Hiring staff as a small and medium business can be stressful so we’ve collated our five top tips with the help of our Talent Acquisition team on how to hire as efficiently as possible.
1. Define the position and requirements clearly
Before you begin the recruitment process, first work out what type of person would be right for the role and clearly define the job requirements in writing. Being clear about the requirements you’re looking for will inform potential candidates about exactly what they’ll be expected to do so there are no unwelcome surprises when they come on board. Identifying skills like education, experience and knowledge is paramount but it’s also important to pinpoint what personality traits are required for the position too. Remember that a job description should persuade potential candidates to come and work for you so include any positive information about your workplace culture and company perks.
2. Use technology
Once you’ve got your role requirements clearly defined, there are a number of solutions to a lengthy, expensive, and ineffective hiring process. Try posting the position on social media and industry-specific job websites and keep an eye on popular blogs and websites in your industry too because some offer a place for help-wanted postings. As a small and medium business owner, it’s worth considering the smaller niche job boards as opposed to bigger sites which can bring an unmanageable deluge of resumes to sift through. Nowadays, some job boards even offer applicant tracking tools when you purchase a job advertisement with them; this means you can keep all your applications in one place by doing your reviewing in their online system instead of ploughing through emails and attachments in your own inbox.
3. Pre-screen your top candidates
Your time is valuable so by pre-screening your candidates, you save time to ensure that only the most skilled people are given time for an interview. Try emailing your qualified candidates an online survey or a questionnaire targeted towards the skills needed to perform the job well, that way you’ll be able to quickly determine if they’re the right fit for the project. It’s also worth checking out their online and social media profiles. Keep in mind though that social media is not necessarily a true reflection of a person’s professionalism or work ethic so always exercise common sense. Similarly, video-interviewing is another great way to get to know your applicants before arranging an interview in person. During the video interview, give all candidates the same pre-determined questions to answer and the same amount of time to respond – this will give you a fair representation of how each of them responds, behaves and presents themselves.
4. Test candidates
Although they’re certainly (or at least hopefully) in the minority, it’s a fact that some people do stretch the truth on their CV. So to ensure your candidate really has the skills you need, try giving them a simple test. This could be a written test for a copywriter role or a role-play for a managerial position – they don’t need to be elaborate but they do need to help you determine which candidates have the skills you’re after and which don’t. There are also some common aptitude tests online that are available for free; if you think they may help you identify a candidate’s suitability for the role, try giving a trustworthy site a go.
5. Include colleagues in the hiring process
Referrals from friends, advisers and industry colleagues are often the most efficient way to find new employees. Current employees know exactly what your working environment is like so if they’re happy working for you, use them to advocate your business to industry friends and former colleagues. As a small and medium business owner you may not have the cash to pay your employees a referral fee but you could offer gifts like a bottle of wine or a day off work instead. Once you have narrowed down your final candidates, always include someone else in the hiring process as your opinion is only one snapshot of a person. It is a great idea to get colleagues, especially those who will work closely with the potential new hire, to sit down with the candidate as they can provide additional perspectives you may not have noticed.