Ask an architect how to construct a building which won’t crumble and fall, and they’ll tell you the key is in the foundations. The same theory applies in a small business, but in this case, you’re the architect and your foundation is created from your employees, writes Mikki Silverman, CEO of DiffuzeHR.
Recruiting good staff is arguably one of the most important aspects of running a small business. Without good staff, your business will lack the pillars to form a strong team and cohesive workplace culture, and inevitably, everything will come tumbling down.
However, before you jump straight into hiring the next person who walks through the door, you need to prepare to ensure the process goes smoothly and you’re hiring the best candidate for the role.
Here are three things to do to streamline your recruitment process.
1. Create clear position descriptions and selection criteria
The first step starts before you even reach out to potential employees. You need to have a comprehensive idea of who you’re after, and this can be done by creating position descriptions and selection criteria.
The description and criteria should be specifically tailored to the kind of employee you want. Make sure you have a chat with your existing team so you’re all on the same page about what you’re looking for.
Creating comprehensive descriptions will let you have a clear idea of who you are after and make it easier to help new employees integrate into the company.
2. Streamline and standardise the interview process
Once you’ve reached out and posted the job ad, you need to think carefully about the job interview process. The interview is where you can truly scope out whether a potential candidate is the right fit for the business or not, as well as get a real indication of their skills. Having that process ready and streamlined saves you time and money.
It’s important to have a mixture of competency-based questions built around situations the new employee may experience in the job, as well as questions which touch on the existing behaviour and personality of the potential employee.
This can be done by having questions which are:
- Fact-based: e.g. “Why would you like this opportunity?”
- Hypothetical: e.g. “What would you do if …?”
- Behavioural: e.g. “Tell me about a time when …”
It can also be a good idea to create a practical task to test their skills if the job role requires it.
Have a process of rating the interviewee as well – a standardised rating and scoring system that indicates whether or not the candidate met each criterion.
Make sure you give the candidate plenty of opportunity to ask you questions during the interview, too, and be honest with answers – transparency from the start builds trust and a longstanding relationship.
3. Have an onboarding process ready
Congratulations, you have a new hire! But that’s not the end of it. What happens during your new employee’s first few weeks on the job impacts how quickly they acclimatise and reach their highest level of productivity.
To keep your new hire in the company, you need to make sure their introduction into the company leaves them with a good impression, or they’ll show themselves out the door.
Introducing them to and giving them access to your HR team before employment starts allows them to officially sign off on documents regarding their new role, action items, and view company policies. This means by the time they actually set foot in your building, the employee already feels like part of the team, plus they’re ready to start doing what you hired them for from the get-go.
If you have these three aspects ready and prepared, your recruitment process will go a lot smoother.
Remember, with a good recruitment process which is straightforward, systematised and covers all your bases, you’re more likely to find great employees – which ensures the building blocks of your business are stacked towards success.
This post originally appeared in 2016 and has been updated for 2022.
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