Best Recruitment Advice: How to Hire the Right Staff
Business| By Jonathan Crossfield | November 23, 2020
Hiring a new employee can be a big cost, and risk, for any business. Our advice on how to improve the recruitment process will ensure you hire the right staff.
The cost of hiring a new employee varies wildly from industry to industry, and business to business, but a survey of 1500 HR managers across ANZ calculated the average cost as $18,982. Even if you just tally the tangible costs like salaries of those responsible for the recruitment activities, fees for advertising, recruitment software expenses, and any internal commissions or referral programs and advice, you’re looking at an estimate of $3500 to $5000 per employee. Whatever the figure, and whatever your business, you want that cost to represent the best investment possible. Here’s how to improve your recruitment process and hire the right staff while reducing the risk of hiring those who don’t “fit”.
Start by Identifying the Necessary Traits and Skill Sets
Who is the ideal job applicant? Naturally, this will vary from role to role and company to company, but the basic requirements are that the candidate fits the job description as it exists today. There’s more to consider, though. Think about how the role will change; what you will expect from that person in one, two, five years' time? Think about how technology might influence the workplace, too – 2020 has shown just how much our workplaces can evolve in a short space of time. Will the job description look the same for a remote worker as for an in-office worker? And how will that role look in five years’ time? Yes, you are hiring for now – but you are also hiring for the future, so considering the growth and development of this role will help you put the right staff in place now.
There are broader considerations, too, like soft skills and cultural fit. Will the role involve collaboration with other team members, or will they need to work independently? If they need to, can they work remotely and manage others while working from home? What about creativity and problem-solving? Think, too, about your industry: do you need an employee who can operate in a highly regulated manner to ensure industry compliance? These factors all contribute to whether a candidate is a good fit, beyond the core skills.
Beware of searching for a unicorn, exceptional in all areas. Instead, prioritise those skills and characteristics which most effectively summarise your ideal candidate and leave off more trivial factors. This makes it easier for applicants to address what matters most to you, and easier for you to rank applicants according to the strengths you most value.
It’s Not All About the Candidates; It’s Also About Your Business
Before you write that advert or brief that recruitment agency, consider what will attract the best candidates beyond the money. Are there opportunities for advancement? How flexible and supportive is the workplace culture? What values does the business hold that might align with theirs?
Do a little internal research. Talk to your longest-serving employees about why they’ve stayed with the company for so long. If you perform exit interviews when employees leave the business, are there any common themes? And talk to people in similar roles about what they find most satisfying. Would they recommend your workplace to their industry peers? If so, what would they highlight? If not, why not? Naturally, if these discussions highlight some issues within the workplace culture, you should address them first rather than hope any new employees won’t notice.
For small businesses, it’s also worth ensuring that your company meets best practice guidelines. A service like HR Help Premium Service can help you get up to speed with workplace compliance.
To Get the Best Talent, the Recruitment Shouldn’t be Arduous
Once you have a pile of promising applications, there’s still no guarantee the best candidates will accept your offer. The events of 2020 have changed the unemployment landscape and the volume of candidates in the market, but you are still likely to be competing against other potential employers for the right staff – with the victor being the first to make a strong offer.
A survey by recruitment agency Robert Half reveals that 73% of Australian jobseekers regularly receive multiple job offers while looking for work. That shouldn’t be surprising when the same survey finds 47% will apply for 10 or more roles at the same time. On top of this, 53% of job seekers also say their biggest frustration is slow feedback, while 38% say they would cut their losses and withdraw an application if they don’t get a timely response.
The best candidates won’t wait for you. That old adage – ‘fire fast, hire slow’ – doesn’t always pay off. As candidates drop out of your recruitment process, you may find yourself offering the job to a third, fourth or fifth choice candidate – which is how bad hires can happen. According to research by the Brandon Hall Group on the cost of a bad hire, companies that make the effort to create a positive recruitment experience for candidates report a 70% increase in the quality of hires.
Three Ways to Improve the Recruitment Process
- Set Clear Expectations Explain the recruitment process at the beginning so candidates know what to expect, particularly if there are extra steps such as police/identity checks or multiple interviews involved. It may not always be possible to give a time frame, but even a rough guide will be helpful. Also, If you will be doing all your interviews via video, then let them know. It’s a new process for many people, and most candidates will want a heads-up to prepare.
- Communicate Regularly Provide feedback and never leave candidates waiting too long without an update – even if only to say they’re still being considered.
- Simplify Forms and Processes The point of a good process is that it’s replicable, which is where handy packs like this Hiring New Employees DIY kit come into play.
Hire Your Way to a Competitive Advantage
People are at the heart of any successful business. Sure, there are big-picture strategies, established processes and policies, and effective technology to make the work possible, but it still takes a strong team of talented, committed staff to actually do the work.
Attracting the best candidates isn’t only about avoiding costly issues and finding someone who will fit in. The ability to hire the right staff and retain them for years gives your business its strongest competitive advantage.