A small business owner was looking for a few good employees for his alarm company.
In the past, he advertised in the classifieds.
Then, it dawned on him that the kind of employee he wanted probably wasn’t sitting at home reading the “help wanted” ads. His best workers had always come to him with personal recommendations.
That’s when the first brainstorm hit. He chose a select group of customers and sent them a letter asking their help with his recruitment drive. He got his referrals and the unexpected benefit of engendering goodwill with his customers, who were flattered to learn he thought so highly of their opinion.
Take recruiting & hiring seriously
The lesson here is to treat your employee recruitment efforts as seriously—and creatively—as you would any other business-related endeavor. A new employee is a major investment. There’s the cost of training and the cost you want to avoid—the mistake of hiring the wrong person.
Use your network to find good employees
When you set out on your candidate search, do as the small business owner did and solicit referrals from customers. Ask acquaintances, colleagues and current employees as well. Other avenues include college placement offices, trade and professional associations and employment agencies.
Set up an interview schedule
When you begin receiving resumes, you’ll want to contact the best candidates and set up an interview schedule. Prepare a list of questions to ask each candidate. By asking everyone the same interview questions in the same way, you will be able to more fairly compare their responses.
Pay attention to your initial impression
Check the candidate’s references, but be warned that you may not get an accurate picture. Sometimes people will give positive references because they fear legal action. It’s better to rely on insights you glean from the interview and by paying attention to your own gut feeling. Ask candidates you are impressed with to come back for a second interview.
Be clear about responsibilities
During the hiring process, be clear about the new employees’ role within the company. Set expectations by defining job responsibilities before hiring the candidate. A job description clarifies everyone’s duties and heads off confusion about whom is responsible for what tasks.
Make the new hire feel comfortable
Put your best employee in charge of training the new hire, and consider starting off with a three- or six-month trial period. If you approach your employee recruitment efforts with the same creativity and drive you do other business projects, chances are you won’t have a thing to worry about.
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