Hiring staff is a time-consuming and risky business - yes risky, because employing the wrong person can cost you lost business, lost customers, and lost time in having to start over. Then there's always the possibility of an unfair dismissal complaint being made against you and your company.
So, how do you minimise the risk ?
Firstly, be serious and methodical about the process. Secondly, hire the best candidate. Of course, you say, that's obvious - but good people are always in demand, and other companies are hiring just as you are.
The fact is that there are always a number of top opportunities available for good candidates to consider, and these people don't normally last long on the job market. So, from the pool of candidates you (hopefully) have to choose from, make certain you don't miss hiring the best of the bunch by substandard interviewing processes.
Finish the recruitment process in the shortest possible time, and have your offer in front of the candidate before they get frustrated at your lack of progress, or before they get other equally lucrative offers presented to them.
It is essential to realise that you are selling your company to the candidate, just as they are selling their skills and abilities to you. It is also essential to treat the candidate professionally and courteously - don't make them wait days or weeks to get feedback about their interview, and always set aside enough time for the interview. Yes, you may also be in a hurry, or have had some emergency come up, but the candidate has very likely rescheduled their appointments to fit in with your timing, and may also have had to invent a reason to be out of the office.
An essential part of preparing to interview someone is ensuring that:
- You have a clear picture of the position to be filled, and have the major points available in writing to let the candidate take away with them.
- You have the interview procedure clearly identified - who will be involved (never rely on only one person's judgement, not even your own), and that they have the time set aside for the interview(s). It is of no benefit to have to try and stall a candidate for two weeks because the MD/GM is away overseas. Sometimes the candidates may be prepared to wait, but you run the risk of another job offer being placed in front of them.
- You let the candidate know, within 24 or 48 hours, where they stand in respect of the next step.
- You have a pro-forma job offer already prepared and approved, so that you can let the candidate receive this ASAP after confirming with them that they are the one you wish to hire.
Lastly, always, always reference check the candidate.
Never go on "gut feeling" alone, and make the first three months of employment a probationary period, so that if things don't work out you can part company cleanly and fairly.
Happy hiring !
Graham Young is the managing director and co-owner of recruitment agency Anagram International, which specialises in the IT industry. Graham has 20 years of experience in various sales and management roles in the IT industry.
Tel(02) 9144 3499 Fax (02) 9449 5884