In small businesses, you often don’t have the luxury of an internal HR team. Hiring and firing is often the responsibility of a business owner, manager or supervising staff. It can be a daunting task and regardless of how amazing your skills are, you probably don’t know where to begin when it comes to finding the right people for your business, or team.
Here a few tips to take on board for your first hire.
So, you have advertised and had a good response. Now it is the task to work through the list of applicants and find the best amongst them.
You usually don’t have a lot of time in a first interview to learn everything you need to know, so you have to make it count!
As you are short-listing and engaging with Candidates, you will need to find a good balance between selling the position to the candidate while getting to know the candidate.
Here are a few tips:
Ask for help early in the process
The more information you get before interviews begin, the smoother the process will go. Don’t be afraid to ask questions from others who are more experienced, no matter how basic the questions may seem.
Understand the scope of the role. This is super important. A great Position Description gives you the clarity you need to short-list candidates based on the essential elements of the role.
Understand what you want to achieve by hiring this person and this will give you a clearer idea of what you’re looking for in candidates.
Local recruiters will often give you consultation, support and guidance along the way, especially if they are part of your local network.
Don’t wait till the interview to evaluate candidates
Your time is valuable, and interviews will take up a lot of your time. Keep in mind that you will need to interview candidates on top of your day-to-day tasks, so you need to ensure you only meet with the most promising ones.
During the pre-interview phase, you will review all applications and evaluate and short list according to who meets the essential elements of the role.
Find out whether candidates meet those minimum requirements before you invite them to an interview at your office by including questions during a quick phone interview.
An in-person interview is your chance to learn more about a candidate, talk about their skills and ambitions, and determine if they’re a good culture fit for your team.
Identify your dealbreakers. Those could be expected salary, lack of knowledge of a required skill or qualification and availability.
There are other time-saving options for you, for example, schedule a video interview.
Make the most out of your interviews – Prepare Well!
When preparing your interview questions, make sure that each question gives you insights about the candidate that you don’t already have.
Interview questions should get you closer to the hiring decision. If the question doesn’t add any value, don’t ask it. Make it your goal that at the end of the interview you will have a clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’. A clear ‘yes’ means that you would hire this person.
By doing so, you have created the final pick of the short-list.
It’s important to be prepared even before the hiring process begins (e.g. have your questions ready so that you ask all candidates the same things). You need to be organized ahead of time to ensure a low-stress, seamless hiring process because you will undoubtedly devote large chunks of your busy days to interviewing candidates.
Schedule interviews so they don’t interrupt your flow of the day.
Leave time for feedback right after interviews. Takes notes during the interview, but many of our clients find that it is easy to debrief and write an evaluation, when their impressions are still fresh, directly after each interview. When you have multiple interviews in one day, it’s easy to get confused about which candidate said what. That’s why documenting your feedback right after the interview is essential to prevent a mix-up.
Be prepared to answer candidates’ questions, too
It’s important to realise that Candidates are also interested in learning more about the job and the company, other than what they can already find online.
For example, they might want to learn about the culture of the company, what their position advancement options might be, what skills they will develop and what company perks might be offered.
Of course, your alternative option is to outsource the hiring process to Recruit company. As a local recruiter, we often offer consultation to our clients or other local businesses who may need assistance with understanding the process of recruitment.
Talk to your recruiter about how long the process will (ideally) take, what steps will be involved, and what your role will be throughout the process. You can also ask for tips on how to write your job description, how to screen resumes faster and how to communicate with candidates.
Or, you can hand over the whole process to a Recruiter who can advertise, shortlist and interview for you. You can be as involved as you wish, depending on your workload.