How to find the perfect employee

POSTED: 22nd November 2016
IN: Guides

The first in our insightful staffing series, Chris Bleakley, Aldermore’s Head of Resourcing and Talent, explains the importance of finding the right employee for your business and gives his top tips on sourcing the most suitable candidate. Chris has spent over 25 years in talent management and is currently responsible for recruitment, talent management, learning & development and engagement at Aldermore Bank.

At Aldermore, we understand that it can be a daunting process introducing new staff into your business. According to a 2015 survey carried out by recruitment company Robert Half, 52% of HR directors found that a ‘bad hire’ – a recently hired employee considered unsuitable - had caused a decrease in productivity, while 30% stated that staff morale had been negatively impacted. It’s clear that hiring an inapt employee can have a substantial effect on trading, revenue and employee motivation, so it’s important you get it right – the first time.

For many business owners, finding the most suitable and trustworthy candidate takes priority, particularly for small to medium-sized businesses - where introducing a new recruit into your close-knit team can be quite unnerving.

To help you understand the implications of hiring, and how to find the right candidate, we asked Aldermore’s Head of Resourcing and Talent, Chris Bleakley, to provide his guidance on recruiting the perfect employee.

“There’s no time like the present.”

In a company’s lifecycle, there are circumstances that mean you’ll need to hire immediately: if a member of staff has handed their notice in, if you have just won a new client and need quick resource or if you’re preparing for a busy period.

However, if you do need to hire speedily, making sure you have a thorough recruitment and interview process in place will reduce the chances of a ‘bad hire’. For many business owners, going with gut instinct and hiring a candidate is often a preferred method of recruitment, but understanding their capabilities – not just whether you like them – is vital.

Hiring the wrong person can have a massive impact in a small business, and in worst case scenarios, can cause loss of customers and revenue.

“Good things come to those who wait”

In some instances, waiting to hire can be more beneficial. Many companies, often desperate to reduce the increasing workload, rush through the hiring process, which is one of the main causes of a ‘bad hire’. In fact, 43% of organisations have continued to recruit ‘bad hires’ because they need to fill the job quickly.

You don’t want to be one of the UK companies who regret hiring 10% of new employees, so taking time to get to know your potential employee will give you a clearer outlook on whether they’re suitable. Trust can also be one of the deciding factors for a small to medium-sized business, you need to be certain you’ve picked the best possible candidate to join your team. So, spending a little bit longer waiting to find the right person for your business will pay off in the long term.

It isn’t about who can start straight away but who’s the best person for the job.

You might be hiring to get through a short-term busy spell, but you need to think about what the future holds and ask, can you sustain this new role once normal business resumes? Looking at business forecasts and predictability of the market, as well as speaking with your financial adviser or accountant will help with this. Your financial adviser or accountant will be able to provide a better insight into your finances and help assess whether you can maintain an additional employee.

Chris’ top tips: How to work out what candidate your business needs

Initially, you need to decide exactly what you’re looking for in a candidate. Here’s what to consider:

  1. It isn’t just about the technical skills needed to fulfil the hands-on part of the job. What other attributes will the individual need to be successful in the role?
  2. What personalities do current members of your team have? Think about the type of character you think will gel well with other employees, and yourself. It’s easy to overlook the personality traits but adapting to this can lead to greater retention among staff.
  3. Then it’s about getting down to the practical aspects of the position. Will the position be temporary or permanent? Where will the individual work from? Are you prepared to offer flexible working hours?

All of this helps to build a picture of the most suitable candidate before you begin to advertise.

How to attract the perfect candidate

  1. Take time to write the job description and consult with colleagues on what the role involves.
  2. Use your online personal and professional networks to get the word out. You might attract a familiar contact or known businessperson, who already comes with recommendations.
  3. Use LinkedIn to advertise. Candidates are regularly looking for work on social networking sites, and LinkedIn allows you to view their experience as well as endorsements before you’ve even spoken with them.
  4. Don’t forget about online job boards. These can rack up thousands of views daily, and provide job advertising that will get your positon noticed.
  5. In some instances, advertising in local magazines or newspapers can be more beneficial. Knowing who you’re hiring is the first step to understanding where your dream candidate is likely to spot your job opening. Don’t rule out post office or newsagent advertising too if you’re searching for a local person.

Do what’s best for you

Hiring is a big deal for business owners, and not to be taken lightly. Understanding who is genuinely best for the role and who will fit in with you and your team are crucial. Advertising correctly, from an accurate job description to where your ad shows, means you’ll sift out unsuitable candidates, making the process more efficient. Putting your trust in a new employee can be daunting, but by making the right decision, you’ll soon begin to reap the rewards.

Don’t miss the next blog in our staffing series, focusing on tackling the unnerving recruitment process and detailing how exactly you can entice the right employee to work for you.

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