5 Steps to Hiring New Employees

Thinking of growing your business this year? If you've a small recruitment budget, it pays to be meticulous

5 Steps to Hiring New Employees

One of the greatest challenges facing every expanding business is securing the right staff. Competent, professional and committed recruits are highly sort after and a crucial ingredient to business success. However, building a team can be a complex task as you look to source people with different skills – but crucially a similar outlook, buying into the company vision and ethos.

There is no doubt that hiring the right sort of person is vital for driving continued momentum. While hiring people who just don’t fit in inevitably leads to lost productivity and direction and can further dent staff morale and public perception.

The Accountancy Partnership’s (TAP’s) managing director Lee Murphy says there are a number of key areas employers must address ahead of the hiring game to ensure they maximize their chance of finding the right sort of recruit.

He breaks the employment process down into the five simple steps.

Invest real time

The single biggest mistake I made in business was not investing enough time, money and thought when hiring really good staff. I made this mistake in the early days when I was recruiting for key people to join my small business to help take it to the next level.

Due to the rate of growth, those were especially chaotic times and I made the mistake of rushing the process and settling for staff I was not sure about. Suffice to say these choices ended poorly and cost the company valuable resources which could have been better utilised elsewhere. One of the keys to a good hire is the time and effort you put into it. I now invest a lot more, ensuring that we attract the best of local talent; we now use specialist recruitment agents and create well thought out campaigns across multiple channels to increase our chances of success.

Invest in quality

The quality of staff that work in and on your business will determine how successful it will become. The age-old adage – ‘if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys’ remains suitably accurate. It may require you having to stretch the purse strings a little further.

However, the increased productivity, energy and growth which comes with a strong recruit makes the extra investment a small price to pay. More capable staff also enable business owners to delegate greater responsibility freeing up more senior management hours. Furthermore, high performing staff who are excelling in the role are more likely to remain committed to the cause, rather than stifled staff who you can’t fully trust with large workloads.

Trust your instinct

Gut feelings go a long way when decision making, especially when those decisions involve people. Trust your instincts and consider personal chemistry. If you haven’t really hit it off from the get go it can sometimes be a challenge to change that initial perception. If you’re not confident about certain areas with the interviewee, or you sensed some ‘sticky’ answers, push harder to source the details they may have been unwilling to volunteer. Do your due diligence. Follow up with past employers and speak to referees if your instincts are raising ‘warning lights’.

Try before you buy

I firmly believe a short trial is crucial. Lots of candidates interview very well but may not be so good when it comes to doing the work. Tell the candidate a trial is beneficial for them too, especially if they are leaving employment to join your company. It takes time to get to know people and get a feel for their ‘work’ personality.

Its highly beneficial to see how they interact with other team members in an actual real working environment over a longer period, as appose to the relatively short interview process. Job interviews are a forced environment, and while a work trial isn’t relaxed, people are more likely to let their guard down and give a greater insight into their broader personality.

Sell your vision

If you’re interviewing good people, then the chances are they will have other options. This means they need good reasons to join your company over a competitor. Convey your vision for the company and outline a solid route to career progression for them. This can go an awful long way and may just seal the deal.

It also starts the new relationship on the right footing. You can command respect from day one if you’re able to clearly outline your company vision and growth prospects. This can energize the right sort of recruits and help you determine which aren’t stimulated by the opportunity on offer.

If they’re not showing the right level of enthusiasm at this stage when presented with the company vision they are unlikely to ever do so. For those recruits you don’t hire, you have at least managed to do some positive profile raising for the business.

Lee Murphy is founder of The Accountancy Partnership and cloud accounting software Pandle

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