Small Businesses need a Recruitment Process

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The recruitment process is not an easy task for a small business owner.  It can even be long and tedious. Without a dedicated in-house HR team, reviewing resumes can seem like a never-ending task, and communicating with applicants only adds to the workload.

This is why it is so important for small business owners to establish a formal hiring process. The costs involved far outweigh the time and effort required to put together such a process, and in the long run, a sound hiring process can save time and resources while creating the conditions for a smooth selection process.

The following 5 steps will help even the smallest, leanest team to establish a recruitment process that will facilitate the hiring process:

Know who and what you are looking for


Before you even begin the search for a new member of the team, you need to know what you want. It sounds simple, but many executives who haven't done a lot of hiring will want to rely on their instincts, which is not always the most efficient plan.

Sit down with the people who will work closely with your next hire and ask the following questions:
  • What are the required skills for the new role?
  • What character traits are you looking for in an ideal new employee?
  • How much applicable experience do you expect from your potential candidates - and in what areas are you willing to train them?

By determining in advance what you will be looking for, you can fine-tune your job description and thus increase the likelihood of more qualified candidates, which will be useful during the selection process. You can also use your answers to the above questions as guidelines later in the interview process.

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Narrow down the field


However, if you narrow your pool of applicants in two phases, you will get closer to finding the right candidate without prolonging the process.

Start by choosing a number between 1 and 10, which will help you to decide how many CVs you want to pass through in the first phase of your selection process. This list contains candidates with great cover letters, experience and educational backgrounds that you like but need to know more about. (You will not call all of these applicants).

Phase 1: Discuss these applicants with the person or persons they will be working with to narrow down your selection even further. This part of your recruiting process is an efficient way to ensure that the first applicants closely match what you are looking for. It also ensures that the person you hire is the best match for the team and the organization as a whole.

Phase 2: The candidates who make it to this phase are the ones you want to approach for a telephone interview. You will call these candidates to gain a better understanding of their background and experience, using the relevant criteria you established when you created your job posting.

Make the calls


You will be able to gain great insights from your telephone interviews, but you should try to keep a deadline of thirty minutes. The primary purpose of the first telephone interview is to make sure that a candidate's resume actually matches his or her skills. You will be able to assess the candidate's competence, self-confidence and ability to express and understand himself clearly. You will then have the opportunity to invite the most promising candidates to a meeting with themselves and other team members. (Group interviews are a good way to shorten the interview part of your recruitment process).

Meet the finalists


In this phase, the candidates who have impressed you most will be able to give you their first and perhaps last personal impression.

You can learn more about how to interview candidates here, but here are some important things to keep in mind:
  • Are they on time? (Really late? Super early? Ideally you are looking for a candidate who appreciates your time).
  • What kind of personality do they have? Are they extremely reserved or socially skilled?
  • Do they have knowledge of your industry and company and can they talk about why they would be suitable for the position and your company?

Get feedback before you decide


If you have involved colleagues in your recruiting process, their feedback is critical to your hiring decision. A candidate may seem like the perfect candidate, but the people he or she will work most with provide valuable insights that will (and should) ultimately influence your hiring decision. Sometimes hesitation can be a sign that a candidate simply needs to be invited for a second interview for further investigation. This is the kind of time investment that pays off when you're pretty sure someone could be a great newcomer, and when you're just looking for a little reassurance.

Since the hiring process is essential to the success of your business, it is important to give it the time and attention it needs. By following the steps above, you will create a framework that can be adjusted according to the complexity of a function and the time frame in which you want to hire. With a solid system that keeps you on track from the beginning, you will find that the adjustment process is much easier and smoother than you ever thought.

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