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Hiring the best employees

The great David Ogilvy, founder of what became the world’s largest advertising agency, knew that his business’s success was founded on talent.  As he said: “If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”

Few people would disagree that it’s wise to hire the best people you can. But how do you go about it? We share our top 7 tips.

  1. Get the job description right

You’ll only attract suitable candidates if you get your job description right – people need to have a clear idea about the role they are applying for. Involve team members in drafting each job description and make sure you outline the skills, qualities and experience needed for the role, as well as the duties and responsibilities it entails.

  1. Pay enough

If you don’t provide a high enough salary, you won’t attract the right candidates. As the saying goes, “pay peanuts, get monkeys”. It’s usually better not to hire than it is to hire the wrong person.

  1. Shortlist carefully

Pay very close attention to CVs, application forms and covering letters. Look for candidates who have shaped their pitch to the role you have advertised, rather than just submitting a generic application. One top tip is to look for candidates who offer ideas about what they will contribute to your company, rather than what they will get out of the role themselves. Also, check for gaps in each applicant’s career history, as well as for evidence that they have a range of skills and talents they put to use at work and in their spare time.

  1. Pre-screen

Some candidates come across well on paper but you can often tell whether they are suitable or not within moments of speaking to them. Rather than going to the expense and hassle of interviewing every potential candidate in person, use pre-screening phone calls to create a stronger shortlist. An experienced telephone interviewer should be able to determine whether it’s worth inviting a candidate for a full interview.

  1. Remember the proof is in the pudding

When interviewing, remember that the best evidence that a person is suitable for a role comes from their past accomplishments. Ask what they have achieved for previous employers and look for evidence of initiative, taking on challenges and solving problems. Just because a person is qualified for a role doesn’t necessarily mean they have the on-the-job skills needed to succeed in it,

  1. Match personalities to roles

Always remember that a new employee will be working with others. Ask yourself whether they will be a good fit with the relevant teams, and whether they will learn from colleagues – as well as bring knowledge and experience others can learn from. Don’t mistake charisma for competence but instead focus on whether each candidate has a personality that will help them flourish within your business.

  1. Check everything

Before you offer any candidate a job, confirm important details. If you are hiring an engineer, make sure their engineering degree checks out. If a candidate has claimed they were made ‘Salesman of the Year’ with a previous employer, ask for evidence. And always follow up references – sometimes you can pick up vital intelligence even at this late stage.

Finally, be sure to follow your gut instinct. If someone seems perfect for the role but you don’t quite feel right about hiring them, there’s often a good reason for it. Hiring the wrong person can end up being expensive and cause endless worry and red tape – so it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

If you’re thinking of hiring, don’t forget to think through the financial side too. You can always have a word with us here at THP before you put that job description out there!

Avatar for Samantha Rowe
About Samantha Rowe

Sam’s title is Operations Manager, but the title itself doesn’t truly convey the variety of what she does for THP.  From administrative tasks to payroll, strategic business planning, and office systems and procedures, Sam’s primary skill lies in multitasking.

Sam’s journey began as an office junior with George Nottage (now merged with THP), and she soon learned skills in payroll and bookkeeping, and then gained experience as a PA to the Directors, and as Administration Manager.

At the moment, Auto Enrolment is an area that has a key focus for Sam, and for THP as a whole.  “The question I’m asked the most by clients just now is, ‘How will auto enrolment affect me?’ And the answer is, no matter how big or small you are, you will absolutely be affected by the Auto Enrolment regulations. I’d encourage you to start thinking about it now, and to look at your payroll software to make sure you’re ready.”

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