Selecting the right person for a team or business is a complex job as there are so many factors at play. A new team member can either make or break the team so ensure you uncover the best talent out there.
In some business situations you do not have the help of an in-house recruitment specialist therefore you will have to do it yourself. Here are some tips and trips.
Pipeline of talent
One of my favourite coaches, Jack Daly, once told me that as a manager you should always have a pipeline of talent on your radar. The team you have now is unlikely to be the same team in a years’ time. People leave businesses for a variety of reasons and sometimes no fault of the manager. Therefore, it is good for a manager to always be prepared for staff to turn over and new staff to come onboard.
As business owner or a manager of a team you feel sometimes all you are doing is hiring and onboarding new staff. No matter the reason that staff are leaving, it would be wise to be always thinking about the pool of talent and what roles you have. Your business needs will change over the years therefore staffing and skillset requirements will change too.
Post everywhere and ask around
Once you know what you are looking for, get the job advertisement online as soon as possible. Post it everywhere you can – LinkedIn, job websites, association websites and even share it with a few Facebook community groups, if appropriate. You want to caste the net for talent as far and wide as you can, as you just don’t know where a suitable candidate could come from.
Not everyone uses LinkedIn or job websites so think about how you can get the news out across other networks. Use a variety of methods – email, word of mouth, via suppliers, through friends. Ask your team and wider business to share the opportunity. Also ask the team for any recommendations. You are more likely to hire someone who has been recommended as they will settle in quickly as they will have someone else looking out for them and some expectations to live up to.
Waiting for the right person
You will likely receive a flurry of CVs within a week of the job being posted. Then there will be a lull and then expect more to come in just before the closing day. Wait till applications close before going through them all to do a shortlist. Sometimes the most appropriate people apply just before the closing date – it’s as if they have made up their mind that the role is for them.
You can tell a lot about a person via their CV so spend some time reading the covering letters and CVs of the applicants. I check out everyone who I am interested in via a quick google search too! You should be able to choose a small number of candidates to invite in for a first round interview. Don’t push yourself to select a specific number to interview, but 4-5 is enough for first round interviews. There is a chance that someone might come through that round of applications that might suit another role coming up or another part of the business so keep your eyes open for generally good candidates.
Sometimes you might get 100 applicants and none of them feel quite right for the role and the team. If this happens don’t interview the next best. If you interview and you can’t find the right type of candidate, then don’t appoint. You can always wait and re-advertise in a couple of months. The job market is very cyclical and there is no point hiring the wrong person. Instead, have a think about how you word the advertisement and the role as a few key word changes might bring in the right type of candidate.
Get prepared for the interviews. If you are new to interviewing, then I suggest you look for a competency based questioning templates for the first round. Competency-based interviews, also known as structured or behavioural interviews, are used to help discover and discuss transferable skillsets within candidates. It shows how their abilities, behaviours and mindset could impact on their effectiveness in a role. The interview is set out to include questions which target skills relevant to the role and the candidate is asked to share an example of how they used or demonstrated that competency in the past.
Following a structured interviewing process ensures everyone is treated in the same way, asked the same questions. You should be able to easily pick out the top couple of candidates to move on the next stage of your process.
When the interviewee comes in to meet you, make them feel as comfortable as possible so they perform their best. Most candidates are nervous and that is only natural. Set the agenda with them so they know what to expect and how the interview and process will run. Learn what you can about the candidate and ease into the interview questions.
Some teams need new starters to be the right fit. To ensure they are you can ask the candidate to meet with a current team member for one of the interview rounds. This can be less formal and will provide the candidate a great opportunity to ask some questions and really understand the business and role they would be taking on.
This process works well for sales staff who are joining team that might have individual and team incentives if goals are met. Having the potential recruit meet with a team member will help them understand how things are done and rewarded. It will give the candidate a good insight into the team and company culture.
Your team member who meets with the candidate will likely be able to provide a clear opinion on the candidate and their potential fit. This will be helpful for you to consider and they might see things you didn’t see. It is hard to go against a team member’s opinion so if they advise against hiring the candidate really consider this.
Finally, if you choose to employ the candidate who met with the team member, they now know someone on the team, which will help them settle into the role and business quicker. The team will also have a vested interest in the recruit as they feel part of the process. A potential win for everyone!
The job market continues to be competitive even in these changing times. If you like the candidate, ensure you are aware of their salary expectations, notice period and get their references quickly. Job seekers are always pleased when a company moves efficiently through the process because it shows they are wanted but also the company is professional. Don’t take two weeks to make a final decision as in this constantly moving job market, your ideal candidate might have found another role, possibly with a competitor!
Over the years I have found I normally know within the first ten minutes of meeting a candidate if the person is right for me, the team and the business. However, over the years I have developed my process for finding talent. I have hired some amazing candidates into a variety of businesses. I love seeing new talent fit into a business and shine! Finding the perfect talent is so important for every employer and business.