Following on from my article ‘Recruitment: more than just a job ad and a chat…’, now that you’re going to market, have you thought about how you’re going to manage the influx of work that goes along with it?

Your set up

Let’s talk about the recruitment process: “create a simple and efficient process that works for the business and the candidates” – sounds straight-forward doesn’t it?

I’ll start by asking a few questions:  Who’s managing the recruiters or advertising campaign?  Who’s sifting CVs?  Who’s screening candidates?  Are you contacting the candidates you like the look of quickly enough? Who’s setting up the interviews?  Who’s getting back to candidates following the interviews?  How many rounds of interviews are really needed?  Are you missing out on candidates because no-one called them back?  Who is picking this up because you’re going on holiday?  Argghhhh!!!!

You do need to answer these questions, but don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be a stressful and costly process, but it does take time.  It pays to remember that everyone’s time is precious (not just yours); Don’t assume that candidates are just sitting by the phone waiting for your call, it’s not all about you.  Engage with them, or they’ll find someone else who will.

Keep it simple

I’ve worked with some organisations who had six-seven stages to their process; whilst this may be required (questionably) in larger organisations, few small businesses have a need for this.  Create a recruitment process that works for you and the candidate.  Don’t make it long and drawn out, try to get it all done with no more than a telephone and two face-to-face interviews.  Don’t make the interview process all about the business; learn how to interview, better still, have a conversation, remember that it’s a two-way process; what’s in it for the candidate?  Why would they want to work for you?  What will they get out of it?  How can you work together?  If you’re looking to change the culture in your business, look for someone different than the type of person you usually hire.

Should be easy, you already know exactly who and what you’re looking for, right?  Wrong!  Keep an open mind, human beings rarely fit into that nice little box that businesses create in job descriptions.  Some of best people I’ve hired had some of the experience I was looking for, but were far from ticking all the boxes.  I met with them and discussed the much talked about, rarely taken up ‘transferable skills’ and decided they could learn the rest because they had the right approach.  Hire attitude, teach skills (unless you’re hiring brain surgeons, then probably make sure they know how to do that).


At each stage, ensure that you are getting back to candidates promptly, even if you’re not taking them further in the process, provide feedback – this promotes your business in a favourable light.  If you do want to progress a candidate, don’t wait too long, if they are good and actively looking, someone else will snap them up and you’ll be back to square one.  If there’s a delay for some reason, tell them why and how long it’s likely to be, and keep in touch with them regularly if it’s for a longer period.

Think of the times when you may be asked a builder/plumber etc to give you a quote, they’ve come out, they’ve measured up, they’ve taken up your time for your benefit, never to be heard from again – it’s annoying isn’t it.  Does it make you think well of them?  Are you likely to recommend them to a friend or warn against using them?  Protect your business’ reputation.

Once you’ve found your ideal candidate, the offer has been accepted and a start date agreed, but are you ready for them to join your business?  Check back to find out how.

Need help with this?  Get in touch –