face-to-face, or will there be an initial telephone interview to help whittle down the field and save time for those who aren’t suitable?
Also pay close attention to the interview questions you’re asking. A structured interview with more questions helps to show that you’re prepared and professional, which will in turn make you more appealing to applicants who show similar skills and traits. But ask too many questions and you risk leading the candidates too much, and not giving them time to develop their answers.
In terms of atmosphere for an interview, you should try to make it as relaxed as possible. The goal isn’t to try and trip up the candidates, making them more anxious so that they reveal secrets. Instead, you want them to open up and be honest, so try to help by being friendly and encouraging back and forth chat around your questions.
Throughout the whole interview process, you should be considering the main skills and personalities that you’re looking for. Personality is hugely important, which we’ll cover more below, but remember that you can teach job skills a lot easier than you can teach a new personality. If someone doesn’t have the perfect experience that you’re looking for, but they feel like the right person for your business culture, then perhaps they’re the best option.
Building a cohesive team
When you’re putting together a team, it can be a tricky balance to find people that work exceptionally well as a unit. Finding individual hard workers isn’t the challenge, but creating that team dynamic can be. This is why it’s so important to spend part of your interview process on personality, and not just experience and skills. You need to be able to work out how a new employee will fit in.
And it’s not as simple as finding someone that the current team will like. That strategy – of finding a collection of like-minded people – is fine, and will keep morale high. But this will often result in a team that’s not well-rounded, has consistent skill gaps and even slightly reduced productivity.
Yes, there are certain broad personality types that fit job roles well. Confident, outgoing people work well in Sales, creative types work well in Marketing, that sort of thing. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find the talents that push a team further – the slightly introverted team member may be your workhorse who gets tons done, while the more extroverted might be better at taking a step back to view the bigger picture and identify problems others might miss.
Build a team with a complementary mixture of personalities and you’ll be rewarded with a true team who can cover each other’s weaknesses, play to each other’s strengths and develop together.
Make use of all these tactics, from finding potential candidates to the interview process, and taking a considered approach to building a team, and you’ll find that the employees you do recruit will stand you in good stead for continued growth.