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How to avoid the dunce’s cap when hiring

The ability to recruit effectively is crucial and following five simple guidelines should prevent recruitment disaster

It could be assumed that HR executives have the art of recruitment down to a T; after all, never before have those who do the hiring had so much information at their fingertips. Figures show, however, that 89% of new recruits fail to blend with the culture and ethos of their new company, which can prove costly.

1) Know what the role requires

HR executives must know exactly they are looking for in a candidate. A typical error is to hire someone on the basis of their personality rather than their suitability, which is a common mistake made by small business employers. Whilst a prospective employee may appear affable, these same charms may prove to be an irritant to others within the team.

2) Know your company culture

What is it that really makes your place tick? Remarkably, those who are charged with making employment decisions often fail to identify the core values of their company. Prior to interview, executives should consider what it is that drives performance.

Knowing and understanding company culture has become increasingly significant in the last few years and looking at the qualifications of your interviewee simply is not enough. Whilst the words written on the pages of a candidate’s CV may fit the brief, the person behind the words may not be ‘the one’.

Soft skills have never been so important. Employers should be fearless in asking about previous jobs. The interview is an opportunity to delve into the character of the individual and establish whether they will merge with your team.

3) Avoid joining the PC brigade

Again, smaller companies find themselves more susceptible to this pressure. Larger firms are more able to resist this trend by focusing on the specific employment needs of the company.

Whilst there is a tendency to ensure a mixed profile across a workforce, including gender equality and ethnic minorities, this may not be best for the job. The interviewer must continue to concentrate on the specific skills of the candidate, the role itself and the person’s ability to work with the team.

4) Pursue references with renewed vigour

The importance of following up references is underrated. A referee is clearly going to paint a positive picture of the individual; therefore, this is an opportunity to ask interesting questions. Be creative and establish how the candidate made a positive impact in their previous role. A referee will confirm how effectively the jobseeker worked as part of a team and any weaknesses they exposed.

Ensure that the results of this discussion concur with information given by the interviewee. Be prepared to reject the candidate at this point.

5) Establish a trial employment period

It is far harder to dismiss someone if they have been employed on a full-time and permanent basis; therefore, it is in the HR executive’s interest to employ someone for a probationary period. In this way, legal nightmares can be avoided if a new employee fails to fit in.

Don’t forget that working together is far better than acting alone. Take advice and recruit well; after all, it is always possible to find a temp.

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