Human capital is perhaps the most important asset of your business. Hiring the right people could determine whether your business makes it into the upper echelons of success, remains mediocre or even fails before too long. Employers often underestimate or don’t understand the value of hiring the right talent and person. Most common in Zimbabwe, and countries with high unemployment rates is that employers often feel as if they’re doing their employees a favour by hiring them.

This means:

  1. Employers are not putting enough dedicated effort towards finding potentially great employees
  2. Employers are treating all candidates as if they’re hardly worth their time and
  3. Worst of all, employers are treating existing employees as if they’re easily dispensable

As a business owner or recruitment manager, avoid falling into the same trap. You will weaken your company by failing to recognise the importance of every employee. Most significantly, that kind of attitude, and the resulting behaviour, does not inspire loyalty to the business or to you, from the employees.

Recruitment is a difficult process, one that most fail to have a true appreciation of. Finding and successfully hiring the right candidates is not an easy task. Qualified people are not hard to find, Zimbabwe is overflowing with educated people, especially millennials. The difficulty comes in finding a motivated person, who adapts quickly, is teachable and has a strong work ethic. Above all that, you also want to find the right fit for your organisation. Altogether, this can become quite a daunting task, but don’t lose heart, because it’s still achievable, regardless.

There are two main methods you could use to find and hire the right people for your business. The first method is the traditional route used by most companies, and the second is head hunting, mostly used when recruiting top executives. Head hunting is the more active method, and in my opinion the better of the two. A lot of top tech companies in Silicon Valley head hunt employees straight out of graduate school. This ensures that they snap up their top choices before they’re whisked away by another. In this article we will focus on the traditional method.

Traditional recruitment

When growing your team of employees, you need to place up your job ads where your potential employees are. It is important that you place your ads where they could be readily discovered by the right people. Before you do all that however, first comes the job description. Construct a fairly accurate job description that will enlighten your candidate about what’s required. This could be the deciding factor on whether they apply or not (although in Zimbabwe it seems graduates just apply indiscriminately).

It’s also essential to set realistic requirements for candidates to apply for the job. Trying to find a perfect candidate or placing steep requirements could make you lose out on some good candidates who will think applying is a waste of time. Now that you’ve written up a fairly accurate job description and reasonable set of requirements, you need to make sure the right people see your ads.

Given that you run a start-up or a small business, you might not have the budget to place your ad in the newspaper which guarantees that lots of candidates see it, therefore you need to use alternative methods. (In any case the downside of newspapers is that people will read it on that day, then will be on the next edition the following day). Placing your ads on popular job boards on the web could help candidates find it. Creating a poster and allowing it to circulate on social media is will also increase your ad’s visibility.

In your ad, allow for adequate time to pass during the application period, so that candidates have enough time to discover your ad, research your company, and apply. Too tight a deadline leaves candidates with limited time to discover your ad and apply to join your organisation.

End note

The rest of the process is fairly simple and straightforward, but by no means easy. Recruitment is a long and sometimes expensive process, and for a start-up or small business it’s important to try and keep expenses as low as possible. Advertising on the web and social networks is an example of a good way to manage costs when recruiting new employees.

Stay tuned for the second and last part of the recruitment process.