Recruiting & Selecting your High-Performance Team

Building a strong team for your business is one of the most important aspects of growing a great business.  It is through a strong team that you’ll be able to deliver a product or service that meets the needs of your customer.  Building this strong team can be a time-consuming and expensive task.  In this blog, we look at some of the key-areas in recruiting and selecting staff.  Please, note that this is not considered a step-by-step guide. All aspects of employment law also need complying with, which is not addressed in this blog. 

The most common methods of recruiting include doing formal recruiting in-house, using a recruitment agency or informal recruitment methods.  We will be looking at each of these methods in this blog. 

Formal Recruiting In-House

  1. Start with a job description for the position with clear and measurable outcomes for each task.
  2. From the job description you’ll need to draw up a Person Specification. This describes the attributes, skills, experience and knowledge required of the type of person you want to advertise for.
  3. Using the Person Specification, you’ll draft an advert asking for emailed CVs.  In drafting your advert you need to make sure that you do not transgress discrimination laws.  Things like a person’s age and gender cannot be in the advert.  You want to attract the attention of the correct person so you need an exciting, but an accurate job description.  To do this you can outline future career opportunities and the remuneration offered. 
  4. When screening CV’s, or interviewing candidates, it is best to try to complete the process in one or two days. This makes it easier to compare.
  5. Check all CV’s for the basic requirements listed in our advert like drivers licence, own reliable car with exclusive use, 3 years relevant experience in the specified trade, computer literacy etc.  Then send polite ‘reject’ e-mails to all those candidates who do not meet the advert requirements.
  6. Prepare a list of screening questions for telephone screening.  This is when you can discuss the three year’s experience mentioned in the advert to ensure that they meet your standards.  Ask about the car model, age, mileage, insurance and exclusive use.  It’s also recommended to request examples of work done with Word, Excel, PowerPoint & Access to test skill level. Throughout the screening conversation be sure to check fluency and suitability for your team/company.  Then send polite ‘reject’ e-mails again to all those candidates who do not meet the advert requirements.
  7. Short list for ‘face to face’ interviews.  Prepare an interview guide with open ended questions to test relevant experience, technical skills, knowledge and behavioural skills.   Base the questions on actual situations that the candidate has experienced.  Do not ask ‘what they would do’ but rather ask for examples of what they have done. Ensure each category of questions can be scored to facilitate weighing up candidates fairly.
  8. References should be checked thoroughly with previous employers.  Do not use the current employer as a reference, unless you have explicit written permission from the candidate to do so.
  9. The successful candidate will then get the offer letter and a contract to sign.

Recruitment Agency

  1. Provide the recruiting agent with the Job Description and the Person Specification to ensure that the most relevant candidates are placed on the short list.
  2. Despite the recruiting company doing all the screening, it’s recommended that you do a comprehensive ‘face to face’ interview with all suitable candidates.
  3. This avenue saves you time which often is more valuable than the recruiting fee of 15% to 20% of the candidate’s gross annual remuneration.  

Informal Recruitment Methods

  1. Informal means of recruiting involves ‘word of mouth’ through existing employees and/or social media advertising.  No matter how the candidates are referred to you however, it is recommended that you follow the same formal in-house recruiting process as above. 

Careful and intensive recruiting & selecting is vitally important in developing a strong team. It reduces the ‘hit and miss’ appointing poor calibre candidates and then being saddled with the difficulty and risk of dismissing them (Penalties: CCMA in South Africa, Employment Tribunal in Britain).  Candidate sourcing has become less of a challenge over the years as we’re living in a hyper-connected world with multiple job portals.  This makes the process of screening and selecting more difficult.  You also only get 1 to 2 hours to get to know the candidate during the interview.  It’s therefore crucial for you to invest time and careful preparation for the screening and interviews.  Remember is it easier to hire than it is to fire.

Contact Len Blazey Consulting Ltd if you need some help in hiring your next key employee.