Being able to recruit is an exciting time for your business. You’re expanding operations, on course for growth and achieving what you set out to do. However, there’s no doubt that is also highly stressful, particularly if you aren’t experienced at hiring new talent.

The stakes are high – getting it wrong can be a major setback, especially with the cost of the recruitment process. The last thing you want is to employ someone who isn’t the right fit, or worse, will damage your company and it’s reputation in some way. Some small business get stuck in an endless cycle of recruitment mistakes and re-hiring. So, how do you sidestep all that and get recruitment right first time?

Be Crystal Clear On Your Requirements

You know what you want in a new hire. Or do you? In the heady days of rapid expansion, many small businesses managed to completely lose sight of what it is that they are actually looking for. Strong planning is needed in order to avoid a costly mis-step at this stage. Instead of a hazy idea or relying on a new hire to define their own role, you need to be watertight in your understanding of both the requirements of the role and of what sort of person will fit in with your company vision and values. When your new hire starts, they will also have a clear purpose and some goals to achieve – this helps them to feel settled and less likely to decide the job isn’t for them after all, and ensures that they are really contributing from day one.

Get The Right Support

Don’t be afraid to tap in some external expertise when it comes to pulling together your candidate list. Even if it involves some outlay, a little focus at the outset could save you money in the long run. Sometimes this could take the form of outsourcing your entire recruitment process to a specialist – this is especially useful if you aren’t experienced in recruitment or you have a lot of roles to hire for at once. Establishing good relationships with a trusted professional at an early stage can pay dividends further down the line. In other situations, you may not need that much support, but it can be helpful to use tools such as a continuous background check to ensure that your new workforce stays on track.

Review Applications Carefully

Every candidate that you invite to an interview should be able to do the job on paper. If you are lucky enough to have a whole pile of applications to sift through, go to those who are tailored to your requirements and have quickly and clearly highlighted their experience and how it meets the role specification. If you have to dig too deeply at the first reading, it’s a bad sign. The more applications you read, the savvier you will get at quickly weeding out the bad ones.

Ace Your Interview Technique

There are lots of possible interview styles out there, from more of an informal chat to using the STAR interview technique, posing abstract problems, setting practical tasks, asking candidates to do a presentation or even psychometric testing. Select which framework best suits your needs and make the most of face-to-face time – there’s no better way to judge who is going to fit with your company.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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