Adding new people to your team can be challenging. Recruitment is an essential part of growing a business, and when executed well, can mean having an effective team. Often business owners underestimate the impact of poor recruitment practices, undermining their own teams. When we discussed how to find and hire the right people when growing your business, we focused on the first stages of recruitment. Those included coming up with an appropriate job description and advertising your vacancy. Today our focus will be on the last stages of the recruitment process, assuming you already have a shortlist of candidates.
The interview process
Coming up with relevant questions a day or two before, in preparation for the interview is a good place to start. It seems obvious, but often inexperienced recruiters tend to believe they can think up questions on the spot, but that’s a false assumption. It’s easy to forget relevant questions during the interview or to get caught up in asking the candidates follow-up questions to their responses. Structuring your interview will ensure you have control over the direction the interview will take and the information you want to come away with.
Interviews that are too strictly structured, however, may restrict the interaction hence use a semi-structured format that allows follow-up questions for extraordinary responses. The purpose of the interview is to get to know the candidate better, and for the candidate to get a feel of the company vibe. Diversify your questions from general to questions specific to your industry and in particular, your organisation.
If workers within your organisation are often subjected to high-pressure situations, then you should let candidates know, and ask them if they’ll be able to work under such conditions. Long hours, working during the weekend and working without supervision, are examples of conditions that you should disclose to candidates during the interview process or earlier. You want potential employees to be fully aware of the environment they will be working in, and your expectations of them.
Whilst it’s important to familiarize with the candidate, and potential areas of concern, employers should always be careful not to ask intrusive questions. Some areas of a candidate’s life could affect his/her performance at work, but others are none of your business. Questions that touch on sexual orientation, religious beliefs, family planning, political views etc., should be treated with caution. They should not be fuelled by prejudice or discrimination, or the intent of it.
It’s important to leave room for questions from the candidates themselves. Encourage them to ask questions and answer as honestly as possible. The high unemployment rate in Zimbabwe has contributed to a sense of entitlement that employers sometimes exhibit. Treating potential employees as if you’re doing them a favour by hiring them will effectively chase away the great candidates who could have been excellent additions to your team.
In addition, it is important to ask a candidate when s/he will be able to start work, should you make the offer. Don’t assume a date, unless you had clearly stated your preferred date on the job ad you posted. Asking about the remuneration a candidate would expect, is a good way to evaluate the value the candidate places on his/her skills and experiences. Sometimes your budget is too low to allow you to meet their expectations. If you are unable to pay the stated figure, it’s best to make this clear during the interview and hear the candidate’s opinion on it.
Once you have decided on the best candidate, the one you will make an offer, it’s courteous to call or email the rest of the candidates. Inform them that you have selected your preferred candidate and wish them luck in future endeavours. Ghosting your rejected candidates will have a negative impact on their well-being. To go a step further, you may even tell your rejected candidates why you are not extending the offer to them.
For the candidate that you have selected, it is essential to properly induct him or her; show them around, discuss the contract, remuneration, expectations, duties, organisational traditions and the dress code. Ensure that you introduce her/him to all the team members and make him/her feel welcome.
Recruitment doesn’t have to be difficult, and when it’s well planned and executed, it can yield very fruitful results. Choosing the right people to join your team could prove crucial in whether you successfully expand your business or not.