grow your business

Growing your team? My 7 Tips to find the right ‘fit’ for you!

As a small business owner, you may soon be looking to expand your team and grow your business. Your business is your baby, so it’s critical to your success that you hire someone who will nurture your business as much as you do.

You don’t need to spend hours yourself interviewing and worrying about the legalities of recruitment or spend a load of cash on recruitment fees. There is a better way to help you find ‘the one’.

As a Virtual Assistant, I have worked with a number of clients and managed the full recruitment process for them to help find their perfect team member and to take the stress out of hiring.

This is an outline of the process I follow and tips to getting it right first time:

1) Job Description

It is crucial that you have a concise and detailed job description for the position you want to recruit. Consider what a successful candidate would look like for your business and what personal attributes may also be required, as well as their technical abilities. Ensure you are clear what qualifications, skills and experience are required and what is preferable. You should state the deadline for applications, interview timescales if possible, employee benefits, including the salary and the start date.

2) Advertising the vacancy

I would recommend using two different mediums to ensure you receive varied applications. You could consider using social media, local newspapers, job centres as well as job websites such as Totaljobs and Indeed.com. The online sites allow you to manage the applications by adding screener questions to make it easier to narrow your suitable candidate list and its simple to communicate with the applicants throughout the process. Once you have narrowed down the applicants you can decide if you want them to do any psychometric testing. There is a cost to this, but they are generally low.

3) Phone screening

The next step is to talk to each suitable applicant about their CV briefly and ask for clarity on their experience for the role. Before the call, it’s a good idea to make sure you know how to pronounce their name so Google it before you call a candidate. I like to ask them why they want to apply and what they know about the company. Remember to take bullet point notes of your conversations in case you need to refer back to them. I also put in a scoring system so you can cross-reference after the calls, it takes any personal bias out of the equation. Try and shortlist the best applicants to about five people and invite them to an interview.

4) Interview

Always ask the applicants to bring details of two professional references and their relevant documentation to work in the UK to the interview. It saves time later. You can find the guidelines here regarding eligibility. Arrange for two people to do the interviews to avoid unintended bias and ask everyone the same open-ended questions for consistency. Ensure that you do not discriminate against anyone in your questioning. It is a good idea to consider providing a skills test for the role with competency-based examples, again add a clear scoring system.

As a small business owner, it is likely that you will spend a lot of time with the person so make sure you get on well and there is some chemistry. Ask them about their passions and interests to gauge this. It is courteous to give interviewees feedback after their time so be clear about why they were not successful.

5) Offering

Congratulations you have found the perfect applicant!
When you make a verbal offer be sure to mention the following:
 Job title and the offer
 Any conditions to the offer such as, subject to satisfactory references
 The terms – including salary, hours, benefits, pension arrangements, holiday entitlement and place of employment
 The start date and any probationary period

6) The Contract

The employee must receive their contract within two months of starting.  You will need qualified HR advice to ensure the contract is worded correctly. I work with HR experts who can get this organised.

7) Induction

One final step and one of the most important. You have gone to all this effort to find the perfect candidate so do not lose them by not providing a thorough induction and friendly welcome to the team. Remember to cover health and safety as a priority. It is very important for them to achieve their potential and for you to retain them. After all your investment, so regular ongoing reviews and training is a must. A quality team will lead your business to future success.

My clients have said that the biggest benefit of outsourcing their recruitment process, besides the time and cost savings, is the collaborative approach. For a small business owner having that second opinion and professionalism in the process really helps to find the right ‘fit’ for them. ⠀

I work on an hourly rate and only charge for the time spent on the project. If you’re a small business owner and are interested in finding out more then please get in touch – ann@thepaportal.co.uk