Finding the right person for the job

Ten tips on how to recruit the best people. From MediaCom HR manager Claire Gilmore and Zelus UK director Noj Mather.

Referral bonuses: Spread word-of-mouth information about the position availability, or eventual availability, to employees so they can constantly look for superior candidates in their networks of friends and associates. Introduce a "Recruit a Friend" scheme in work with a financial bonus. The more people you tell about your opportunities, the more likely you are to attract top-notch candidates. It also saves on recruitment fees. CG

Sell yourselves through your website: Ensure that the recruitment section of your company website tells, and even "sells", potential employees about the vision, mission, values and culture of your company. CG

Get your questions right: Effective interviews are essential in recruiting the right person first time for a job. Managers must be trained in interview skills and questioning skills for their own development and also to ensure that the company avoids costly and damaging legal disputes involving equal opportunities legislation. Too many managers fall back on using the same questions over and again. The questions need to draw out the individual's experience and skill set required for the post. CG

Be a great host, be professional: Don't keep them waiting in the lobby. How valuable do potential employees feel if they are treated like interruptions to "real work"? Confirm that you appreciate a person's talent by the way you treat them - from the time a candidate comes in the door until they leave, and even as they await your decision. CG

Stay disciplined: Interviews are time consuming and a systematic approach is needed. It is important that you choose the interview style and format that are best suited to the needs of both your organisation and potential employees. CG

Create clear and defined job specifications: From this you can prepare the job description and the person specification. If this is a replacement post, don't use the old job description. Critically review it first - priorities usually change over time. NM

Use the right platforms, such as career databases, recruitment consultancies, word-of-mouth and the trade press, to promote your positions

Invest time in developing relationships with university placement offices, recruiters and executive search firms. Enable current staff to participate in industry professional associations and conferences where they are likely to meet potential candidates. Watch the online job boards for potential candidates who may have resumes online, even if they are not currently looking. Use professional association websites and magazines to advertise for professional staff. NM

Multistage interviewing will uncover a person's skills and talents Screen, inquire, investigate, evaluate and verify references. Make sure the interview process is relevant and well executed, as long drawn-out processes can often put the "better" candidates off. NM

Get them off to a great start: Once recruited, make sure to create a thorough, engaging and stimulating orientation for the new employee. Getting the right person off to the best start takes only a little more effort and can reap big rewards. Give progress reports and feedback. NM

Be honest and genuine: Represent the real culture of your organisation. Be known for not just being a great employer, but letting people know you are a great employer. Take a look at your employee practices for retention, motivation, accountability, reward, recognition, flexibility in work-life balance, promotion and involvement. NM.

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