Finding the right person for a role is difficult enough so it’s best to avoid shooting yourself in the foot by making mistakes in the recruitment process. Here’s my list of twelve mistakes to avoid when recruiting plus a few tips.
Write a list of essential skills and experience and stick to it throughout the recruitment process.
Take time to think about the role and the person. Even if it is a job that you have recruited for before, it’s always worth taking a fresh look at things. Has the role changed, is now a good time to review things, are there any extra skills that might be useful in a changing business or marketplace?
The temptation when you’re short staffed is to rush into recruitment. Recruit in haste ….repent at leisure.
Hire for the future. What plans does your business have? Is now a good time to recruit someone with the skills that you will need in twelve months’ time. This works well for the business and also gives the successful candidate a way to develop and take on additional responsibilities. What better way to make them feel valued and keep them motivated?
Don’t just automatically look for someone with the same skill set as everyone else on the team. It’s tempting to stick with what you know but some diversity, extra skills, varied experience and new ideas can strengthen a team.
Never take a gamble on someone who hasn’t got the necessary skills and experience. The cost of a mistake in recruitment is too high. Maybe you really clicked with someone at interview, but if they haven’t got the skills and experience that you need, that you defined at the outset, liking them is not a good enough reason to hire them. Sales people spend their lives building rapport, so you would expect to like them at interview. Stay objective!
At interview ask for specific real examples of how they have worked before. Ask for evidence. You wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive so don’t recruit until you have satisfied yourself that they are capable of fulfilling the role.
Always always reference. If their previous employer has gone out of business (quite common these days) ask for client references. A good salesman should be happy to supply these.
Avoid aggressive interview techniques. I know that the “Apprentice” TV show seems to suggest that these are all the rage at the moment but remember that the candidates of today could be the clients of tomorrow and with social media becoming more and more popular you can soon find your reputation in tatters and future recruitment even more difficult.
Use the recruitment process to set realistic expectations of the job. That way, when the successful candidate starts they will know exactly what is expected of them.
Sell your company and the role. Interviews are two way streets. I have seen plenty of job offers turned down because the interviewer failed to sell the role or the company.
And finally………..let people know how they did. Give honest, helpful feedback. You might be the other side of the table one day!