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It can be difficult finding the perfect employee for each individual vacancy your business advertises.

If you make the wrong decision you’ll not only have wasted your own time and money, but you’ll also be back in a position where you will need to hire again. It is important therefore that you create a structured process that allows you to find your desired applicant.

It’s no secret that small businesses that go on to have success are usually the ones that hire great employees. So as the process can be stressful, here are five steps to help make the decision a little easier.

1. Write a killer job description

In order to obtain the right applicant you need to write an appealing job description. While unemployed people will obviously be intrigued by your vacancy, those currently in jobs will also take note should they see an attractive position. To produce a killer job description you must ensure that the advert is concise, but still contains all the required skills and experience. Missing out vital day-to-day tasks will mean you get applications from people that just don’t fit the criteria.

Where you post your advert is also extremely important. It’s all well and good posting on your own website, however, if you have a limited amount of visitors – nobody will see it! Look to invest in posting key vacancies on online job boards, social media sites such as LinkedIn or just use the traditional Directgov website.

2. CV screening

A key process which helps whittle down your candidates to the ones that have the skills and attributes you’re looking for is CV screening. If business is busy, you simply won’t have enough time to interview all your applicants (I’m presuming here that you’ll have plenty). Therefore it’s important that you take the time to review all the résumés you receive and eliminate all the candidates you feel wouldn’t suit the role. Creating a shortlist will help you find the right candidate quickly and avoid wasting unnecessary time.

3. Interviewing

The interview stage is arguably the most important step of the process. If possible, invite another staff member to attend the interview ensuring you gain a second opinion on a candidate, while also taking your own notes. I can’t dictate what questions you ask your interviewee simply because each business has its own unique needs.

A crucial piece of advice I will share, though, is: don’t hire a candidate just because you like their personality. Don’t get me wrong; it’s important that you employ someone you get along with, but it’s more important the person fits in with your business’ values. For example, if you run a hard-working organisation it would be foolish to choose a laidback character.

Also, when asking questions make sure their answers are backed up with examples. Don’t just let them say “Yes, I can do that”. Instead, ask them why they believe they can do that certain task, this will give you a clear idea whether they are suitable for the job.

4. Make the offer

If you’ve successfully found your candidate, now’s the time to offer them a position they’d struggle to turn down. However, this doesn’t mean breaking the bank. It means making the person feel special and giving them the belief that they were your first choice.

5. Start a trial period

If you’ve made it to step five the candidate will now be in a position to start. But what happens if it doesn’t work out, then what do you do? To ensure you can deal with this disastrous situation I would advise you to set up a probation period. Usually three months, the trial enables you to set certain objectives at the start of the reign which the employee are expected to meet. This will help you judge whether they’re the right person for the job and avoid any nasty dismissal processes.

And there you have it!

Following these five steps should hopefully lead you to appointing your perfect candidate. It’s now time to pat yourself on the back and carry on with making your business successful.


About Abigail Naylor

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