Every entrepreneur worth their salt knows the importance of investing in their employees.
They know how to keep their work environment conducive to productivity and collaboration.
They know how to ensure that staff are motivated, the importance of making sure they feel valued and respected and ensuring that they are developed in line with not only the needs of the business but with the personal development and career goals of the individual in mind.
All that aside, even the most gifted entrepreneur cannot, to quote Conan Doyle “make bricks without clay”. Even the most generous remuneration scheme and the most comprehensive training and development program cannot achieve its full potential unless it begins with the right candidates.
Recruiting top tier candidates has always been a quandary for entrepreneurs and big business alike, and in order to secure the right candidates, the savvy SME owner must beat the following in mind…
Make your business attractive to the candidate
In order to attract those elusive top tier candidates, one must step outside oneself and look objectively at what they have to offer.
A few cosmetic perks like a ping pong table or dress down Fridays are fun additions to a workplace but they won’t be enough to lure the best of the best to your business.
Think about what you can offer them in terms of developing them and facilitating their career goals. Think about how you can train them and build upon their existing repertoire of skills, knowledge and talents.
Think about the working environment that you can provide and the frisson of ideas and activity that permeates your workplace.
While remuneration is rarely the deciding factor for top tier candidates, it would be naive to suggest that it is not a factor at all. What employee financial perks does your business offer? How does your incentive scheme reward hard work, innovation or ingenuity?
Know what you’re looking for
Though it may seem trite, employers must go into the recruitment process with a very specific idea of what it is they’re looking for in their candidates.
This can often be more nebulous than one expects. It may be harder than you think to envisage exactly what qualities or experience your ideal candidate may have.
It’s all too tempting to adopt an “I’ll know it when I see it” attitude but while the right candidate may indeed bring some qualities to the table that make them ideal in unexpected or unforeseen ways, this is not a mentality that one should bank on.
A clear idea of the qualities you’re looking for will dramatically influence your recruitment process, which brings us to…
Make sure your recruitment process is bulletproof
Ensure that your job description is comprehensive yet worded with brevity and in an appealing, exciting way. Compile a success profile along with your team, HR department or outsourced HR liaison.
Your job ad must be specific in its requirements in terms of experience attributes and qualifications, although be advised that some applicants will not demonstrate these requirements yet apply regardless.
Don’t be afraid to take your time with the selection process, screening candidates by phone before bringing them in for interviews.
It is not uncommon for the recruitment process to comprise several interviews in the current job market so don’t be afraid to take your time as candidates will expect and appreciate this.