Finding the right candidate
One of the most critical aspects of growing any business is employing the right people. Get it right and your business’s growth is likely to continue or accelerate.
Get it wrong and your experimental step forward might lead to the dreaded three steps back. Recruiting people is costly, stressful and time consuming but if done well it can be very rewarding to the hiring manager, the company and the new employee.
Limited number of highly skilled employees
Hiring managers need to be aware that they are not only recruiting but also selling their company to potential candidates. In today’s marketplace the search for skilled lift and escalator professionals is competitive and unforgiving to inexperienced hiring managers. Where there was once a plethora of workers to call upon, it has become more difficult to fill roles in the sector. There are now more employers looking for a limited number of highly skilled employees meaning that the job seeker has far more choice than before.
According to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), potential employees in a variety of sectors are finding the recruitment process more difficult than ever before: 48 % of candidates said they had a poor or very poor experience when seeking a new role. 58% of applicants said they were not kept fully informed during the process. Just over half said they didn’t feel that they were treated as an individual.
Three steps lead to successful recruitment
These experiences can lead to unsuccessful recruitment. On the other hand, recent data from the Corporate Executive Board (CEB) shows that candidates who have a positive experience put in more effort in the job, to the tune of 15%. Those who have a positive recruitment experience are also 38% more likely to stay with that employer than those who didn’t. In brief, treat your candidates well and you will be reap the benefits.
Three steps lead to successful recruitment: Good preparation, being flexible and moving quickly are key to successful recruitment. The best place to start is by defining what you need. Writing a job specification feels like hard work but it will help you ensure you identify the business’s actual needs for the role, it will also help the future employee in defining their role. Ensuring that the key duties and targets are identified will allow you to look at the type of person you are looking for and what core skill, qualifications and attributes are absolute necessities.
Careful consideration to the interview process
Once you know what you are looking for, devise a plan around how you are going to find these candidates, either using local advertising, social media, a recruitment consultancy etc. Think about where you will get the best results and where your efforts will be targeted to the audience you need it to reach. Remember your time and the cost of not having someone in place is a big cost in this process so make sure it is effective.
Careful consideration needs to be given to the interview process. Points you need to consider are: How and where will you interview? How many interviews will there be? Who needs to be involved in the process and what is their availability? Will you need the candidate to do a presentation, psychometric or technical tests? Do you need the candidate to provide proof of identification or qualification at interview? How quickly you will be able to make an offer if the candidate is successful?
Interview is a two way process
Despite popular belief, an interview is a two way process, it is about both parties meeting each other to see if they can work together. I am sure you would not be impressed if a candidate was late, took calls on their mobile or stopped in the middle of an interview to talk to someone else, you should therefore offer them the same courtesy.
You may wish to conduct the interviews on your premises but it is worth considering being flexible if a candidate who looks promising wanted to meet at another location or outside of normal office hours. Ensure that the location of the interview will allow the conversation to flow well and not be interrupted. Ensure that the seating positions and room layout will allow the candidate to feel relaxed and able to talk freely.
Open and honest dialogue
The interview process needs to be structured to be fair and balanced to all candidates. Try and design some consistency into the process and follow the same format wherever possible. It would be wise to ask the same set of open-ended questions to each candidate, as this helps move from the formality of an interview to open and honest dialogue.
It is best practice to take notes on each candidate and keep them on file, even if they are unsuccessful. Remember you are trying to attract the potential candidate not interrogate them. This is not to say you should not investigate areas that do not seem correct or are ambiguous but remember this is an interview, they do not work for you yet.
Money and references
Money needs to be discussed in the interview process either in the first or second interview. Ensure you fully understand the candidate’s current salary package including benefits, bonuses, commission etc. Discuss with them what they are looking for and how important it is in their decision making process.
One obvious question is, why is the person looking for a new role, ensure they want to move for the right reasons. Find out what the person’s notice period is and if offered the position, when they would be able to hand their notice in. Ask for references and ensure they are happy with you contacting these people, try and ensure that one of these is a former employer.
Get the offer out as quickly as possible
When you have chosen the most suitable candidate, get in contact to let him/her know the offer you are looking to make. Ensure the offer is in line with the salary of the advert and also the discussions with the candidate. Making an offer below their current salary, below the advertised salary or at the bottom of the salary level may insult the candidate, this may be irretrievable.
Try to get the offer out as quickly as possible as any delay may unsettle the candidate or allow another employer to make an offer. Ensure the full benefits package is on the offer and clear to understand. Ring them to ensure they have received the offer and resolve any questions they may have.
Your members of staff are the key to a successful business. Establishing the right recruitment strategy makes for less hassle when hiring and can create and help maintain a good working environment, resulting in satisfied customers and a healthy bottom line.
Brett Ennals, MD of Cento