How do small businesses hire the right people?

In today’s hi-tech everything, web driven, candidate database driven, multimedia world, finding the right people to hire and contribute to your business today is incredibly difficult – even for the most experienced hiring managers and recruiters.

When you’re a large multinational Corporate with a well-known brand it’s a tough job, but you have size, brand and product on your side.  However, it’s especially tough when you’re a small business, frequently (understandably) risk averse and every hire is critical to the success of the organisation. The wrong hire can be an expensive (sometimes fatal) mistake.

So what can you, as a small business do to mitigate the risks?

Here are a few ideas:
1. Be clear about where your business is now, where you want it to be and how it’s going to get there. You need to be able to communicate the vision to any recruiter that you use or in any direct advertising that you do, or in any Job Spec that you create, as that’s what’s going to make your job and Company different and stand out.
2. Put together a well thought through, Job and Person specification. Don’t ask for the impossible. Look within your own business at people who are successfully doing the job and pitch your tent there.
3. Be clear about what sort of person you want. For example, when I recruit a Sales Manager, my first critical question is ‘Why does the position exist?

The answer may be:-
‘This is a brand new appointment – we’ve never had a Sales Manager before’
‘ Our previous Sales Manager has just retired’
‘Our previous Sales Manager has just been promoted to Sales Director’
‘We’ve had three previous Sales Managers, but none of them were able to get to grips with the complexities of our products and customers’

In each case the role is identical, but the person required is completely different!
Be realistic! Don’t expect Lionel Messi or Magic Johnson to come and play for your team unless there’s a darned good value proposition for him to come and join you! (Much as I would love Lionel to come and play for the Soccer team I support, we are a mid-table team and he will never join us and, frankly, we can’t afford him.) And if their reason for joining is just money, expect a counter offer from their current employer or a bigger offer from another organisation to win the day.

Interview professionally. I could write a book on this, but in summary interview well and interview legally, and remember every decent candidate will either be someone you will want to hire, someone who might compete against you or someone who may be a customer one day. And candidates are people who have long memories!
Hire the best you can afford….. but don’t expect a Ferrari on your drive if you only have a Ford budget!
Do not hire in your own image. Hire someone who will complement your skills. If you’re an attacker, hire someone who will defend; if you’re a Technician, hire someone with the commercial skills you lack. A blend of skills makes for a successful team.
Share your passion! As a professional Recruiter, I love to work with Companies that have a great story to tell that I can talk passionately about with clients…. which leads me nicely on to …

Know your recruiter! Make sure they understand your business, the skills AND the person you need (and why), what makes your business special – and that they can sell that to the right candidates – YOUR candidates.

And if you need a good recruiter…………………………… 🙂

 

Mike Cane

Carmichael Cane Associates

http://www.carmichael-cane.co.uk/

mike@carmichael-cane.co.uk

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