Avoid Recruitment Catastrophe
Recruiting well is tough, a process filled with intricacies and complexities. At the best of times it can be a trial. At worst, it can be a costly affair. Mike Toten – writer, editor and media commentator on all things HR – says, “A mistake in the recruitment process that leads to an early employee resignation or dismissal can cost an employer between half and two-thirds of the employee’s annual salary.”
Let’s do the maths. That means the termination of an employee with an annual salary of $35K generates direct and indirect costs of around $17K, if the employee leaves within the first 12 months of employment.
For small business owners wanting to avoid complexity and catastrophe, here are the Top 6 Do’s!
1. Do Include High Performers at Strategic Level.
High performers in your small business are acutely aware of your company’s health and position in the marketplace. When you’re recruiting, be sure to keep this group really positively engaged, as the value they add during times of vacancies is critical. Rely upon them to prioritise work and accountabilities while you roll your sleeves up in the search for new talent. Be sure to let them know you count on them – and value them.
2. Do Listen to and Consider Viewpoints.
Sometimes new recruits fail because there’s been a small but significant oversight. A case in hand is the new recruit who resigns after one week. Technically capable and a good cultural fit, the early departure is a real surprise. It comes down to what had been seen as her strength: strong attention to detail. However, her preference to complete tasks sequentially meant it was impossible for her to keep progressing on multiple projects – and this had been overlooked at interview. Plus, the distractions and interruptions of an open plan office were more than she could handle.
Watch, listen and talk to your existing employees before you recruit. Their viewpoints and working habits will give you clues as to what you’re really looking for. Tailor your interview questions around these ideas.
3. Do use the Right Language.
When you write your job ad, direct it to the applicants you are trying to attract who are best for the role. Do you want mature and confidant or fresh and innovative? Career minded, friendly and professional, with a passion for numbers? Or perhaps someone with experience of running a small or medium sized business in the past. Get the mix right and use language to suit.
Fiona Stocker, writer and editor in the small business space, says, “write a creative, pithy, eye catching ad and you’ll get candidates to match. Write a humdrum ad and you’ll get the rest.”
4. Do Hire on Merit.
Not technical ability. It’s a classic mistake. Anything technical can be learned – software skills, the nature of your widget manufacturing. What you’re looking for is not a background in widgets. It’s the attributes which are a great fit with your team and bring something new to the table. A great team player, a lateral thinker and if it’s an executive, someone who genuinely gets on with everyone, from the shop floor to the Boardroom.
5. Do be Authentic.
Be your natural self. The standout skill in recruiting is your own ability to create a comfortable environment. It gives the candidate every opportunity to be themselves and talk candidly. Whether this be an initial telephone interview or a meet and greet, prepare yourself for a conversation – not a briefing. If prescribed questions are your thing, write them down and use them. But do so in a relaxed fashion and be comfortable with moments of silence. These prompt gold nugget moments – when the candidate fills the space by talking unscripted.
6. Do Look for Help.
Recruitment is not your core business and although outsourcing can be an attractive option, the agency fees can be daunting. So do your thinking and research first, to get true value from your advertising budget. There are many e-books full of tips and templates for in-house recruiting and best practice principles. Government agencies have on-line resources specifically for small businesses. In Australia, the Fair Work Ombudsman provides many useful templates and guides for the lawful employment of staff.
Don’t forget, great candidates are attracted to the companies who appear most professional.
Great companies recruit based on the candidates they’d like to spend time and generate ideas with. Hire the person who speaks from their heart, to yours!
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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