Updated: Feb 24
Using poor recruitment practices leads to recruiting employees that have a poor job fit, and this eventually has a significant impact on the business’s bottom line. An employee with a poor role fit will:
Take longer to train, and require more time to become productive as their skill set does not match the role;
Require more of their manager’s/team leader’s time, which takes the manager away from tasks which offer greater value to the business;
Feel increasingly distressed and lose confidence in their capability and self-esteem;
Reduce client satisfaction through either poor decisions or an increase in errors; and
Reduce overall staff satisfaction and engagement through having a team member who is not contributing effectively to the business.
Recruitment in small to medium size business is usually done in a reactive manner with no clear strategy. Typically, they use out-dated and ineffective recruitment techniques, and it takes people out of the business whose skill and time is better spent doing what they are good at. Some of the pitfalls businesses experience when recruiting include:
Recruiting just for skills and not considering attitudinal and behavioural factors or cultural fit;
Hiring based on what you see on a resume rather than exploring expertise;
Hiring someone because you get along with them rather than matching skill set to the role;
Fall into the vicious and detrimental trap of the “bums on seats” policy. This is where you just put someone on due to being so busy and anyone is better than no one…. Where in fact it will do more damage than keeping the role vacant;
Not doing background checks. Reference checks are a critical part to the recruitment process and should not be done as a tick and flick exercise; and
Not spending time on-boarding an employee. Spending time with them in the early days will help you ascertain quickly if this person is suitable for the role. If you miss this opportunity in the early stages of employment you run the risk of retaining a poor employee for the long term, which has a huge cost to the business and to the individuals’ development.
The way forward
The pitfalls of recruitment can be easily avoided with a clear strategy. A few simple steps that will aid the process include:
Prepare a Position Description (PD) for the role that clearly identify what skills, experience, behavioural and personal qualities you need your new hire to have;
Prepare some simple and measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that allow you and the recruit to use as a benchmark for how their performance is tracking;
Utilise the PD & KPI’s to draft a job advert, but don’t forget to cover the key benefits of working within your firm and the type of culture you embody.
Consider who your target recruit is and identify where they are likely to be looking for their new job. This will help you work out where/how to advertise! Are they likely to be looking on Seek? Indeed? Career One? The local Newspaper? Instagram? Facebook? LinkedIn? A Uni board? And, are they likely to resonate better with print media or a video?
Always do more than one interview! Where possible we recommend that you phone interview 6-12 applicants and pick the best 3 to bring forward for a face to face interview.
The way someone presents on the phone or on web tools (e.g. Skype or weblink software) may be very different than in real life!
Sometimes you may consider putting your candidates through a test at some stage of the process. For example:
- If you are looking with someone that has great attention to detail you may consider putting a reference number in the job advert for them to quote in their application.
- If you need someone with great presentation and interpersonal confidence you may ask them to present something at the face to face interview.
- If you need someone great at a certain skill (e.g. maths, typing, comprehension of info) then you may have them sit a test that you’ve trialled with someone as a benchmark first!
- And then of course there are the various profiling tests which we can administer at SOS to see if the person is a fit from a personal preference point of view to the role.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to measure your candidate’s qualities against your business values and vision to get a good cultural fit;
Know your budget, and be prepared to sell your business to the candidate. It’s a competitive market for quality people so know what benefits your company can offer them. Money is not the only thing that attracts people to a role. Things like workplace flexibility, working closer to home, mentoring and developmental opportunities may be a person’s key motivator;
Past behaviour is a good predictor of future behaviour. Ask about things like previous achievements and more importantly how they went about achieving them. Or find out what they like best and least in their current role to see how those responses align to what your role needs; and
Reference check! And make sure you are talking to previous managers of your candidates, not their colleagues or family friends! If they can’t provide 2 out of 3 of their prior managers then there is a possibility they have left on bad terms. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing if the recruit is up front and honest and it isn’t a recurring theme!
Sync or Swim offering
We have a full end-to-end recruitment service and are able to place part time, full time, contract and casual staff. We have experience recruiting across a variety of industries from entry level to management and c-suite positions. And you can opt in or out of how much we do versus what you do!
Using SOS to manage the process from start to finish, allows small business owners and managers to focus on what they are great at – running their business! We significantly reduce the costs associated with recruitment agencies as we do not charge a % of the salary! And we will save you from do-it-yourself recruitment by finding you the right person for the job and taking away the lost income and pain incurred from the downtime and mistakes that you may experience when recruiting for yourself. We also make sure every step of the way your business remains compliant as we can draft up contracts that are in line with Fair Work requirements!
Get in touch with Loren at Sync or Swim to hear more!
Article co-authored by: Ainsley Hinkins & Loren Downing.