Renee Henville is the Managing Director of Integrated Human Resources who specialise in providing solution focused HR, Recruitment & OHS advice to SMEs, who choose to outsource their people and culture function. Her team’s goal is to integrate business strategy with employees obtaining greater employee engagement, focus, productivity and ultimately improved bottom line. We were privileged to sit down with Renee recently to benefit from her expertise in hiring the right person for the job.
Be Prepared, Understand the Role
Preparation is key. Undertaking a job analysis can be useful. Make sure you’ve covered the basics:
- Job title
- What award is relevant?
- What salary band are you wanting to pay?
- Is bonus or commission part of the salary package?
- Who will the employee report to?
- What tools and equipment will be required?
- Importantly what is the purpose of the position and why does it exist?
Don’t forget to think about the type of personality required for the role. Is it a fast paced, people centred role? You’ll be looking for someone with the energy and enthusiasm to carry out the role. Similarly with analytical roles, your company’s culture needs to be considered when bringing in a new team member.
The next step is conducting a job analysis to define the responsibilities of the role including the major activities:
- What and how much experience does someone need to successfully carry out those responsibilities?
- What, if any, education or qualifications does the person need?
- What personal skills do they need – Communication, influencing, selling?
- What personal traits do they need – Workplace behaviours, fast paced action orientated, or slower paced, detailed etc.?
- What are the working conditions – Indoors, outdoors, heat, noise, etc?
You really need to sell your business to prospective employees. Employment today is about much more than just a competitive salary, there are intangible benefits for the employee as well:
- Working from home
- Flexible work time options
- Training, development, and upskilling
Stand Out When Advertising
With only about 4% unemployment, everyone who wants a job has a job. To move to another company or another job, an employer needs to make the recruitment campaign seamless, on brand, and make the job attractive to entice the right people (as per the job analysis) to apply for the role which also means using the right job platform is critical.
- Seek – Still the #1 job platform within Australia,
- LinkedIn (free) and don’t forget social media like Facebook and Instagram.
Because of the difficult recruitment market – think differently. Gumtree works for some trades roles. Advertise where your candidates might be, use your imagination.
Once advertised, it is essential to move quickly on suitable candidates, call them straight away to let them know that you’re interested. From the moment you connect with that candidate, they are judging you and the business as much as you are judging them for the role. It’s a candidate’s market right now, they are completely spoiled for choice.
Keep your advertisement relevant;
- Keep to the most important points about the position
- Dot points are great to outline the role you’re advertising.
- Large blocks of text can tend to put people off reading.
- Don’t feel the need to include the entire job description in your ad.
If a candidate is interested in the position, they will have Googled your business and done research or visited your careers page for more information on the job. You have the ability to delve further into the position description when you begin to call your candidates to commence the interview process.
Setting Everyone Up for Interview Success
It’s important to see your interviews with candidates as ongoing branding for your business so it’s crucial that you have done your preparation before the interview commences. You want your business to come across as being organised, and this is your opportunity to really sell your brand to your candidates. Ensure that you have an interview guide or checklist with you so you don’t forget to ask the questions most important to your business. While structure is important, allow a free flow of conversation so you can get a ‘feel’ for the person you’re interviewing.
You need to feel comfortable that your candidate can actually do the job you’re hiring them for and what is written on paper isn’t exaggerated. It’s also important for both you and them to be as comfortable as possible so they are open, honest and candid about the job and how they fit with your business.
It helps to use a combination of behavioural and technical questions because past behaviour predicts future behaviour. Behavioural questions that work well include:
- “Tell me about a time when you experienced a difficult customer and what was the outcome?”
- To get a sense of whether your prospective employee aligns with your company’s values, you could consider behavioural questions like – “Can you explain what your personal / working values are?
To understand how skilled the person is for the role, technical or situational questions could include:
- “What is the process you would undertake in reconciling the accounts or something similar / relevant to the position?”
- You could also present a typical situation that occurs and ask the candidate to talk you through how they would respond to the situation.
Remember, open ended questions are quite useful to help the candidate feel comfortable and support a conversation:
- “What did you like most about your last job and why?”
- “What did you like least about your last job and why?”
- “What are you really proud of in your career up to now?”
These do not negate the importance of using traditional questions which Renee and her team use all the time. Questions, like:
- What are the 3 strengths you would bring to this position?
- What frustrates you in your work and how do you overcome these challenges?
These questions can give you insight into a candidate’s self awareness, their ability to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses, and their capacity for learning new things and taking on new challenges.
Lastly, to make sure all candidates are treated equally and fairly, using the same interview questions throughout each interview will ensure you get a balanced view of each individual and how well they could be the right person for the job.
Do the Checks!
Renee believes Reference Checks are still very important although there is much conjecture about them. Her company performs two reference checks for each candidate and finds that the task of checking provides for interesting and truthful insight into a potential employee.
Think about what other types of checks may be required for the position;
- Police clearance?
- Working With Children Clearance?
- A tertiary degree?
Many jobs require certification or licenses so it’s crucial to check these areas to ensure that your favoured candidates are suitably qualified and that their qualifications are genuine. Going through the process of getting rid of someone who isn’t the right fit for your business is exhausting, time consuming and expensive, so ensure that all of your processes are followed and your checks are done to make sure you’re hiring the right person.
Social media checks are also extremely important these days. Doing a LinkedIn, Facebook and general google search of someone’s name is an absolute must! Whilst what people do in their spare time shouldn’t impact the job they perform, it will give great insight into who they are away from work, their personality and the type of people they surround themselves with.
As you can see, preparation is key when you’re about to commence your search for your new team member.
- Consider your advertising options when it comes to finding the right fit for your team
- Don’t be afraid to try new platforms and different avenues of recruitment.
- Make sure you’re prepared with a variety of interview questions for your candidates.
- Don’t dismiss the importance of the reference check.