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6 easy steps to find the best person for your role

As a business owner you know how important it is to have good people working for you, particularly when they are representing your business when you are not around.

It seems like a no brainer, but the reality of finding the right person can be challenging and time-consuming. Hiring someone who conveniently walks in the door, or is a “friend of a friend” is all too common.

When you replace someone amazing with someone less than ordinary, your customers may start to look elsewhere. As a result, sales will suffer, having a dramatic impact on the potential of your business. Not investing in your recruitment is a risk not worth taking. Hiring the right person does not happen by accident.

As a business owner you are likely to be the wearer of many hats – the manager, the marketer, the accounts person, the salesperson, the purchaser, the IT person……. the list can go on and on. Having a quick and straightforward way to assess who would be great for your available position is vital.

Our recruiting guideline aims to simplify what is often viewed as a daunting and laborious task for many business owners. We are here to help. Our HR advisor at Leafcutter can provide you with advice and support, as well as the management of the time-consuming elements you may find difficult. Check out the extensive list of HR services we offer here.

1. Know the role and tasks you are expecting the new employee to perform.

Take a snapshot of your available position and create a relevant position description. Keep it brief and concise. One page can generally suffice to cover responsibilities, skills, qualification (if any) and the personal attributes you are looking for.

2. Advertise, advertise, advertise.

See this as a form of marketing for your business. Online is best as it will give you a more significant presence, and you are more likely to attract a wider audience. Depending on where you are located and the type of role, local advertising on community boards, newsletters, or local newspapers can be just as successful. Direct your walk-in applicants and “friends of friends” to apply with everyone else.

3. Don’t hire the first person who applies.

Collect applications for at least two weeks and aim to interview at least two candidates. Applicant CVs and cover letters should highlight the skills and attributes that you have promoted in your advert. If they don’t, don’t interview them.

4. Interview.

Don’t feel like you have to interview a heap of people. Set an afternoon aside and interview 3 or 4 candidates one after the other. Alternatively, interview one or two per day over two to three days. Most interviews shouldn’t take longer than an hour.

a. You want the applicant to be invested and committed to your business if you offer them the role, so provide them with a detailed explanation so they can assess whether the role is right for them.

b. Have a dozen simple, relevant questions that you have put together yourself. This to establish whether the applicant would be a good fit for you and your business. Feel comfortable expanding on these questions to understand the person and their motivation for wanting to work with you.

5. The person with all the skills already is not necessarily the best person.

This person may save you time in training but unless they have the attributes you are looking for, they may not fit within the culture of your business and team.

6. Don’t be scared of carrying out reference checks for your preferred candidate(s).

These checks are essential and can highlight interesting aspects of the candidate that you may not have picked up in the interview. Generally, referees are in favour of the applicant, but through conversation you can get a deeper understanding of the person and flag any potential issues that may arise.

Lastly, the process and decision to employ someone should be based on sound information and not be rushed. The risk to your business if you hire the wrong person can have a severe negative impact, not only on your bottom line but the time that you end up having to spend on managing the person, and the employment relationship.

Rebecca Waterhouse (aka HR superstar)


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