Employing Staff: Choosing the right person for the job

When the time comes to find a new employee it can be difficult for business owners to choose the right person for the job.

There will certainly be key factors that you will need to consider. Qualifications and experience will be the obvious ones that come to mind. Of course some jobs require qualifications by law whilst for others qualifications can be useful but are not a legal requirement.

Experience can often be over rated as many jobs are merely the same thing repeated many times over. A new person could reach the experienced level in a relatively short time.

Key qualities that you need to focus on should be those personal qualities of the job applicant themselves. Is this a “nice” person? That sounds a bit old fashioned but nice people are a pleasure to work with and are not likely to upset existing staff members or any customers that they deal with.

Are they outgoing or introverted? Do they communicate well and seem to understand things reasonably quickly? Do they have a good grasp of language and grammar? Are they numerate? If numbers are part of the job description this is important and please note good maths exams do not always tell the truth!

There are many other questions you could ask that are not linked to their qualifications or experience but will help you in your business. A good friend of mine always goes back to the question: “Are they are a nice person?” before employing anyone. He has realised over the years that just because a person has already proven that they can do the job does not mean that they will fit in with your organisation.

Choosing the right person for the job can be difficult particularly if not many candidates are coming forward for interview. However be careful not to rush into choosing a new employee for the sake of expediency. The phrase ‘choose in haste and repent at leisure’ comes to mind.

Have you any experience in choosing the right person for the job? Please leave your comments in the box below.

Roland Millward
The Entrepreneur Club

Image: Graeme Weatherston / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


6 thoughts on “Employing Staff: Choosing the right person for the job

  1. To an extent I agree with Phil, recruitment agencies can be expensive. I think to use the word “avoid” has the potential to be rather harsh. After all, a good recruiter, can add value and save you heaps of time, which equates to money, I could almost compare this to doing my own accounts perhaps?

    In my tenure as a recruitment professional I will say that big changes are needed, hence I am launching http://www.etcetconline.com – Put simply, a much more cost effective opti0n, giving you control, keeping money in your pocket and allowing you to grow your business. I have a strict belief as a businessman – leave it to the pro’s. painters paint, accountants manage your figures, recruiters recruit. Spend time saving money or money saving time, I know where my tent is pitched!

  2. You are right I am being slightly harsh to say avoid! Particularly as I agree with your adage of using the right contractors.

    I think it is time there is a shake up in recruitment and look forward to seeing your site when it is up and running. A friend of mine, Dom Rosato, had a great recruitment business that worked on a fixed fee basis which should really be the way forward.

    In my previous experience as a manager I came across a fair few rogue recruitment agents, from both sides of the fence. There were also a couple of very good ones of course!

    Main issues were that quite often the wrong candidates CV’s were sent for interview. I personally was sent on the wrong interview on a couple of occasions i.e. I went for a job as a manager, when the role needed was an accounts senior – walked out after 5 minutes!

    The biggest problems were with the big guns, Hays and Reed who just flooded you with CV’s. There was also another, Definitive Consulting, they were absolutely shocking and I will never use them again – ever!

    What I would say is that if you know people who you have previously worked with, why not head hunt them before going to an agency. I know I have a few people who I will be calling up if/ when I start taking on staff. Also why not ask people in your contact network if they know anyone they can recommend for a position.

  3. I also agree that ‘avoid’ may be a touch harsh. Although some of the advertising may be able to be replicated by companies themselves, unless they have an in-house recruitment team they are unlikely to have the same network that an agency will have. It is often this network, built through years of headhunting and relationship-building, that can bring genuine value.

  4. Hi everyone,
    Thanks for the mention Phil 🙂
    Of course as an experienced recruitment consultant I will sing the praise of a good recruitment agency. But also as a business owner they really do make a massive amount of sense, if used correctly and on good terms. Here are the main benefits: –
    1. They should already have a pool of candidates who match your job criteria. (if not then maybe they are not local or specialised enough)
    2. They will advertise your job in multiple locations AT NO COST TO YOU. (online job boards, paper advertising, Etc)
    3. If you provide them with the correct job and person specification then they should be able to effectively select and forward only the candidates who meet this criteria. SAVING YOU MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF TIME.
    4. The recruitment agency will organise interviews around your schedule, gain candidate feedback after interview for you and also control all candiate feedback for you. (So you don’t have to do the horrible “Unfortunately on this occasion” calls.)
    5.Your recruiter will organise all offers, salary negotiations, start dates and should also carry out first day and then weekly checks with you and the candidate.

    OK and here are the BIGGEST reasons why good recruitment agencies are a massive asset to any business especially SME’s without a dedicate HR Department: –

    6. YOU ONLY PAY UPON SUCCESS! Cash flow is king in business (ask Phil!). Paper advertising is extremely expensive try £500+ for an advert the size of a post-it for 1 week with the evening advertiser! With a good recruitment agency you pay nothing until an employee actually begins working for you (and in my case only after they have completed their first week and both parties are happy!).
    7. YOUR INVESTMENT IS GUARANTEED! Pay for paper advertising or a job board vacancy posting and your money is gone with NO GUARANTEE of success. Any recruitment agency worth it’s salt will have a fee rebate period ranging from 6 – 12 weeks which will ensure that if things do not work out with the candidate you get some or all of your investment back!
    Any intelligent business person who thinks recruitment agencies are too expensive are using the wrong ones or are not willing/capable of negotiating rates which suit their business requirements! As a professional I agree terms on every vacancy individually, your recruitment agency should do the same…or you should encourage them too!
    For any member of the Entrepreneur Club looking to recruit permanent staff (or even somebody who mentions this post to me) I will offer a flat fee recruitment package of just £995+VAT with a 10 week rebate period, our full recruitment service as a member of the REC and your vacancy will be advertised on Jobsite, Fish4, Totaljobs & CV Library! Advertising on one of those job sites alone would cost you approx £199+VAT.

    Thanks for taking the time to read this post 🙂

    Dom Rosato
    CMD Recruitment Ltd
    01249 661228

    I can not say fairer than that!

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