COVID-19 has created enormous challenges for employers with many changing the very way they do business. Many employers are having to ask themselves, do they have the right employees? Let’s take a look at some of the things you might consider when looking to find the right employees for your business.
Before you start
If your business is busy pivoting to changing COVID-19 restrictions and meeting the challenges of each day, the burden of recruitment may seem overwhelming.
That’s fair. Indeed, there are important things you need to consider before you even place a job advertisement, and if you need staff, it’s worth taking a moment now to save you time and money down the track.
The costs of making a poor recruitment choice go beyond the costs of advertising, interview time and resources, and into the costs of induction, training and administration.
If a hire has a particularly negative impact on other team members, the costs can blow out significantly in the form of lost productivity and even causing valuable staff to leave.
All of this means that even if you’re in a hurry, the benefit of slowing down and taking some considered steps beforehand far outweighs the cost.
Prepare a job description (or talk to us)
For some organisations, this is a no-brainer, but for others it might mean creating something fresh, or refreshing a dusty old position description.
Reflecting back on the organisational problem you identified, clarify the following based on what you need from a person/role to fix that problem:
Key responsibilities of the role
Key skills you need the candidate to have
Experience you need the candidate to have demonstrated previously
Qualifications, education or particular tickets/licences you require the candidate to have.
You could reach out to colleagues in the industry to ask for their input. Do they hire for similar roles? What attributes or key skills have they found invaluable in those roles? This kind of input can inspire you and make a job that might seem arduous, more enjoyable.
If a position description isn’t your style, MAX can support you in different ways. You can talk to us about the role, the environment, the existing team and the organisational problem you’re looking to solve. Our dedicated employer support team will partner with you to find people who will do a great job, are the right fit for your organisation and will stay with you.
Identify the type of person that will work well in your team
In addition to the personal attributes you’ve identified in the position description, there may be some other ideal personality traits that will work well in your existing team.
Employee morale is positively correlated with increased productivity, organisation loyalty, and higher profitability. And what is the one thing which kills workplace morale? The answer is simple: adding the wrong individuals to the workplace ~ Business2Community
Remember the aim is to find the right employees for your business.
To avoid putting the wrong people into your team, consider your existing team dynamics. Is there something missing? Is there a fantastic worker who struggles with attention to detail, but is excellent with customers? In that case, hiring someone with excellent attention to detail, even if they’re not as confident with customers, might help complement your team.
If your team bond over a shared passion for environmental issues, hiring someone with those values might be a positive.
Unlike the position description, this list isn’t designed to be displayed publicly. Rather it’s something you can refer to mentally when you meet potential candidates.
Developing a well-rounded and cohesive team is a skill, but with these kinds of preparation, all employers can be on their way to creating a dream team.
Begin the recruitment process
The economic impact of COVID-19 means many advertised roles are attracting significant numbers of applicants – more so than usual. As an employer, this can be a double-edged sword. Having an immense pool of talent to dip from is fantastic, but wading through applications can be tiresome. To help you through this process, consider the following:
Include the job description in the advertisement
For even the most entry level of roles, consider putting that well thought out position description in the job advertisement. Ask candidates to add a cover letter, outlining their skills, attributes and experience relevant to the position.
For candidates, taking that extra step might not seem worth it if they don’t feel the role is for them. And for you, it means you can quickly scan cover letters to see if candidates are highlighting the things that mean the most to you.
This approach can help you to sort the wheat from the chaff in the early stages. If you’re seeing applications people who seem overqualified, check out our pros and cons of hiring an overqualified candidate.
Pre-screen your candidates
For those candidates you’re considering interviewing, why not take the time to give them a call and have a casual chat, before you bring them in for an interview.
If you have the capacity, you can delegate this job to someone you trust.
Whether it’s you or a trusted employee, during those phone calls, reflect on whether the candidate is able to consolidate and confirm what they’ve told you in their application and whether the early signs are that they are a person and personality that will fit your team.
An hour of phone calls may save you several hours of interviewing.
Conduct an honest interview
For those few that make it to the interview stage, set up an interview environment that encourages honesty.
Do this by being honest with the candidate about the role, what you liked about their application and why you feel they would be a good fit for the role. Highlight any gaps between what you’re seeing they can offer, and what you need from the role. Use this opportunity to let them be honest about whether they feel they can fill those gaps with training or experience.
Talk them through the existing team dynamics and ask how they feel they will fit. Ask them for examples of how they fitted in to teams in the past.
Show them the organisational structure and determine whether there is opportunity for the candidate to move up or sideways in the future. Find out if their expectations for the future align with your business.
Share with them about your normal training processes. Find out how they best learn and ask them about experiences in the past where they found learning difficult, and how they overcame.
A conversation covering these kinds of things is more likely to yield honesty and in turn, a recruit that fits into your team and into your organisation for the long term.
As well as these kinds of conversations, consider meeting outside the office environment. It’s another way to shake the formalities and set up a genuine conversation.
The MAX team can set up an informal session a group of potential candidates. These provide an interesting and enjoyable way to see how applicants interact with each other in a social setting. In turn, employers get an insight into which candidates might best fit in their existing teams.
Check the referees
This last step, before sending out a job offer is crucial. At the interview, ask your candidate for their permission to contact referees.
“References, and what somebody has done, are more important than what somebody tells you in an interview. Well done is better than well said, and there’s no substitute for good referencing,” said Amy Gutmann, president of the University of Pennsylvania to the NY Times.
Once you have chosen your preferred candidate, take the time to contact those referees. Consider asking things like:
What they think regarding any gaps you’ve identified between what the candidate is offering, and what the job requires
How they found the person best learned
How they fit into teams and whether there were any issues that arose within those teams
How they have dealt with problems and problem solving.
Talking to people who have worked with or managed that person previously will give you the best chance of seeing the full picture and confirm whether your preferred candidate should stay in the top position, and receive that job offer.
If the idea of starting the recruitment process is overwhelming, why not get support? MAX offers a range of recruitment support services designed to take the stress out of hiring.
We know what it takes for employers to be able to find the right employees for their business. We provide support designed to make sure you have everything you need to attract strong, willing and able candidates and to keep them long term.
We can partner with you and help you find candidates, train them and provide in work support services. We can also help you access government funding when you employ someone through an eligible employment service.
To find out more, visit: maxsolutions.com.au/employer-services or call our team on 1800 603 503.