Having no luck with employees? It could be time to stop blaming your staff members and start reconsidering your hiring process.
By putting more time and energy into recruitment, you can increase your chances of finding better suited applicants. Here are just a few ways to improve your hiring process.
Know the attributes that you’re after
Your ideal employee needs to possess certain attributes – make sure that you know what these are before jumping into the recruitment process. If you only have a vague idea as to what you’re looking for, you’ll find it harder to make a calculated decision when hiring.
List out specific characteristics that you’re looking for and rate them in importance. Whilst an education and experience may be important, try to focus on specific skills that you can ask applicants to demonstrate.
These could be soft skills such as leadership, creativity and ability to meet deadlines, or they could be hard skills such as ability to use WordPress, a forklift license or fluency in another language.
Give yourself enough time
Make sure that you free up enough time to advertise, read applications and conduct interviews. If you don’t have much time to focus on recruitment you’ll rush it and inevitably choose the wrong applicant. You may already be short-staffed, but you can’t less this added workload take priority over the recruitment process.
Create an attractive job ad
A successful job ad should encourage lots of applications. This gives you more choice when looking at who to hire. Try to emphasise the positive aspects of your job rather than focusing wholly on the negative aspects.
Whilst you may want someone who is up for the challenge, you don’t want to scare off the right applicants by making your job sound too demanding with no benefits.
Quite often the best applicants don’t struggle to get a job and are able to be choosier – they’re not going to apply to your job vacancy if other vacancies sound more fun and rewarding.
Don’t just advertise on job boards
Online job boards such as Monster and Indeed may help you to get the most applications, but to get the best spread of applicants it’s worth advertising in other places too.
Social media is a great place to advertise vacancies – consider posting in local community groups or promoting a post detailing your job ad.
You may also want to try advertising offline such as targeting local newspapers, putting up posters in strategic places and perhaps even attending job fairs (although this latter approach can be costlier and more suited to big companies).
Ask the right interview questions
Don’t just ask the generic questions such as ‘where do you see yourself in 5 years time’ – most people will tell you what you want to hear.
Instead, try to be creative and focus on cultural fit questions that aim to delve into your applicant’s personal skills. Think up a few questions in advance and write them down if you have to. Make the interview as long as it needs to be so that you can get a good idea of the applicant’s true self.
Make applicants take tests
Tests have also become a common part of the hiring process when applying to many jobs. This could be a test of knowledge or it could be a personality test.
You could create these tests online and insert a link in your job ad or you could wait until the interview to conduct the test (in the case of testing applicant’s knowledge, this could help to identify the cheaters).
Hire a HR professional to help you
It could be worth hiring a professional that works in recruitment to help you with the hiring process. They may be able to sit in on the interview or help go through applications with you and often their expert advice.
It’s possible to hire professionals to handle the entire recruitment stage – many companies hire recruitment agencies and freelance headhunters to find applicants for them.
Taking yourself out of the recruitment process entirely may not be a good decision and it’s still worth having the final say. After all many recruitment agencies are only interested in meeting quotas and targets, they may not always truly care about finding the best applicant.
Introduce a probationary period
Once you’ve decided who to hire, consider introducing a probationary period. This could be anything from a week to a few months in which you observe their behaviour and assess it to determine whether they should stay at the company.
Such probationary periods are useful if you hire the wrong person as they don’t have to then be locked into a contract unless they’ve proven themselves enough to pass the probationary period.
After all, some people may bluff their way through the hiring process – you may only get a good idea of their true colors once they’re hired and having to handle the responsibilities of the job.
Invest time in training
Too many employers think they can hire the perfect applicant and thrust them into a role with no training. Even if the new recruit has had experience in the role before, they could still benefit from some training when it comes to the specific running of your business – every company has their own way of doing things.
If you don’t feel that you have the time to carry out this training, consider asking a senior employee who you trust to take on the role (make sure that they’re not rushed off their feet either).
Some companies have also started bringing in e-learning as a form of training – this allow new recruits to train online by reading guides, watching videos and taking tests.