Hiring new staff: 10 tips for recruitment success

Your business is growing and it's reached the point where your current team can no longer manage all that needs to be done..its time to hire additional staff to help you reach your business goals.

But what are the key things you should be doing as part of this process - how can you ensure that you employ the right people, in the right position for your business?

Here are our Top 10 tips to help you on the path to successful hiring!
1. Recruit for attitude, desire, passion, commitment and cultural fit with your business.
Whilst for certain jobs (for example, an accountant, a civil engineer or an IT programmer) you must have a particular skill or qualification, for many jobs (particularly in an SME environment) a certain skill-set simply isn't required. In these instances its best to hire people for the things that you could never train or develop.  For example, hire someone with a positive outlook, you can't train someone to be upbeat and forward thinking but the positive impact this can have on a small team can be significant.

So, target your questions to uncover what makes these people 'tick'.  Ask them how they have handled a difficult customer, how they have coped with a tough period at work.  These kinds of questions will give you the insight you need to make the right decisions about whether or not they will fit with your business culture.

2. Don't fish in the same candidate pond. 
Finding good employees can at times be tough, so it's important that you think outside the square and try sourcing them from a range of different places. Just because everyone else is using Seek (or any other online careers website) to find their staff doesn't mean you have to take the same approach. Open up your network - you may be surprised where you find good staff.

3. Ask your (good) staff for referrals.
If you have a staff member that you think very highly of, chances are they have friends who are pretty good too. Ask these employees for referrals and, if you hire based on their information, be sure to reward them for making a positive contribution to your team.

4. Clearly define the job you want the person to do.
There is no point waiting till the person has joined your team to figure out exactly where they fit. You need to figure this out before you advertise for the role and begin the interviewing process. That way you can ask the candidates specific questions about the job specifications. You can also ask for actual examples where they have dealt with those same challenges. Be honest, no-one really cares all that much what footy club they barrack for.

5. Be thorough. 
Recruitment is a process and how well you do it tells someone a lot about your business. So, you have to follow all the steps. Do your interviews (and by the way, don't keep someone waiting), give your candidates a job preview and do thorough reference checks. Don't get fooled - ask to speak to the candidate's previous manager and be sure to conduct the reference checks yourself. 

6. Don't hire someone who is just like you.
We have all heard that we buy from people we like. Well, that happens in recruitment too. Too often we make the mistake of hiring someone who is just like us or someone that we like on a personal level. However that's often not the best approach as businesses usually need a diverse range of people to get the job done efficiently and effectively.

7. If you can, get your staff involved in the hiring process.
Getting your staff involved makes absolute sense - after all, they know the job and they're going to have show the new person the ropes.

Also, you will often find that your staff are very good at spotting a fake and that by giving them greater ownership of their workplace they will make a significant effort to ensure the new hire works out.  But, this is not a way of abdicating responsibility - the final decision has to be yours. If it doesn't work out you have to take responsibility - don't blame your staff. 

8. If you can, give potential employees a realistic preview of the job.    
You don't want to leave anything to chance and this includes having a new employee start with your business thinking they are going to get something that is completely different to the reality.

Walk them around your office, factory or warehouse; have them sit with you or your other staff to see what you all do. This way everyone is jumping in with their eyes open. 

9. Be open about remuneration
This one's hard because people generally don't want to talk about money for fear of offending. But, you need to be open and talk about salary and salary expectations.  Don't leave this discussion until it is too late. After all, you don't want to find a really good person, only to discover its going to cost you an extra $10,000 to hire them.   

10. Finally, always, try and hire people who are better than you are.  ALWAYS. 
Only cowardly managers hire people who are numbskulls. Good managers have the ability to see that hiring people who are better than they are is a great way to take their business to the next level. After all, you are only as good as your team and if your team is mediocre, so is your business.


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