Finding the Right Employee

For businesses of any size, recruiting the right employee is a critical and difficult task. Whether the market is competitive or not, finding the right employee to match the needs of your business is often a time-consuming process.

For small businesses, finding the right employee is critical. With fewer people on the payroll, the contribution and impact of one person can be more significant than in a larger business. Consider the following tips when advertising for and recruiting your ideal employee.

Advertise in the right places

Consider specialist Web sites and publications that cater to businesses in your market, particularly if you are looking for somebody with niche skills and/or experience. Alternatively, a recruitment agency may be a better option for somebody of a more general nature or for multiple posts. It is important to advertise in the places that are most likely to attract the sort of person that you are looking for. A technology company, for example, might be especially inclined to use social media.

Advertise for the right things

Make sure that your job specification accurately reflects what you are after. Take time to write this carefully, considering all the skills, experience and personal attributes that you seek. Don't be afraid to categorize them into 'essential' and 'desirable.' You need to make it clear to candidates whether they will and won't be considered. There is no point wasting anybody's time.

Set aside time for the recruitment process

Don't expect the right employee to fall into your lap. It takes time to find good candidates. The more time you can invest now, the less likely you are to regret your decision. Allow time to screen the resumes and applications of the candidates carefully, as well as to plan for the actual interviews. Depending on the nature of the role, two interviews may be necessary. Consider all this time when working out how soon you will be able to actually hire somebody.

Use the right selection criteria

When interviewing, ensure that you and any other interviewers have very clear selection criteria. Identify what it is you want to see, and structure a series of questions that can tease this out of the right candidate. Don't be afraid to add practical exercises, demonstrations, presentations or tests to the recruitment process. Always give candidates notice of this where appropriate and provide clear, unambiguous instructions.

Take them up on references

References are not just a paper exercise. Make it clear to candidates that you reserve the right to follow up on the references provided, and then do so with anybody you want to recruit. Be wary of former employers that don't respond or refuse to provide a reference. You can also check the candidate's history on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to verify some of the information on the resume. Never jump to conclusions, however, and give all candidates the opportunity to explain anything that seems irregular.

Finding the right employee is never easy, but nothing is more satisfying that building a team of skilled, professional and capable individuals who are able to help you shape your business. This is, without a doubt, a great investment of your time.

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