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Stop hiring Drongos - find the right stuff first time around

Updated: May 5, 2021

So you’re on the hunt for some awesome people to join your kick-ass team. Go you! It’s just a case of whipping together an ad, posting it on a careers website and waiting for the applications to start flooding in, right? Erm, no.

If you’re sick of hiring people who looked great on paper but then turned out to be a bit … you know … it’s time to change your hiring processes. Do the prep, know what you’re looking for in a successful candidate and save a helluva lot of time and hassle in the process with these handy recruitment tips.

HR Tip #1: Nail Down What You Need

Before you post an ad and hope the right person sees it, you need to figure out what your company’s looking for, both in the role and the person. Why is this role important? Are you looking forward and future proofing your business? What kind of attitude and values are important to you? What kind of people already work for you? Do you want newbies to follow suit or do you need to shift the culture a bit? Culture impacts where your company is heading so it’s important that you hire people who’ll help take your business there, as well as do their job effectively.

HR Tip #2: Be Specific

Don’t beat around the bush with generic crap; figure out exactly what you’re looking for in a person and what a role will look like before you start advertising. If you don’t really know what the job is, you’ll struggle to hire the right person, so don’t be lazy. Put a good chunk of time and effort into understanding the job and the team it sits in, and you’ll reap the rewards further down the track.

HR Tip #3: Spread the Good News

Once you’ve written a winning job description, it’s time to tell the world. Employment websites like Seek, Trade Me Jobs and Yudu and TradeStaff are obvious choices simply because of the number of people who visit them every day. Post them on your own website too, and use social media and email to tell your database about them.

Word of mouth is always useful when filling roles so encourage your current staff to refer suitable people too; you could even start up a staff referral scheme so if someone gets hired, the guy who referred them gets a Westfield voucher or something else worthwhile. Don’t forget people you’ve interviewed in the past too; they might not have been right for that old job but they could be perfect now.

HR Tip #4: Make Your Time Worth It

You’ve probably done a few interviews in your lifetime so they might all feel a bit same-same. But if you want to find the best person for the job, you need to take each interview you do as if it’s your first and with the same enthusiasm. Yes, it can be bloody tiring and time-consuming, but so can trying to get rid of someone if they don’t work out. And besides, hopefully the person you’re interviewing has hard-out prepped for it too so you are not doing them or your business justice if you didn’t go to the same effort.

Know the questions you’re going to ask your candidates before you step into the interview. Behaviour-based interview techniques will help you figure out how their past experiences can help them in the future. If jobseekers need to fill out application forms or complete tests, make sure you’ve got all the bits and pieces you need to make the process smoother.

HR Tip #5: It’s Not Just about the CV

Sometimes the best person for the job might look a bit average on paper but be awesome in real life. Maybe they don’t have much industry experience, or maybe they’ve bounced between careers. Be prepared to delve deeper to find out more about candidates, like what their goals and priorities are and what they want to do in five or 10 years’ time. Sometimes personality and a willingness to learn is better than oodles of qualifications. A short telephone pre-screening before interviewing can give you more insight into the person to make a better decision.

HR Tip #6: Take References Seriously

Unless you’re a fortune-teller, you’re going to need an awesome referencing process to find out more about a candidate. Take your time contacting referees and don’t be afraid to ask the tough questions. Remember, these people know much more about the candidate than you do so don’t roll your eyes before picking up the phone; reference checking is an opportunity, not a hassle. Make sure you contact current or very recent managers and don’t be afraid to question the job hunter’s reference choices if you don’t believe they will provide any relevant information for you to probe further.

HR Tip #7: Clearly Communicate

For a job hunter, there’s nothing worse than going to the effort of applying for a job, prepping for an interview then not hearing anything back. Clearly communicate with applicants at every stage of the recruitment journey. If you don’t, they will think you don’t know what you’re doing, or worse, that your company isn’t as great as you think it is.

Always confirm that you’ve received their application, even if it’s just a generic auto-response. During the interview process, explain your expectations and any other things they need to do to hopefully nail the job. Afterwards, tell them when they should expect to hear if they got the job and if there’s a second interview stage. If anything changes, keep applicants in the loop rather than not telling them that you need more time to get back to them. And always tell unsuccessful candidates that they didn’t get the job - and why. It sucks, but it’s better than giving them false hope (it’s not a great look if you don’t).

HR Tip #8: Onboard New Staff

If you do onboarding well, new staff will stay engaged. If you don’t, they won’t. Staff training programmes are important to help a new staff member know what they actually have to do, but onboarding covers so much more than this.

Pairing a newbie up with someone more experienced so they learn to find their way around the workplace and know who’s who, as well as having a sounding board to better understand their job, can be critical to the newbie hitting the ground running quickly and efficiently. You may want to think about a unique onboarding experience that highlights everything from who’s who in the business, your company journey, right through to where the loos and the best local coffee spots are.

HR Tip #9: Take Your Time

Filling a role isn’t about finding a person who can simply do the job; it’s about finding the right person who’ll easily slot into your company like they were born for it. Unless it’s an urgent hire, don’t hurry through the recruitment process just so you can tick all your boxes. Take your time to encourage the right people to apply for the job in the first place, then work through all the applicants you get to find the best people to interview. This will give you more chance of finding the right person first time around, instead of wasting everyone’s time and re-advertising, or worse, having recruitment remorse.

Recruitment Done Right

Got a job to fill but don’t know how to go about it? Cinch HR is all about providing easy, down-to-earth, no-fluff HR toolkits and advice so you can spend less time worrying about hiring and firing and more time making money. Say ‘goodbye’ to the drongos; drop us a line today.



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