A Simple Guide to the Recruiting Process

A Simple Guide to the Recruiting Process

Recruiting in a Nutshell

Often a business is only as good as the people who work in it, and when a key employee resigns it can have quite an impact. Finding the right replacement can be challenging and stressful. Read on for a guide on how to go about it.

Follow these key steps to finding the right person to fill a position in your company:

  1. First identify the key job functions.
  2. Identify the requirements necessary to perform those functions. Factors such as education, experience, specific training, and skills may be included.
  3. Determine the salary for the position. Is the salary comparable with the salaries and responsibilities of other positions inside your company as well as similar positions out in the marketplace?
  4. Decide where and how to find qualified applicants. How will you recruit, and where will you advertise this position? It is often best to advertise in more than one medium, e.g. print media and online media.
  5. Collect and review applications and CV’s and then select the most qualified candidates for further consideration.
  6. Interview the most qualified candidates for the position, based on the job description and requirements.
  7. Check references.
  8. Hire the best person for the job.

Conducting a Successful Interview

1.  Prepare in advance for the interview:

  • Know what you want in a candidate before you begin the interview.
  • Know the job and its responsibilities.
  • Prepare a list of standard questions concerning the candidate’s skills, abilities and past work performance that you want him/her to answer.
  • Prepare a list of criteria for analyzing and comparing the candidates.
  • Review the candidate’s CV before the interview.
  • Select a time and a place for the interviews that will minimise the chance for interruptions.


2. Encourage open communication

  • Try to put the candidate at ease by, for example, asking about their experiences in a particular industry or geographical location (refer to his/her CV).
  • Promote a relaxed environment with free-flowing conversation.
  • Do not dominate the discussion by talking too much.
  • Ask structured questions that will need some thought on the part of the candidate.
  • Listen carefully to the candidate’s answers. If they do not provide you with specific results, probe until they do.


3.  Collect relevant information during the interview:

  • The question and answer phase of the interview is the most important part of the recruitment process.Since past behaviour predicts future behaviour, look for the candidate’s behaviour “patterns” as you collect information. Often, by listening to how the candidate responds to your questions about previous jobs, you will be able to get a very good idea of what their behaviour will be like in the future.
  • Ask questions that focus on the candidate’s past performances. For example, if the job demands an individual who is well-organized and handles paperwork easily, you may want to ask, “How do you keep track of your own schedules and administration work in your current position?”
  • Ask specific questions in regards to specific problems that the job holder may face. Focus on past behaviour and the results of the candidate’s actions in a particular situation. For example: “Have you had any experience dealing with difficult customers (or co-workers?) Who was the most difficult customer you had to deal with? What was the situation? How did you resolve the problem?”.
  • Notice how well the candidate listens and responds to the questions asked.
  • Note the candidate’s choice of words and non-verbal behaviour. Are they answering your questions clearly and confidently? What does their body language tell you?
  • Listen to the questions the candidate asks. Notice which questions he/she asks first as they may be his/her primary concerns.
  • Take notes that will help you remember each candidate and each interview clearly.
  • Review the information immediately after the interview when your memory is still fresh. One idea is to “rate” each candidate on each of the criteria immediately following the interview.
  • Avoid “closed ended” questions which can be answered with a “yes” or “no” since such questions really reveal nothing about the applicant. “Open ended” questions, which need some thought on the part of the applicant, give a much better picture of the applicant. For example, asking an applicant what he liked most and least about his or her previous job reveals much more than asking an applicant whether he liked his last job.
  • If a certain level of education, a license, or certificate is part of the job requirement, physically examine the proof. While most applicants will be truthful about this, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
  • In describing the job to the applicant, be truthful and tell the applicant the negative as well as the positive sides of the job. You may want to stress the positive side of the job to an applicant you like, but if a person fully understands the job before accepting it, there is a better chance of getting a good, long term employee.

4.  Look and act professionally during the interview

  • Dress appropriately.
  • Don’t look bored and tired.
  • Set a businesslike atmosphere.
  • Structure the interview.
  • Provide information on the company and the job to each candidate.

Checking References:

Before making a final decision, references should be checked. Have a list of questions ready before you contact the referee, and work through these. The most valid references will be from former employers, and these should be people who the individual reported to in some capacity. Try to read between the lines when doing reference checks, as most people try to be as nice about the person as they can. Don’t rely on written references handed to you by the applicant – make sure you speak to the previous employer yourself. And always try to do at least 2 reference checks – this way you can see if they check out.

Hiring the Best Person:

After the interviews are completed and you have verified references and experience, take some time to discuss the pros and cons of each applicant with colleagues or co-interviewers, before making a decision.

[This article has been composed using information fromgoogobits.com, findlaw.com and county.org)