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Your success in business  is partial down to your own ability but more often than not it’s down to the quality of your team and how much they want to invest in the work and the outcome. The art of being a good leader isn’t just about attracting talent to your team, it’s also about nurturing people to give their best while they are with you, for as long as possible. Time after time research has shown that the social contract between employer and employee is fundamental to a company’s success and this starts even before they accept the job.

The ability of your company to succeed in the competitive market is substantially determined by the kind of workers you hire, and how you shape that recruitment sets the tone for your business and is the foundation for that social contract between you and your team.  Although it is essential to emphasis the technical skills you need it is also important that you hire competent workers who are able to match your organization’s mission, vision, and objectives.

Here are some tips on how to recruit the right people and set the tone for a successful future:.

Advertise Accordingly

Advertising roles these days is getting ever more complicated as there is an ever growing offer of agencies and job websites who can market roles to potential employees. Advertising online is pretty much mandatory today to ensure the broadest possible reach for candidates but it is also a way that you send out signals about the type of company you are and your culture. Choosing platforms that specialise in specific demographic groups or promote inclusive companies is a good way of signalling that you are an employer who values diversity, in contrast posting on the bare minimum of sites or only on your corporate sites suggests you aren’t really looking for new blood.

As important as choosing where you advertise is crafting your advert. When you advertise for the positions, ensure that the postings are as comprehensive as possible, describing in detail the job requirements and expectations is really important. Avoid jargon and complex phrases, you may well put off prospective talent by mistake.. You also want to outline the skill and experience needed for the opportunity and stress the competencies and qualities that are important to you. To often I see adverts that expect the applicant to be psychic and read between the lines. Using a job specification table of essential and desirable criteria can be really helpful and also makes it easy to create interviews and assessments that directly link back to the job competencies you need in a transparent and accountable way.. Ensure that interested parties can see what you are looking for in an employee but be mindful that the language you use will set the tone for their application and for their expectations of the company. Also think about what goes alongside the advert, are you including an organogram or key policies like parental leave or diversity and inclusion policies to demonstrate your corporate culture and approach?

Organize Well-structured Interviews

Out of the shortlisted applicants from the postings, you should create structured interviews where you can appropriately judge and compare the candidate’s suitability for the jobs.

Setting up the interview panel should be done well ahead of time. The panel should reflect the line management arrangements and often have an independent individual from another team who is an equivalent level can be helpful as well as an HR lead.

Once you have the panel set, establish the questions and who is going to ask which question. It is really important that you keep the questions consistent between candidates and the best way to do this is to link the questions back to the personal specification criteria.

There are lots of different interview questions but one of the ones that really helps identify talent is ‘how do you incorporate diversity and inclusion into your daily work practice?’. Even the most senior people I have interviewed have struggled with this question despite it being a common expectation of most modern businesses.

At the end of the interviews I suggest adding up your scores for each candidate separately and then as a panel discussing each candidate. It’s important to capture the feedback for every candidate so you can give feedback to them, giving good feedback to unsuccessful candidates is really important and can really boost your professional reputation. As a panel you should reach a consensus on the preferred candidate, however in most cases the direct line manager’s views do carry the most weight but it should be a consensus decision based on the scores in interview and the panel discussion afterwards.

Referees And Recommendations

Recommendations from an applicant’s previous employer would most certainly give you a preview of a particular candidate’s capacity to fulfill his or her job obligations once hired. A candidate should give you contact details for referees and I would expect them to include their immediate previous line manager. Remember that applicants can request to see references in some countries under their data protection laws, and in many countries employment law ensures that employers as a minimum have to provide details of dates of employment and sickness absence but anything more is based on their good will. When you ask for a reference be specific, if you can give headings or a ranking scale then this helps the person completing the reference and don’t forget to rope in the candidate to do a bit of chasing for you if the referee is dragging their heels. It is rare that a reference blocks an appointment but I have had it happen once where a candidate failed to declare a disciplinary process that was on-going and that meant their offer was withdrawn, it’s rare but it does happen and references are an important way to protect yourself.

Inducting New Employees

Training is the single best opportunity for your business to appropriately equip your candidates with the right set of skills required to fulfill the role and this starts on day one.

How you induct a new member of staff sets the tone for your relationship with them and gives them a sense about how the organisation invests in their staff. Planning a new member of staff’s induction should include some of the mandatory training on things like fire safety and equality and diversity as well as an overview of the organisation, its vision and values and some of the important technical things like payroll, policies and procedures.

Thinking about recruitment is the basis on which you will succeed in build a stellar team, from the moment you place a job advert you are creating the culture of partnership and the foundation for the work relationship between you and your employee. Replacing a member of staff costs on average about a quarter of a years salary, when you add up loss of productivity, staff costs involved, advertising, recruitment panels, etc. so when you do go out to recruit take the time to get it right.