How to improve your hiring process

A year ago, if you had asked me for my thoughts on recruitment, I would have told you it was definitely an employee’s market. However, in just a few short months, our employment situation has changed dramatically.

The full implications are not yet visible as some retailers have been taking on extra staff to cope with high demand, new jobs were created to support Government departments, and initiatives like the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has delayed many redundancies.

What to expect if you’re recruiting in the current climate

It’s likely to mean you see much larger numbers of applicants for each vacancy. Overall, the quality of applicants is dropping as people out of work are considering and applying for anything. We’re also seeing highly experienced applicants applying for lower salary positions. On the face of it, this may be a good thing for employers. However, this could mean the employee may want a higher salary to match their experience or they have an increased chance of leaving if they get offered something more suitable.

As an employer, your recruitment and selection processes have to be more robust than ever before to ensure you are hiring the best possible person for your needs.

Here are my top tips:

  1. Don’t replace like for like, work out what your business really needs now and for the next two-three years
  2. Write a comprehensive job description which includes key deliverables, experience required and personality traits.
  3. Write your job advert as if you are writing marketing copy. Ensure you have the appropriate keywords and avoid internal jargon. Use job titles people will actually search for, even if they are not the job titles used internally.
  4. If you have company values, these should always form the basis of your recruitment decisions – there may be lots of people who can do the job. But, can they do it the way you want it done and work with you and your team successfully?
  5. Never interview on your own, always bring in another employee, or a trusted advisor.
  6. Write your questions in advance to test for certain skills and experiences. Carry out a behavioural interview looking for examples of past behaviour, not hypothetical situations.
  7. Never hire off the back of a single interview, you need to have at least four contact points with your preferred applicant. Examples include the application itself, some kind of skills test, perhaps psychometric profiling if you know what the right profile is and have a trained professional to assist you,  and a couple of interviews (one could be a phone screening). If you are able to, an assessment centre is really powerful and it can be really useful for lower-level roles.
  8. Don’t hire someone who is ‘just like you’ – you will clash and they won’t fill in your short-comings
  9. Take up references

If you’d like to chat about your recruitment process, please get in touch.

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