If you want to find the right employees for your business then you can upload a job advert, breeze through some interviews, and tell them to be on time for their first day, but that’s not necessarily the best method.
Instead, it pays to take some extra time and pay as much attention as possible to your recruitment process. After all, if you get the procedures right from start to end then you’re more likely to attract the best people to your business – and that’s a win for everyone involved.
If you want to hire the right employee for your open position, then it’s got to start way before you publish your job advert and it’s got to end after you’ve extended the job offer. There are many stages to the process and plenty of complicated topics to think about, though, so we can understand if it’s a little daunting.
That’s why we’ve picked out ten top tips that can improve your recruitment process, from job descriptions to onboarding and everything in between.
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Know what you need
You’ll have an easier journey through the recruitment process if you define the new position before writing job descriptions and searching for candidates.
It’s vital to make a list of the tasks and responsibilities that will be needed in the new position, and at the same time you should define who the new employee will be working with and reporting to in the new role. Get those people’s input here, too – they’ll have a great idea of what will really be required in the new job, and they can help you make your list and eventual job description more realistic.
Once you’ve defined the new job’s duties, you can make a list of the skills and abilities that you need from your candidate – and it’s worth specifying what are essential and which are just a welcome bonus. Note down the time commitments, too.
List the benefits you can offer and the salary range available for this role, too, and make sure that you’ve beaten the competition in both of those departments.
It’s always useful to define what you need, and what you can offer, but be aware that you may have to compromise on many of these aspects if you want to land the right candidate – flexibility is important.
Write a top-notch job description
Once you’ve defined the role and what you can bring for the table, you’ll be in a far stronger position when you need to write the job description.
Your job description must be detailed and accurate – and if you’ve listed the duties and responsibilities of the role, you’ll be able to tick those boxes easily. Make sure you include how you’ll measure success, and give plenty of information about your company culture, the job’s salary, and benefits.
The job description needs to have a good balance of information: you’ve got to give people enough information but make sure it’s still tempting to potential candidates who don’t meet all your requirements.
Consider the language you use, too. Your job posting must be compelling and attractive, so it’s worth using active, straightforward, and friendly language that avoids buzzwords and meaningless jargon.
Post in the right places
If you want to attract the best candidates, then you’ve got to post your job advert in the best places. That doesn’t just mean the big, traditional job sites.
Obviously, you do need to post your vacancy on sites like Indeed, Monster and LinkedIn. Sites like that do form the backbone of the employment market, so you need to use them, but they’re not the only avenue.
You should post to niche job boards and websites that are specific to your industry – you’ll be able to find switched-on candidates. List the job on your company’s careers page, too, and share your job vacancy across your firm’s social media profiles.
Ultimately, you want to cast your net as widely as possible if you want the best chance of finding good employees – and that means using different methods rather than the same old sites.
Rely on existing staff
Your current staff are a brilliant resource when it comes to finding the right employee for your vacancy.
If you have a referral program, then your staff can point you towards likely candidates so you can make contact and see if they’d be interested. It’s important to make sure your staff are rewarded for this, too, so they’re incentivized to go the extra mile and recommend potential applicants.
Also list open vacancies on your company’s intranet. The right employee for the new job might be just under your nose and you may not even realize it.
Be thorough with resumes
Once you’ve listed your vacancy then you’re bound to get loads of applications and resumes. If you take time to examine those documents at this stage of the process, then you’ll get a better shortlist of candidates and save time later.
It’s a given that you need to explore a candidate’s past experience in order to see if they’re suitable for the job, but that’s not all you need to evaluate.
If you give resumes a closer read then you can find out more about a candidate’s hard and soft skills, their personality and their strengths and weakness. That means you’ll be in a better position too judge which candidates you should invite for an interview.
Get several references
This is a simple tip: don’t just get one reference for applicants. If you can get two or three references then you’ll be able to get different perspectives on the candidate, which means you can develop a more rounded and balanced picture about their strengths and weaknesses.
Crucially, if you get several references then you’ve also got a better chance of verifying the truth of what they’ve put on their resume.
Do your online research
It’s not just about references. Virtually every applicant for an open position will have a LinkedIn profile that you can use to authenticate the work history, education, and skills that they’ve included on their resume.
Don’t stop there. See if they’ve got public Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram profiles, because a person’s social media can reveal plenty about their personality and values. When you want to hire people who will fit with your company culture and your current employees, that’s critical.
Perfect your interviews
The interview is one of the most important aspects of the recruitment process, so it pays to pay plenty of attention here.
Make sure you ask questions about a candidate’s experience and skills, and you’ve got to test them on their knowledge of your company. Remember that open-ended and hypothetical questions are useful because you can analyze answers, glean insights on people’s personalities and evaluate many of their soft skills.
You can ask creative and unexpected questions to get similar results, and ultimately you’ll get a better insight into a person’s adaptability, curiosity and willingness to work, learn, and develop.
Ask all of your interviewees the same questions so you can compare their answers, and pay attention to the questions that they ask you, too.
Consider giving interviewees a tour of your workplace so you can see how they behave around people and away from the interview room, and get second and third opinions on the candidates when the interview is over – more input is always useful.
Make the best offer
When you’ve been through all of these stages then you should be ready to make an offer to the best candidate.
You need to ensure that your offer letter is professional, clear, and concise – you want this part of the process to be straightforward. Make it friendly and personable, too, so candidates know that you’re excited for them to join the business.
Making a job offer may not be that simple, though. There’s no guarantee that the candidate will accept, or that they’ll be happy with the compensation and benefits you’ve offered. Be prepared for some negotiation and accept that you’ll have to be flexible if you want to hire the right employee.
Keep improving your process
The recruitment process is not static, and it’s never perfect – and the best recruitment and HR staff recognize those facts.
You should set time aside to analyze your recruitment process after every new hire so you can see what went well and what needs improvement. Ask everyone who’s been involved in the process for their feedback so you can gather a wider range of opinions.
It’s worth performing some competitive analysis to make sure that your salary and benefits packages are still impressive when compared to your rivals, and ensure that you’ve got a slick onboarding process so that new hires always feel welcome.
The recruitment process is undoubtedly complicated and time-consuming, but there are plenty of smart ways to ensure that you hire the right employees for your business. Start here, consider these tips, and you’ll never look back.
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Mike has worked as a technology journalist for more than a decade and has written for most of the UK’s big technology titles alongside numerous global outlets. He loves PCs, laptops and any new hardware, and covers everything from the latest business trends to high-end gaming gear.