With recruiting agencies reporting higher than ever numbers of people looking for work and submitting cv’s for positions – with figures as high as 200 or more applicants for certain roles – how do businesses ensure that they attract and recruit the best possible candidates? We’ve highlighted five of the top tips that will help SMEs with their search and selection with smarter hiring practices.
The Hiring Process
Large corporate businesses tend to have a large HR staff who are dedicated to creating job ads and for running the whole search and selection process. Chances are that most SMEs do not have such resources. This makes it even more important to put aside some time to look at the suitability of your hiring process, and practical issues such as who will be conducting interviews, writing the job description and taking enquiries, and making the final decision. Even matters such as where the interviews should be conducted are important as they can help to avoid last minute confusion (and ensure you don’t end up talking to candidates in the local café).
Get Your Requirements Right
Advertised a position but getting the wrong type of candidates or people who do not match the requirements? Your initial job requirements may be based on wrong assumptions or no match the needs of the business at all. Depending on whether you’re filling an empty position, in succession planning mode or creating an entirely new job, you will have to spend some time thinking carefully about what skills or experience you really need. Talk to as many stakeholders as possible (for example, management and direct reports) to help you organise your requirements into “necessities” and “nice to haves”.
The Job Description
Getting your requirements nailed down is one thing; communicating this properly to potential candidates is another. Remember to keep your requirements straight forward, and avoid using words that are confusing or could be open to interpretation. In general, a good job description will mention the following elements:
- Main responsibilities of the role
- Reporting lines
- Type of work, from permanent to part time, contract or even casual
- Mandatory qualifications and skills
- Nice to have skills, level of experience and personality or qualifications
- Salary and rewards (including general sales targets if required)
Screening With Pre-employment Testing
Pre employment tests, also called personality and aptitude testing, can help quickly and effectively screen potential candidates before they ever walk through your door. Today many SMEs employ basic online screening tests as part of their hiring process, and these can be as simple - for example, maths and literacy skills - or as complex as needed, with detailed IQ, personality, aptitude or highly technical tests also available. The Prevue Job Assessments is the one we use. Check it out here
Smart Interview Techniques
You’ve narrowed the candidate pool down to a shortlist of candidates you’d like to interview in person. Don’t take the interview process for granted – doing a little preparation before hand can save you time and effort later on. Before each interview read the candidate’s cv to ensure you have a good understanding of their skills and experience. When the interview begins, let the candidate know exactly what will happen and how much time you expect it to run for – people will relax and be more informative once they understand the process to come. Be as relaxed as you can as well, as this will put candidates at ease and they are more likely to show their true personality. Finally, don’t forget to take notes during the interview, as this will help when you come to review the candidate’s application once they have left and to rate them against others on the shortlist.