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The right way to recruit

07 November 2011
The right way to recruit

In the third part of a series of extracts from Learnpurple's book, Purple your People, the author and company CEO Jane Sunley takes a look at recruitment and selection and asks whether businesses are missing out on opportunities?

The competition for top talent is always fierce, with salaries and benefits being used to secure the best people. Business success relies on the individuals recruited - therefore, making sure you attract and hire the right people in the right roles is very important. Purple your People explores these subject areas in great detail; however here's some practical guidance to make sure you aren't missing out on those talented individuals who will enhance what you do.

Understand what you want
Suppose the need arises for employing someone new. Before you do anything, stop right there and ask:

â- If there was a recruitment ban, what would we do to cover the work?
If then you decide you do really need to recruit, follow these easy steps:
â- If there's an existing job description review it. This should be done every single time a role becomes available. Change is rapid and it's vital you are using a document that's absolutely fit for purpose.

â- Write a clear job description (or get the team to do it since they probably know best) - you'd be surprised how many people don't bother to do this. Make it straightforward and uncomplicated - here's a simple example:

Job description
Role Superhero
Reports to Chief superhero
Responsible for Assistant superheroes, graduate trainee hero
Key objective(s) Save the world

Key responsibilities:
1. Protect the public at all times using superpowers for the good of man
2. Maintain secret identity, always transforming in private
3. Police day-to-day crime while also combating threats against humanity
4. Risk own safety in the service of good without expectation of reward
5. Maintain secret identity to protect friends and family
6. Rid the world of super-villains and ensure criminals are brought to justice
7. Manage own workload in order to maximise opportunities to do good
8. Lead, develop and inspire team to give their best

Next make a list of the skills, knowledge, experience and attributes the ideal candidate will possess (see opposite). This is an easy way to make sure that everyone involved agrees on what's actually required. It will also help plan the application process and interview questions.

Communicating the vacancy
In order to attract the best you'll need to sell the job and your organisation as a great place to work. This is where writing a clear, detailed, yet simple job advert comes into play.

One of the main reasons organisations receive many unsuitable CVs is because their job advert fails to explain clearly the role and requirements. When writing, as well as being compelling and marketing your "employer brand", make sure it states expectations, the must-haves, what's in it for the candidate and how to apply (and in Purple your People there's a tried-and- tested way to simplify the application process which will save time). It should also reflect your values and culture. Those old one-sided ads all about what the candidate has to do for you are unappealing. If you're not particularly creative, find someone who is or get marketing involved.

Before sending this externally, first make sure all vacancies are advertised internally. The right applicant could be waiting in the wings. However never decide for people whether they should apply (or not).

If then you still need to look elsewhere, use online and other networks to spread the word that you are looking and send your job advert to everyone you can think of. Beware of the benefits of diversity, though, so spread the net wide to avoid attracting only "people like you".

And if this doesn't work, resort to more conventional means - post the job online, advertise in Caterer and Hotelkeeper, or use a specialist recruitment consultancy.

Selecting the one for you
By taking this approach you will have attracted a good selection of applicants. The next step is short-listing those who are best suited to the role and your organisation. Often this business-critical undertaking seldom receives the attention it deserves because, unless you have the luxury of a HR department who will do this for you, the wrong people usually give themselves this task. So think about delegating to a well-briefed person who will take time to sift and produce a valuable shortlist of candidates.

When you invite candidates to interview, always let the unsuccessful ones know. Thank them for applying and wish them well - doing so gives out a very positive message about you and your company. Carry out the interview process in a timely fashion, using our fab five interviewing tips (below) to help select the right person. Once you've found the one for you, call them up and make an offer. Then get a confirmation out straight away - you mean business!

The fab five of interviewing
1. Prepare properly - plan an outline structure whereby you ask clear, open questions, listen more than talk and probe first, giving information later.
2. Write some standard questions - think about the job description, person details, culture, and role).
3. Allow sufficient time.
4. Start to introduce information about your values and "the way we do things around here" to sell the organisation
5. Write detailed notes from which a decision can be made

Second interviews: For senior roles you might want to use a variety of techniques - eg, presentations, group/individual challenges. Also we believe you'd have to be mad not to include psychometrics in any selection above the level of supervisor.

Superhero skills, knowledge, experience and attributes

Must have
At least one extraordinary or superhuman power
Strong moral code, willing to risk own safety to protect others
Reluctance to kill or wield lethal weapons
Experience of overcoming evil
Able to work independently as well as within a team
Proven leadership capability
Highly developed communication skills
Prepared to travel worldwide

Nice to have
Secret identity and own costume
Own logo
Wide knowledge of super-villains

purple your people by jane sunley

Purple Your People The secrets to inspired, happy, more profitable people, is a practical, fun and easy to digest guide to the "people stuff" aimed at all organisations wanting to create exceptionally talented, high performing teams.
Published by Crimson PublishingISBN 978-1-78059-046-2£12.99

Jane Sunley discusses what makes great leaderswww.catererandhotelkeeper.com/video

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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