To many business owners, the recruitment process (from advertising and interviewing to onboarding into the team) is extremely time consuming, challenging and at times, pretty painful. If you are a business operating without a human resources team, hiring new staff may fall into the hands of either the business owner or another manager who who may not be experienced or comfortable in handling the hiring process effectively. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With some simple planning and organisation, you’ll be able to be more responsive to candidates, identify great people quicker and have them working in your business in half the time it would usually take you. If you are not organised right from the start, you potentially waste valuable hours on things that can be totally unnecessary and will be significant roadblocks to a great hiring and candidate experience.

Understand The Job BEFORE You Write The Job Ad

Before you jump straight into posting a job ad, take time to speak with the people who actually do the job (or know the job) to get the most realistic view of what the role involves. Get different perspectives on what the ideal person needs to bring to the table. Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google, says… “Learn from your best employees – and your worst”Work Rules! Consider what employees have (and haven’t) worked on in the past and what things you can learn from those experiences? Are there any ‘must haves’ for the role that can’t be compromised on? Be open minded on this though because sometimes you’ll come across a candidate who is a little ‘out of the box’ but has the right attitude you need. Also think about the goals this new person will need to achieve in their first 3 months, 6 months and 12 months.

Once you have a very clear picture of the person you need, then you’re ready to write your job ad. Make the advertisement as compelling and exciting as you can and highlight why your business is a great place to work, what business problem they can solve and where this role could lead to in the future. Candidates are interviewing your business just as much as you’re interviewing them. It’s a 2 way process. And don’t forget, once you’re happy with the advertisement, create a template so you can use the same format for next time.

Streamline Your Interview Process

Great candidates don’t hang around waiting for employers to call. If the’ye actively in the market, don’t be surprised if they’re busy juggling 2nd and 3rd interviews and already have a job offer on the table by the time they meet with you. The more transparent and responsive you are with candidates, the quicker you’ll have them working for you and not your competitor.

To get started, decide on what your interview process will look like; how many interviews, who will be interviewing them and how long will your interview process realistically take? A long drawn out process that leaves candidates ‘hanging’ is a real turn off, no matter what size your brand or business is. I’ve worked with one of the biggest and most sought after technology brands in the world and they had a gruelling 8 month interview process. I’m not kidding! It should have been a recruiter’s dream but in reality, incredible candidates simply lost interest and ended up accepting positions with companies who were more responsive and engaged with them at the time. So big isn’t always better – especially when it comes to recruitment. A business of any size with a great recruitment process will be the winner every time.

Be Responsive

When a candidate decides they’re ‘actively’ looking for a new job, they’re mentally ready to make a positive change, they’re excited, open to new opportunities and more willing to move quickly and risk taking time off for interviews. This job search ‘high’ is difficult to sustain and starts to waiver as things begin to drag out (especially when they’re applying for jobs and not getting responses). It is really disheartening when you get excited about a job, spend hours researching and preparing an application then don’t hear anything from the employer for weeks and weeks (or not at all). What does that say about your business? Getting back to candidates when they’re most engaged with you – ideally within the first fews days of applying is really crucial. By keeping the momentum going, and proving your just as engaged as they are will keep your role front of mind when they’re interviewing elsewhere (because they will be, believe me).

So as you can see, it’s not difficult to create a really effective hiring process that will save you time and money and help you build a thriving business. You don’t need to be a recruiter or have any hiring experience to get it right. It just requires some simple planning and an understanding of how your process will look from a candidate’s perspective.