How to Recruit the Best People

Five ways to help you attract and choose the right employees for your small business

How to Recruit the Best People

You can’t do everything on your own. To attain your goals, you’ll need a talented team to help you push your company forward. But how do you find the right candidate when you’re looking to fill senior management role? Here are five tips to finding people who are as smart – or smarter! – than you.

Don’t delegate

We are firm believers in the theory “A hires A and B hires C”, the principle that you recruit people as able as you. An ambitious entrepreneur will instinctively look for someone with equal energy and experience, yet his PA will shortlist candidates with greater empathy to her than her boss.

Don’t delegate recruitment. The time you invest in hiring the right people will be worth it. You and only you will know the right person when you meet them and you and only you will know if their expertise and character fits with the vision of your company.

Pay your employees well

Be prepared to pay for the best people. Offer a salary at market rate. Even be prepared to pay a little more. Pay market rate and your get the crème of the candidates our there.

Pay peanuts and you will get a monkey. So if it’s not possible currently to pay the big bucks, instead offer opportunities to reward based on the company’s performance.

Forget about bonuses though. We’ve found that the most effective way to secure loyalty and motivation is to pay staff consistently throughout the year. Don’t try and motivate by dangling a carrot on a stick.

Use your network

Often the best people are not looking to move – they’re happily beavering away for another company. So ask people you know and admire (think A hires A) to make recommendations.

Before you interview though check out their academic grades. GCSE, A-Level and university results provide both a reliable gauge of intelligence plus dedication to the job or project in hand.

Experience alone is not enough. You also need smart, committed people who can be your intellectual and achievement equal – or even superior!

Be kind to staff and reap the loyalty

Make it as easy as possible for your new hire to accept the job and do what you can to make them feel valued from the day they sign. If they have to relocate, help with removal fees, agent deposits and references. If they now have to live away from their family during the week, offer flexible working as long as the job gets done. And if they have to work their notice, allow them to honour their contract.

Put your business to the test

It’s as important that you’re as right for them, as they are for you. We offer candidates the chance to come in for a day, fully paid, to make sure they know what they’re signing up for. This might draw out the process by a week or so but it’s cheaper than a resignation six weeks into a job. Do what you can to offer applicants a real insight to the company – think of it as a snapshot into their future happiness!

Ian Cowley is the Managing Director of

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