Hire like a hero

Recruit well and reap the rewards…

At Employment Plus we know all about finding the right people for jobs and we appreciate that a good recruitment process takes both time and concentrated energy.

So we’ve compiled a short list of the things we think are most important when you’re hiring someone.

1. Have a core set of job-specific questions

Sounds simple – but it’s more than just having read through a copy of the candidate’s CVs in front of you and ‘knowing’ the job.

Have a list of questions you commit to asking every candidate so that you can be sure you can compare candidates on the things that are fundamental to the role.

The interviews might take very different directions depending on the person’s personality or experience, but have some key areas to consistently assess on.

2. Talking vs. listening

As employers we’re told it’s important to sell a company’s vision and culture and to be clear about the role on offer… but listening is the key skill to employ in an interview.

Start with open questions to allow the candidate time to relax, and to share a little about themselves, before you start asking the key questions. This also helps to build rapport for the remainder of the meeting.

A good job ad should have outlined the basic skills required for the role and you can reinforce that and/or answer candidate’s questions on the organisation. But resist spending too much time talking generally about what you do. You want to spend 80% of the time hearing about what the candidate has to offer.

Often a sign of chatting is a sign of a lack of preparedness and good candidates can spot that too.

3. Beware of bias

One of the biggest issues around a lack of diversity is employers hiring ‘like for like’ versions of themselves.

While it’s not intentional, it’s easy to do because you can relate to them directly, so you naturally feel like you know them better. You know where they will shine and where you can help them.

Be mindful of the role you are hiring for, and the specific skills and diligence required, should be the absolute litmus test. And a ‘mini-me’ may not be as easy to manage as you had hoped.

Good cultural fits are important – but they are not about what culture a person identifies with. Take the chance to build a richer culture through diversity and understanding.

4. Reference checking

Most people listed on reference checks are likely to have a favourable review of the candidate – but don’t assume that is the case.

Always call the references with a prepared set of questions around the candidate’s strengths based on the job’s needs.

Also ask about areas you can help with regarding their professional development.

It’s a more constructive way to ask about where they may need support. No hire is ever perfect and you would hope that they expect to learn something by working for you.

5. Handling rejection

While some roles may receive hundreds of applications, all deserve a response or an understanding of how the process works.

If you think the role is likely to attract a huge amount of interest, advise that only short-listed candidates will be contacted in the job ad.

Once you have started a conversation with someone it is important you finish that conversation.

If they are unsuccessful in getting the role, take the time to notify them personally –or if you delegate this job, make sure that the message is personalised.

Provide some constructive and encouraging feedback. Everyone is disappointed when they miss out on a role – and they might be someone you want to approach again in the future.

So give them some positive encouragement – ESPECIALLY if they sound despondent or disappointed. They really wanted to work with you.