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Recruit Right: Getting the best people to join your team

Many small to medium sized businesses are not in a position to take risks with employees who may turn out to be underperformers or a poor cultural fit. In this article, I provide you with five useful ideas to keep in mind next time you are recruiting to fill a vacancy in your team.

Be Known as a Great Employer

Don't just be a great employer, let people know about it. Consider what practices you utilise to retain existing employees, as well to motivate, reward and recognise them. In addition, you may have a policy around work-life balance and ongoing staff development. By becoming an employer of choice, your staff will be telling everyone they know that your business is a great place to work. People will believe employees before they believe any else, which leads to the second point below.

Make the most of your current employees

Good talent knows good talent. You have three opportunities to involve your existing employees in your recruitment process: • Your employees can recommend excellent candidates to your firm; • They can assist you to review resumes and qualifications of potential candidates; • They can help you interview people to assess their potential "fit" within your company. Businesses that fail to use employees to assess potential employees are under utilising one of their most important assets. Staff who participate in the selection process are committed to helping the new employee succeed.

Recruit attitude, teach skills

There is no question that certain roles demand technical know how, and if this is a fundamental requirement, then you must recruit with these criteria in mind. However, in a lot of cases, businesses, often put too much emphasis on finding employees with "relevant experience." It is not unusual that your top performers will end up being smart, resourceful, and innovative--three elements that have nothing to do with prior experience. I have often seen that people that are brought into a business that have non-related backgrounds can be brimming with great ideas, and not held back by pre-conceived notions. They may be able to move from position to position, and make a real impact with their attitude and enthusiasm. Further, these are the ones more easily molded into "your way".

Keep your standards high, even when the pressure is on

If your business is growing, congratulations. However, this growth can create its own set of problems, the biggest of which is staffing a company experiencing fast growth. This can be a pitfall. Don't let the pressure of the moment outweigh the need for long-term stability. Follow your recruitment process, or use your growth to act as a magnet to attract good talent, but don't let the need for speed influence your decision on a hire. One bad apple in the environment will rot the whole team.

Share a drink with me

Employees have to be comfortable having a conversation with one another - and that includes the owner. I have always seen it as a great idea that the new hire is introduced to the existing team. Once the rest of the team has a positive reaction to a candidate, I believe the owner should sit down with the candidate over a beer or coffee to gauge whether there is a fit for the overall business culture. If they fail the drink test in a casual setting, you may hesitate to bring them onboard.


  • Recruitment

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