Recruitment & Staffing
I need to recruit a member of staff, how should I approach it?
This might seem like a strange question to tackle in the current climate, but quite a number of business are taking the opportunity presented by the recession to grow and are looking to recruit.
It is quite a while since we have looked at this topic in our newsletters so we will revisit it again in this and the next one.
But is recruitment the right way to go at the moment?
Good question. Let's look at some of the more common reasons to recruit:
- We need more help and or expertise in sales;
- We need more back-office support to release me to spend more time on the critical tasks related to developing the business;
- The workload is increasing generally as the business grows, and people are being overstretched, so we need to reorganise and bring in another person;
- We are targeting a new market and we need someone with expertise and experience in that market.
First of all look at how you organise your business and yourself.
- Can your systems be improved so that more effective use is made of yours and staff time?
- Can you and your staff work more effectively within the existing system by identifying and concentrating on priorities - working smarter?
- Could outsourcing be a more cost-effective solution to taking on the fixed cost of a new member of staff? Bookkeeping, admin, telemarketing are some common activities to outsource.
Just to reinforce the point, you need to make sure your systems are effective and that you and your staff are working effectively, otherwise you will not get the full benefit from a new employee, but you will incur the full cost.
I've done all that, but I need to employ an extra person.
Ok, let's start at the beginning; good planning is crucial to good recruitment.
- First let's look at the role; ask yourself:
- Why do I need to recruit?
- Where does the role fit within my vision and plans for the business?
- What overall responsibilities will the new member of staff have?
- What specific activities and tasks will the new employee be required to undertake?
- What standards of performance am I looking for, and how will I measure the new employee's job performance?
- How will the new job fit in with existing roles within the business, who will they liaise with?
- Who will they need to communicate with: other staff, customers etc?
- Who will they report to?
From this you can draw up a job description,
Next create a mental picture of the ideal person to fill the role for instance:
- Past experience;
- Skills, knowledge and education qualifications.
- Identify the ideal qualities that you are looking for in the new employee, but also think about your minimum requirements.
Two cautionary notes when thinking about the right person for the job:
i) If you are too restrictive in the way you describe the person you are looking for you might miss out on some less obvious candidates who, with some training and nurturing, potentially could grow into the role and be very successful. Have a picture of who you are looking for, but watch out for those potential future stars.
i) It is against the law to discriminate on the grounds of: sex, race, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, or disability.
Both the Job Description and the Personal Specification can be given to others for them to help you with the recruitment process i.e. Job Centre Plus, recruitment agencies etc. Potential candidates can self-assess themselves using these documents. The content will also form the basis for the interview and the core questions you will need to address.
So where have we got to?
Well, we have decided to recruit, identified the job in detail, the performance standards required and given some thought to the type of person best suited to the role and the business.
Next month we will look at the recruitment process, the interview itself and the induction.
That's all for this month.
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