By Jennifer Quinn

Hiring staff is time consuming and can be very stressful, and when it doesn’t go to plan, starting the process all over again can be disruptive to all involved, not to mention a drain on staff resources, time and money.

We have provided advice to many of our clients, who are small businesses often working with a tight budget, on hiring staff in their business niche. Here are a few practical tips which we have passed to our clients to include when hiring staff for a small business.

1. Save CVs for the Right Moment

If you receive CVs when you are not actively hiring, don’t discard them. We are all guilty of ignoring CVs that come in the door when you aren’t recruiting, seeing them as a nuisance when we are time poor. It is time to change that practice; be organized and store them for when you are hiring. These could prove to be an invaluable resource; there could be an employee superstar lurking in that CV pile.

2. Use LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a must for any employee recruiting strategy as it provides access to an enormous talent pool comprised of hundreds of different industries. Don’t underestimate its potential benefits. Search LinkedIn’s database for people with the relevant skills and experience required, and contact them directly.

Network and develop a rich company profile with relevant keywords for your industry so potential candidates can find you. For a fee, you can also post jobs on LinkedIn.

3. Prepare for the Interview

Before an interview with a potential candidate, be very clear on your company’s ethos and identity to see how that person can align with the company’s values and company culture.

Ask standard interview questions; the current trend of asking obscure questions to see how that person will react is valuable, but don’t forget the value of standard interview questions. Allow the candidate to present their skills, experience, and delve further into these details. Ask about the tools and resources they use to see if they are suitable and what added value they can bring to your company.

Don’t forget to sell your company. To get the best staff, you need to sell your company as a place they would love to work for. Inform candidates how you foster a great work environment for your employees, with access to the tools and resources to do their job, how you value a work life balance and provide support and advice for progression, if possible.

It is about creating the right match for both parties, and hiring staff that are committed to contributing to a company’s success, and want to grow with the company.

4. Rethink Checking Social Media Profiles

This is a murky subject. People are allowed to have social lives, and anything posted on social media doesn’t necessarily correlate with their professional persona. Should you find a candidate’s social media profile (obviously, look at their LinkedIn profile), take it with a pinch of salt. Do not let it cloud your judgement; you could miss out on hiring someone perfect for your company.

5. Give It Time and Have an Interim Plan

If you still haven’t found the right person on the first attempt, don’t despair or panic. Rushing to hire a new staff member can prove disastrous when you discover they are not suitable for the role. It can impact the rest of your staff, not to mention letting someone go from the company is stressful, resulting in the need to start the recruitment process again.

If you still haven’t found that new employee and the workload is increasing, involve your staff in the discussion. If overtime is required, incentivize the work, for example. Make it known that you appreciate their efforts to help address the temporary problem, and importantly, if any staff member is overwhelmed with the increased workload, to speak up. Losing your current employees is not an option.

Recruitment is a tiring and taxing process; take the time to establish a solid recruitment process to find the right staff for your company and avoid a high staff turnover. You won’t regret it.