Good Staff Recruitment for Small Business Owners: Shortcuts in Recruitment and Selection Lead to Staff Problems Later.
Big business and government bodies have a personnel management section, middle-sized companies often rely on recruitment agencies, but small business owners, corner shopkeepers, sole operators and tradesmen usually go it alone when the time comes to find good staff.
Small Business Owners’ Reluctance to Interview Job Applicants
For many sole operators and small businesses, hiring is a chore; some even feel they can’t waste time, taking time out from the business operation. Consequently, the hassled employer may have to resort to asking the departing key employee if they have a friend who could do the job. Otherwise, in busy operations where the need is urgent, the first person who applies sometimes gets the job.
Why Small Business Owners Should Advertise for Staff
Advertising is often limited to a scrawled note in the window of the premises saying: “Help Wanted. Apply within.” Too often, however, necessity leads to the snap decisions and an annoying high turnover of staff. It makes good business sense for the employer to have a clear picture of the ideal applicant in his or her mind and spell this out in the advertisement, even if the ad simply goes in the front window.
Failure to Interview for New Staff is False Economy for Small Business Owners
While someone might go shopping for a friend’s birthday present with the attitude: I’ll know what I want when I see it, this is not a smart way for a business person to select staff, who, after all, greet the customer, represent the business name in contacts and work skills, and are entrusted to make a business prosper.
A wrong choice can cost the business money both in obvious mistakes and not so obvious mediocre performance. Wrong choices, in some circumstances, are notoriously difficult to get rid of. It is good business sense to get the right person in the first place. Finding good staff in the first place is one of the best employee retention strategies. A sound interview will reduce the chance of a bad choice.
How to Write Simple Selection Criteria for Staff Recruitment
The process of writing a list helps clarify thoughts. The employer needs to brainstorm a list of the basic skills and attitudes they must have in a new worker, then the qualities they would like to see in a new worker and, lastly, to be contrary, a private list of the things they hate most in a worker.
Some practical people find it hard to think in abstraction. In such cases, it is useful to think about past workers who would be welcomed back in a flash- think in terms of: “Joe was great because…” Every business is different. Some require a gift of the gab, others manual dexterity. Some need speed and quick thinking; others patience and accuracy.
How to Write a Simple Position Vacant Ad
Having pinned down precisely the most valued skills and attitudes he or she requires, the employer is now able to draft a suitable advertisement. To get precisely what you want, it is necessary to start by asking for what you want.
Of course, the employer’s requirements must be appropriate and meet anti-discrimination guidelines. Spell out at the very start of the ad those qualities that are absolutely essential and make it clear that they are essential. Use words like “must”, and “essential.” Remember that words and phrases such as “should,” “would prefer,” “some knowledge of,” “desirable” leave the door open for applicants who don’t possess the named requirements. This may be appropriate, if it is precisely the employer’s intention, because the skills required are in short supply.
Nevertheless, “some knowledge of the food industry” means that someone who worked in a fast food chain for 1 week 20 years ago when they were 15 can legitimately apply. Being precise and exacting about requirements should deter most unsuitable applicants, but, bear in mind, people who desperately want work are likely to apply for any job, even if they don’t meet the criteria.
The Importance of Interviewing for the Vacant Position in Small Business
It is possible that the very wording of the advertisement will yield a better group of applicants, but interviewing will help sort the best from the rest. Yes, it is a time-consuming process, but well worth the effort.
Interview questions need to address the job criteria closely. If a person with at least five years’ experience in hand-painting plaster gnomes is absolutely the requirement, why ask “What sort of sports do you play?” (unless it’s a question to relax the applicant) or even “Have you ever painted a gnome?”
The interview is important for another reason. Gut feeling. Getting to talk to applicants and watch them will reveal much. Most people can trust that inner sense that tells them someone is appropriate or that sounds warning bells inexplicably when someone appears to say all the right things. An employer who knows what he or she wants, asks for it precisely in clearly worded ad, then tests for it at an interview, is more likely to get an employee with the desired qualities who will form a lasting relationship with the company.