Dec 24, 2011

Recruitment Tips for Small Business

When you run a small business, recruiting new staff can be a real hassle.

Whether you're recruiting because someone has resigned, or because the business is expanding, you know it's going to take precious time. And therefore, all the more reason to make sure you get it right. Here's seven recruitment tips that might take some of the pain from the process ......
  1. Recruitment agency. It's tempting to go through a recruitment agency, particularly if there is a local one and you've worked with them before. The advantage is they can save you a lot of time in advertising, going through heaps of applications, and of course in interviewing. They will send you perhaps three different people who you can select from. The disadvantage can be the cost - generally it is negotiable, and between ten and twenty percent of the annual salary of the position. Often, there can be a way of structuring the payment to give you some protection that the person will work out. For example, you might pay the agency half of the fee on appointment of the person to the position, and the remaining half of the payment might be due on successful completion by the employee of the probationary period (ie. after three months)
  2. Tap the networks of existing staff. Sometimes, you may find that your current employees may know of friends or family (?) who have the right experience and are looking for a job. People with a good work ethic will often associate with others who share the same values
  3. Let your customers and suppliers know you have a vacancy. You obviously can save on advertising if you're able to  source applicants yourself
  4. Involve your other staff in the hiring  process. As already mentioned, they may know someone who might be appropriate, but also involve them in the actual interviews. After all, the new employee needs to fit in well with your existing team. There's not a lot of places to hide in a small business, if people don't get along. And if your current staff participate in the selection decision, they'll have more ownership in ensuring the appointment of the new employee works out.
  5. Don't hire someone because you like them. Yes, this is important of course - but also ensure they have the right skills, attitude and experience that is needed for the job. Avoid any impulsive decisions - make sure you do thorough background and referee checks. You might want to do a credit check - and also see if they have a Facebook page, and what that might reveal about them
  6. Telephone screening interview. Sometimes, there will be applications that you read and it's quite easy to decide that the person is worth interviewing, and other times there are applications you read where it's evident the person does not meet your requirements. However, there will be occasions when reading the application leaves you uncertain, and so you should consider conducting a short phone screening interview. This can help save both you and the applicant time, by clearing up some grey areas on their application - and help you make a more confident decision about whether the applicant should be invited to an in-person interview
  7. If in doubt, it's safer not to hire. Keep looking ..... If the problem is that you aren't getting enough applicants to choose from, well either change where you are fishing, or change the bait. In other words, you should perhaps consider whether you need to change the ad you're using so as to better promote the position or your business profile. Or change where you are advertising the vacancy
I hope these recruitment tips help. You will also find some great recruitment and interviewing tips at How To Conduct The Job Interview - in particular good advice on how to prepare . Also, Interview Questions To Ask gives great examples of questions to assess an applicants customer service and organisational skills

Here's a short video clip that explains the potential use of telephone screening to help with recruitment


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