Recruitment - Do You Know What You're Looking For?

Alan Fairweather

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The time will come when you'll need to interview someone to join your business or your existing team. If you work in a large organisation then this could be someone from inside the company. You might even be the owner of a small business and about to start your first employee. Whatever the situation, you're going to have to make a decision about whether this person is suitable for the job or not.

I'm aware that in some organisations a middle manager may have a new team member picked for them. The applicant is either hired by the Human Resources department or the senior manager.

If you're in this situation then you must fight against it by communicating with your manager. You must assert yourself in this situation and give feedback to your manager. I appreciate the difficulty of this situation (I've been there). You'll find out how to do it in my e-book - “How to get more Sales by Motivating your Team"

It'll be extremely difficult to be a successful manager unless you decide who'll be on your team. You need to have total faith and belief in every member of your team and they need to know that.

It may be the case that you work for an organisation with sophisticated selection systems. Or you might own or work for a small company where you write the job advertisement, do all interviewing and make the coffee. Whatever the situation, there comes a time when you'll be eyeball to eyeball with a potential team member.

Before you can ask a question or conduct an interview, you need to be very clear in your own mind - you need to know exactly what you're looking for. Now you might jump in here and say - “I know what I'm looking for - a new receptionist or a maintenance engineer, or a sales agent and I want a good one. " But what do you mean by a good one?

What you're looking for is someone:

*Who can deliver the outcomes you need

*Who'll fit with the company structure

*Who'll fit with the existing team

*Who'll respond to your style of managing

*Who'll be happy in the job

Let's look at each of these points in turn.

Deliver the Outcomes

The outcomes (you might call them goals, targets or objectives) for your business could be varied but I'm sure they'd be along the lines of - Finding new customers - holding onto the ones you have and getting them to buy more of your products or services. However for an individual team member the outcomes you need from them are probably more specific. These could be outcomes such as:

*More orders (You'd want this from a sales person)

*More happy customers who come back and also tell their friends (from someone in a customer service position) *Fast maintenance turnaround (if the person is an engineer or technician)

*Well presented and delicious food (from a cook or chef)

*A well run and efficient office (from an admin person)

Outcomes are what you and your team are judged on. So you need to be clear in your own mind what outcomes you want from the person you interview.

Fit with the Company Structure

You also need to think about whether the person you interview will be happy in your company and your culture. Some people who move from a large company to a much smaller one often find it hard to adjust and vice versa.

You must ensure that the person you employ will be happy working within your structure. That's why good interviewing techniques are vital.

Fit with the team

Will the job applicant fit well with the existing team? Maybe your team are a group of loners who don't communicate with each other but it's unlikely. They probably all communicate with each other have breaks together and generally chat amongst themselves. You can't pick people who're all the same - who wants a set of clones in the team? However you need to pick someone who is on the same wave-length as the rest of the team. Perhaps you could involve a team member at a second interview, they might have a better feel for whether the person would fit or not.

Respond to your style

How will the person respond to you, will they be able to work with your style of management?

I've had applicants at an interview complain about their existing boss - “Do you know that he expects me to do such and such. " And I've thought to myself, “That's exactly what I'd be expecting also. "

You've must have a good connection with the person you bring into your team. That doesn't mean that you're going to be best buddies but you'll need to be able to work together.

Consider if you're the kind of manager who likes to work closely with your team and regularly check their progress. If so, you'll need an individual who wants structure and detail and is comfortable with close monitoring. If on the other hand, you're the kind of manager who sets outcomes and leaves the team to get on with it without much help from you. Then you're going to need someone who is happy to work with minimum supervision.

They need to be happy

Job applicants don't know what they're getting into when they start a new job. They might think they know but how can they when they've never worked in your team or your company before. Just as it's a risk for you when you start someone new, it's also a risk for them. You'll never totally eliminate the risk but it's your job minimise the risk for both you and the applicant.

Discover how you can interview and recruit the best people for your team!

Alan Fairweather is the author of “How to get More Sales by Picking the Best Team" This book is packed with practical things that you can do to - make your life easier and achieve your business goals. Click here now:


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