People, Productivity, Recruitment

When recruiting, do you actually know what you’re looking for?



It’s amazing how many people miss out the most important step when they’re looking for new staff.

It’s equally amazing because without this first crucial step, we reduce our chances of getting the right person dramatically!

What is this magical step?, well it’s actually just taking the time to work out exactly what we want in our new recruit, before we set out to try and find them.

Often we’ll take on our sister’s uncle’s brother’s cousin who just happens to be out of work right now. Yeah, he or she will do, (and anyway I get some family brownie points).

What do you mean you dont know how to sell, that’s what I employed you for, and you said you could do it! Then horror of horrors, you’re faced with sacking a family member, or someone who’s not easy to part company with. Sound familiar?

Consider the cost of poor hiring.

You’ll have spent some of your valuable time interviewing them etc. You may have paid out money for job ads or agencies. You’ll have paid them a salary during their probation period, (you have one of those right?), or until you found out they weren’t what you wanted, you may have even spent some money training them.
Think about it, it can cost you hundreds, if not thousands to get it wrong.

So it’s probably worth taking some time and maybe even having a recruitment process to increase your chances of getting it right, yeah?
Of course recruitment is a risky business, the chances of getting it 100% right are slim, if not impossible. The fact is though, our chances increase massively when we put some thought into it.

So, back to this first step. It’s vital to take the time to think about what you actually want and need in your new team member. Consider these things:

  • What does the role involve, what will they actually be doing?
  • Based on that, what are the essential skills they must have?
  • What other skills are you looking for?
  • What responsibilities will they have?
  • How will you measure their performance?
  • What sort of temperament & personality should they have? (they may have to work with your existing staff and/or customers or need certain qualities to fulfil the role)
  • How many hours will they work and what will you pay them

This is not a definitive list of course, and it’s not the answer to all of the things we need to consider when looking for new people. It is an essential and arguably a “common sense” first step.

So many people say to me, “you just can’t get good people”, the fact is, they’re out there, perhaps we’ve just got to be smarter at finding them.


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