Small Business Saturday Blog

Quick guide to Recruitment

Wednesday, August 19 at 09:24How To | Recruitment | Toolkit


Recruitment Tips for Small Businesses


It goes without saying - finding the right person for your small business is pivotal for success! To help you along the way, FreshMinds have outlined some top recruitment tips…




Stage One - Gaining Interest


Job Adverts: where to advertise?


Local or national newspapers
Industry specific job websites 
LinkedIn 
Universities/Schools - get in touch with the careers service department 
Twitter – post a link to your advert 

Structure

Role title and short summary (approximately 25 words)
Company information 
Responsibilities – day to day tasks and/or specific projects 
Candidate requirements – academics, specific skills and industry experience 
Details – location, salary, start date and benefits* 

*List these details to keep them brief/factual



Pay extra attention to the role title and first line. For example: "Boutique, family run hotel requires a top manager with a ‘can do’ mentality to help run, plan, promote and organise all hotel services".

The basic format to follow is: (enter: description of the company) “requires a” (enter: role title) “to help/lead/manage” (enter: two responsibilities of the role). Don't start with “we/I am looking for…”


Outline the unique selling points such as flexibility, company culture and training and use specific words/terms to ensure your role appears in the relevant candidate searches. Ensure that the tone and language is aligned to your company’s message.


Databases

We recommend using…

Reed
LinkedIn
Specific industry databases (technology, marketing, sales, finance, start-up)

Most databases use Boolean search logic to allow you to find keywords or phrases on a profile or CV. Here are some of the basic principles of a Boolean search:


Search for more than one word by entering the phrase into quotation marks, for example “customer service”. Search for more than two words by using AND (must be in capitals), for example ‘’French AND Spanish’’


Find a profile which includes one or more terms by using OR (must be in capitals), for example: “hotel manager OR restaurant manager". Exclude a term by stating NOT before the phrase/word, for example ‘’marketing NOT direct marketing”.

It’s important to remember that the majority of databases charge either a one off or fixed annual fee.


Events/ Networking


Attend free or paid networking events to meet prospective candidates or attend career events or open days at schools/colleges and universities. Select schools and universities based on their Location and relevant degrees/subjects (look at Times University Guide for rankings on specific University subjects).



Stage Two – Assessment


CV Screen


Select three main points you require from CVs to quickly assess applications, for example: 2.1 degree, retail experience, and programming. Check for grammar and ensure the application process has been followed in the correct format. CVs shouldn’t be any longer than 2 pages. Only select a handful of candidates to progress to the next stage (generally 4 for 1 position is a good ratio).

Once selected call the candidates to ensure they are still available and outline next steps. This should include: assessment processes, timescales and salary expectations.


Face-to-Face or Telephone Interviews


We think that it’s really important to meet everyone face-to-face but a telephone interview can be useful for the first round.


Interview Structure


Welcome the candidate and explain the format of the interview. Ask how much they know about the position then give them an explanation about the company/role. This is a good indication of how much research they have done beforehand.


Get them to talk through their career to date and give rationale behind their decisions. For example: why did they choose that course/degree or why did they leave that position at that point? When talking through their experience within a role ask them to break it down into either day to day or project by project responsibilities.


Competency based questions (these must be the same for all candidates to ensure you can benchmark). Select 4-5 main competencies and create a question template. Competencies include: collaboration, problem solving, team work, leadership, drive, resilience, attention to detail, innovation - the list is endless! Questions can either be based on case studies (you may want to consider real life scenarios which have happened at the company) or experiences. For example:


Drive (experience) – ‘Describe an example of when you have been incredibly driven to succeed?’

Problem solving (case study) - ‘imagine you were on the shop floor and X happened, how would you react?’

Good answers should be structured and clear. The CAR technique can be useful for analysing this:

Context
Action – responsibility (did they lead or assist)
Result - what was the measurable output? (specific figures, customer feedback, company feedback)

Ask questions about their motivations and current situation e.g. are they interviewing elsewhere? When are they able to start? What salary are they looking for? – ensure you have a figure in mind and justifications for this.


Then ask them if they have any questions about the role. When are they able to start? Outline your timescales and when they should expect to hear from you.

Cultural fit is very important so it’s a good idea for the candidate to meet your team members.

Trial Day

You may want to consider a trial day/afternoon to give you a good indication of their performance.



Stage Three - Offer


Give the candidate some time after the interview before offering to ensure they have considered the opportunity. Once the candidate has accepted make sure that you send contracts as soon as possible.

Recruitment Companies

The recruiting process can be long and very time consuming. Recruitment companies can help you by managing this entire process and providing you with a selection of shortlisted candidates to interview. You may want to consider this option if you feel it’s a worthy investment.

You can also hire people on an interim basis through recruitment companies and they can be paid through an agency so it is a very quick process – you could have someone start tomorrow! This is a good option to consider around busy seasons.

Research different recruitment companies and select one which is specialised to your sector – ask them to outline case studies and state their ratios of filling positions.




With thanks to FreshMinds









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