“True leadership isn’t about having an idea. It’s about having an idea and recruiting other people to execute on this vision.” – Leila Janah
Making the right decisions when you look to take on employees is critical. By recruiting staff and getting it right, they will hopefully remain loyal and be a key part of your business success . They will bring experience, commitment, knowledge and drive but if you get it wrong the consequences can be disastrous and costly.
The first step is to put together a job description and a profile. this should include the personal skills, knowledge and experience you are looking for (if training – attributes and aptitude might be more relevant).
Be sure to consider the key details – salary, responsibilities, expectations, hours of work, location and on what basis (i.e. full time, part time etc). Review the role and its requirements to see if the person needs any specific skills, experience or qualifications. All this will be relevant when you then advertise the position and when you interview applicants.
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It has to be made clear at this point (and a common theme throughout this section) that, when recruiting staff, on no grounds can you discriminate throughout the recruitment process or during employment. Discrimination on the grounds of age, gender, race, nationality, religion, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, parental responsibilities, political or philosophical views or beliefs and trade union membership is illegal. All potential employees and existing employees have to be dealt with equally in accordance with their legal rights.
You cannot show pay disparity for employees who do the same job. Tribunals will backdate claims on this basis should it arise in the future. Tribunals also have no limits on compensation awarded where discrimination has been claimed against the employer and subsequently proven. It is also worth pointing out that as the owner of a business you are legally responsible for any acts of discrimination carried out by your employees. As such you are well minded to have a zero tolerance to anything of this nature with the company.
Advertising the role
Once you have profiled your job requirements, you should then be in a position to advertise the role and start recruiting staff.
In a similar vein to above, job adverts must not imply any discrimination against one type of person over another. It should be specifically about the role and the contribution you expect in relation to the business.
You should be clear about how to apply, where to apply to (contact details) and if there is a closing date for applications. After that it would be usual to indicate a salary range, job specification and the experience and skills that would be desirable (inc any relevant qualifications). You should also be explicitly clear about how to apply … by post with CV or you may choose to have a downloadable application form for an emailed application, for example.
In all aspects of the role being advertised, try to keep it as clear and concise as possible but without ambiguity.
There are a number of ways you can consider advertising. Traditional methods are via the press or publications … or online via websites such as Monster for example. Both can be highly effective and relatively inexpensive. If you’re digitally friendly, you could also consider utilising Linked In to directly target prospective candidates! You might even have a vacancies section on your own website you can post it on. It can be more advantageous to advertise in sector specific trade publications or websites where specific skills are sought.
Similar to your customers – advertise where you think you will get maximum impact and reach your desired audience. It’s also worth remembering the government backed Universal Jobmatch which is free and prospective candidates can upload their job vacancies quite easily.
When recruiting staff, a more expensive route could be the utilisation of recruitment agencies. Many specialise in specific business sectors and will have people on their books that fit your requirements if you have defined needs for the role. They will often vet and select suitable candidates on your behalf to save you time and effort. It can be expensive … their fee will often be based on a percentage of the new employee’s salary. When negotiating with recruitment agencies, ensure you understand all the terms of the relationship.
Once you have decided who you would like to interview make sure you are well prepared – it can be arduous.
Schedule your interviews to have a defined interview process. You should have questions already prepared and include time to show candidates around (you may want to do this at a second interview if you plan to whittle the candidates down first). You need to extract as much information as possible from your prospective employee so the questions you ask have to be relevant and well thought through. Be friendly but remain professional at all times and try to relax the candidate by introducing yourself and the business.
Focus on the job you are offering and how well the candidate fits the profile … avoid any personal questions. Make sure you make notes (legally a candidate can ask to see any notes if they aren’t offered a job so ensure they are factual and unambiguous) so that you can refer back and allow you to make the best informed decision. Finish by thanking them and letting them know how they will be informed.
Awarding the role
When you have made your choice, let them know accordingly and don’t forget to inform all candidates of the outcome. You might also wish to keep details of some of the unsuccessful applicants for the future when further job opportunities may arise.
It’s not always about employing more people, but surrounding yourself with the right people. Having a great team will improve your chances of success. If you are thinking of employing then seek professional advice and be careful to follow the rules!