Simple Recruitment Plan for Small Businesses

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When you have a vacancy to fill, you want to be sure that you will find the most suitable candidate for the position, one who will contribute to the growth of your company with his or her skills and knowledge.

Although the interview may seem like the decisive moment for selecting the right person, the right selection actually begins long before the interview.

Successful recruitment depends on how well you prepare and publicize your job advertisement and how well you test the applicants. This way, you will only meet the best candidates at the interview who best match what you are looking for.

Here is a 5-step hiring plan that you can follow to improve your chances of finding the right candidate:

Step 1: Prepare an effective job description


Writing an effective job description is the first step in attracting the right candidates to your company. The more clearly you describe the requirements, tasks, working conditions and benefits of the position, the less time you will waste in reviewing and rejecting unsuitable applications.

An effective job description should include the following.

  • Position title - Use a title that is unique to your company and make sure it is understandable to everyone in your industry
  • Information about your company - a few lines to explain your company and why a candidate might be interested in working for your company (e.g., mission, values, recent awards, etc.)
  • Job description - tell the candidates what contribution they will make by summarizing the most important tasks the successful candidate will have to perform. Be careful to emphasize what makes the job unique and exciting
  • Qualifications - Before writing this section, ask yourself and other key people in your company: "What type of person would be ideal for this position? List the most important characteristics and qualifications in order of priority
  • How to apply - Clearly state what documents you would like to receive (e.g., resume, references, other relevant documents) and whether you would like candidates to apply in person or by mail, fax or e-mail. If you do not wish to receive phone calls, make this clear. Indicate a deadline with date and time.

You May Also Want to Read: How to Overcome the Recruitment Challenges

Step 2: Use the right recruitment tools


Once your ad is written, you need to find the right way to promote it. Two factors determine the best choice: the budget of your company and the type of candidate you are looking for. Remember that the use of more than one tool increases your visibility.

It is important to keep an eye on the results. (This can be as simple as asking how people have heard about your company) Over time, this will help you determine which recruitment tools are best suited for your company.

Here is a list of tools you can use to promote your job posting and attract candidates:
  • Online job boards - These are one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to reach job seekers. However, due to the sheer number of jobs available on these sites, it is important that you make your job posting stand out from the crowd. General online job boards include sites like Craigslist, Job Bank (Government of Canada), in fact, Jobboom, Kijiji, Monster Canada and Workopolis
  • Social Media - Social media sites like LinkedIn have become powerful tools for recruiters. These sites not only allow you to post job ads to your accounts, but they can also be used to identify and hire candidates with specific skills
  • Advertising - Advertising in traditional media can be effective if you choose a publication that targets the type of candidates you are looking for. Advertising in industry publications or in professional newsletters for example, can result in a nice payout
  • Employment Agencies - Employment agencies can be costly, but they can save you a lot of time by taking care of the advertising, screening and reference checks and sending you only those applications that meet your requirements. They can even do the job interview for you
  • Your website - If you get enough visitors, your website can serve as an ongoing recruitment tool. You can create a career section or post job offers on your website
  • Word of Mouth - Telling your employees, friends and colleagues about a job opening is a proven and often effective recruitment strategy. Some companies offer their employees a finder's fee (usually less than the cost of an external agency) when they hire someone

Find Out More... 3 Ways to Automate Recruitment and Popular Recruitment Software tools

Step 3: Make an initial screening of applicants


After you have received CVs and made an initial selection of interesting candidates, the next step is to conduct an initial screening of candidates. The more cautious you are in this phase, the less time you lose in the interview phase.

Below you will find some ways to test candidates before the interview:
  • Email or Telephone - Ask for more information by e-mail or phone to help you decide whether you really want to invite them for an interview. You can also make sure that they are really interested in the job
  • Standardized testing - These procedures can help you find the candidates whose skills, talents or values best match your ideal. Tests can assess cognitive abilities, emotional intelligence, character, work preferences, etc. Tests should be conducted and interpreted by external or internal certified specialists and can be performed by specialized companies (which can also offer online tests). Service Canada offers an informative look at tools for assessing employees
  • Ask to see their portfolio - An initial review of candidates' previous work can be a good way to assess their skills and match them to your company. Ask candidates to send you their portfolio to get a feel for what they can do.

Step 4: Interviewing the best candidates


The interview is your opportunity to confirm the candidate's qualifications, determine if the position meets your expectations, and see if it fits your corporate culture.

There are two commonly used types of interview questions:

Behavioral questions
These types of questions help to predict future behavior by asking about past behavior. They can help you assess a person's self-confidence, creativity and problem-solving skills.

Situational questions
These types of questions confront the applicant with potential situations he or she might encounter at work. This can help you assess the person's knowledge, skills and working methods. These questions usually start with "What would you do if...?" or "How would you do X...?

Beware of asking questions about personal interests. They can throw the interview off track or upset people who want to keep work and private life separate.

To help you with your decision, you can create a points system or an analysis grid to compare and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the respondents. On the MaRS website you will find an explanation of how to create a template for evaluating interviews.

Step 5: Offer the position


When you have selected your top performer, call and offer the position. If necessary, give the candidate a few days to decide. Once they have confirmed, it is customary to send a letter of offer, writing down what was discussed over the phone.

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