by | May 29, 2013

Recruiting the best employees

We see many companies who seemingly, on a whim (or due to a sudden influx of work go into panic mode), decide they need to bring on more staff and launch into recruitment frenzy.  Frequently, this is done in haste without a clear purpose, strategy or plan.

Unsurprisingly, this often results in the wrong person being brought onto a team and/or into the wrong role for them.  The drama then unfolds: poor performance of the individual, decreased productivity and profitability, low morale within your team and a barrage of other issues which impact on overall business performance.

It could be an understatement to say that we cannot genuinely quantify the cost of getting the recruitment and selection process wrong. It can be worth several thousands of dollars. Some of the costs to consider are advertising, salary and notice periods, management time spent on selection, induction and training, administration costs as well as delayed ‘project’ costs.

Before you decide to bring on a new team member, ensure that you first put a plan in place.  Identify where the position fits overall into the organisational structure.  Think about how the role will add value to the business and help you achieve the strategic goals. Remember, everyone within your business should have a role that contributes to the overall achievement of the company vision.

Execute a Plan – remember the saying ‘failure to plan is planning to fail’ – this applies to recruitment of employees as well.

1. Create a brief using the position description and person specification. Consider what this position will look like (accountabilities and functions), and the behaviours that would be expected of the ideal job holder.  Devise a clear and/or up to date position description and person specification for the role.

2. Attract the right candidates by creating an advert that highlights the key competencies and requirements as outlined in the position description and person specification. Use telephone screening questions and interview questions.  This will allow you to determine whether the candidate’s qualifications, experience, workplace preferences and remuneration are congruent with the position and the business. Telephone screening saves time and eliminates unlikely candidates. Develop customised telephone screening questions for each position. Use the same questions for each candidate so you are able to compare effectively.

3. Use a structured formal interview format including developing competency and behavioural based interview questions relevant to the position.

4. Utilise an application form, this will protect you as the employer and will give you advantages to assess further their skills and other useful information that come from completing this form.  Your form should also include permission to complete reference checks, and other checks.

5. Ensure that skills’ testing is completed with suitable candidates and set the benchmark. If you require an employee with intermediate Excel skills ensure that you test for this, if they are not up to standard they are not suitable.

6. Complete relevant probity checks. Just like a bank will not give you a loan if you do not have relevant credit checks etc. completed, would you employ someone without checking out their background thoroughly. Examples of probity checks include qualifications, diplomas, and previous employers. Also, if the position may involve financial risk to the business a complete credit check is advisable. This is not essential but is something which we recommend that all candidates being considered for a role have a Ministry of Justice check which will identify fraud, drink driving and other criminal charges that may affect your decision to offer a candidate a position.

7. Reference check with at least two direct line managers (this is very important). When conducting a reference check you have to clearly establish the working relationship between the candidate and the referee.  Previous direct managers are more likely to answer questions around work habits and capabilities more honestly than peers who may be friends with the employee.  When conducting your reference checks ensure that you are asking open ended questions relating to performance, behaviours and technical skills.

8. Use psychometric assessments to provide further evaluation of your preferred candidate – this information helps you further to assessment suitability to your role and your business.

9. Ensure that when the employee starts you have a good induction and on boarding programme in place. If you need help in devising an effective recruitment strategy, consider undertaking our Recruitment workshop and/or talking through your recruitment options with our team.

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