Making better recruitment decisions shouldn’t be left to chance.
I always say you never truly know how a new team member is going to work out until after they start. But you can use some proven tactics and processes that reduce the risk of a bad hire.
In this post, I share ten steps to increase your chances of making the right hiring decision.
1. Scope the role. List the Top 5 Key Priorities for the role over the next year. Draft a Position Description. Set the Total Remuneration Package (TRP). The TRP is inclusive of salary, superannuation, benefits, and bonuses. Note any further background requirements and commentary on the role up front. Share this information with the recruitment team.
2. Decide on the recruitment process and commit to it. Who is responsible for recruiting the position? Are you outsourcing to a recruiter or conducting recruitment in-house? Set a budget for recruitment costs such as advertising and recruitment agency fees. How many candidates should be shortlisted? Who will attend the interviews? How many interviews will you conduct? What are the interview questions and process? Create a timeline from commencement to appointment.
3. Remember to ask your network. There are often hidden candidates outside of the traditional recruitment process. Email your network to ask if they have anyone they suggest that may be suitable. Post on social media, in particular LinkedIn. Post the job on your website.
4. Invite your team to take part. Ask your existing team members for help. Invite them to introduce candidates from their networks. Consider offering a cash incentive or gift, should a candidate introduced by a team member be hired. Beyond incentives, remember to praise them personally and in front of the team.
5. Map out your interview process. Don’t ask closed questions in interviews that need just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers. Ask candidates to draw on specific examples in the past where they have dealt with a situation, or demonstrated a required attribute, for the role. Consider inviting key team members to the final interview to get peer assessment on the candidate’s cultural fit.
6. Conduct thorough reference-checks. This should seem obvious but is often overlooked or rushed. A powerful final question to the referee is “Is there anything else I should know about this candidate before making a hiring decision?”
7. Lock in the right candidate as soon as possible. Don’t let paperwork or background details hold you back from making a verbal offer to a preferred candidate. If you have the right candidate in front of you, you’ve completed the recruitment process and agreed to make the hire – make them a verbal offer. Get an answer from them now or offer the night or weekend to think about it. Just try and get a verbal ‘yes’ from them. Great candidates generally get multiple job offers and aren’t on the market for too long. So snap them up. Afterwards, get the required paperwork and communication attended to.
8. Document and conduct an induction process. Draft an induction process that outlines what happens on a new team member’s first day and in the weeks following commencement. Educate your team on the induction process. Ensure that the induction process is followed.
9. Use the probation period to assess suitability. A pet hate of mine is seeing businesses hire new staff only to allow the probation to lapse without reviewing performance. Use the probation period to track the new team member’s performance. Raise issues and provide feedback throughout. Request feedback from the new team member. Sometimes a tough decision to not extend the role past probation must be made, resulting in the staff member’s termination. This may be a preferred course of action rather than accepting unsatisfactory performance, a potential unfair dismissal claim or an industrial relations dispute later.
10. Manage the team member post-probation. For staff that continue on as employees post-probation, ensure that you continue to manage them. Hire, induction and probation are just the beginning. The real job of optimizing performance begins with operational management and staff reviews. Commit to scheduling and conducting these important meetings and reviews in advance.
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Cheers, Darren K Bourke