Hiring a new employee is an important decision and taking the time to plan the recruitment process is often a key component to finding the right person. One mistake at the start can end in a bad hire, forcing you back to the drawing board. With the potential loss of time and resources, this can be particularly damaging within the Construction & Engineering market, where candidates have such unique and specialised skillsets.
In our experience, we’ve seen a lot of hiring mistakes, so here is our list of top tips to help you avoid them.
The first step, before even looking at a CV, is to prepare appropriately. Make sure that the hiring process is mapped out and key stakeholders are familiar with not just the process, but the goals too.
Who are you looking for? Someone’s success in the role starts with clarity from the outset, so it’s important to identify this early and understand the role itself, as well as the skills you need for it. If an employee is leaving the position, consider how the role might have changed since it was last vacant.
It’s also good practice to put together a persona of the ideal candidate. This sort of preparation will help to clarify the end goal, provide a framework to assess candidates against and will help shortlist applications. However, be aware you’re unlikely to come across the perfect candidate – something that we’ll discuss a bit later.
Screening candidates effectively is key to bringing the right people into a business.
Whether it’s a hesitation about certain experience, salary expectations, or even where they live, a quick call can be a great way to gather information that might not be clear in their application, without having to commit to a proper interview. Whilst we appreciate time pressures mean this isn’t always viable, by working with a recruiter they’ll be able to do this part for you.
Whilst a call won’t take the place of a face-to-face interview, they’re quicker, more convenient and cost effective, which allows you to reach out to a number of people in a short amount of time.
Although CVs and phone interviews provide some indication as to whether someone might be suitable, it would be difficult to make a call without actually meeting them.
It’s no secret that face-to-face interviews are a crucial part of the hiring process and the key to a successful one, is to prepare. Spend 10-15 minutes reviewing a candidate CVs prior to the interview. Take notes and be sure to ask a mixture of questions that assess all candidates in the same way. If you’re stuck, take a look at our interview tips for employers.
Interviews are also a great opportunity to understand a candidate’s motivations. Are they excited about it? Do they appear to enjoy what they do? Would they be proud to work for the company?
Although it can feel like a chore, checking references can prevent poor hiring decisions. Too often, we see employers treating them as a box-ticking exercise – an unwanted task that is rushed on order to bring someone onboard quicker. Whether you enlist the help of your Recruitment Agency, or go it alone, getting this process right is critical. After all, you want to verify they are who they say are! And just because you trust your assessment (and you really like them), doesn’t mean this step can be avoided.
Don’t Forget About Culture Fit
Company culture might feel like a buzzword sometimes, but it is genuinely important when it comes to hiring. Evaluate what your company culture is currently like and think about whether this aligns with your preferred candidate. It’s believed that hiring people who are not a good cultural fit can have a negative impact on the team, creating a greater risk of disengagement and underperformance.
It’s important not to be too insular about culture, however, as there is a risk that you can miss out on some great candidates through unintentional bias, as well as creating teams that are too similar.
Instead, look at what the organisation is lacking. If a candidate has attributes that you feel could add to the company culture, then that will be a bonus.
Looking at Candidates With Potential
As mentioned earlier, the reality is that you will rarely find someone that is the ‘perfect’ candidate. Whilst it’s important not to settle for someone who doesn’t have the right skills and experience, there might need to be a compromise somewhere.
This is where hiring for potential can be powerful. Recognising those candidates who aren’t the perfect fit right now, but who have the skills to excel in the future, is where organisations can find great value.
The key to identifying potential is to look at key competencies – the skills behind the skills, so to speak. Finding someone who is motivated, with potential and whose values align with the company culture, can be more beneficial than just matching skills to bullet points. And with a well-planned training programme in place, they could be up to speed quicker than waiting for the ‘perfect’ candidate to appear on the job market!
Making a mistake at the start can be detrimental in the long-term, so when it comes to finding a new employee, it’s critical to get the process right. Take time to prepare and follow the hiring steps listed above, and you’ll be able to avoid many of the common hiring mistakes that come with recruitment. If you’re looking for support in recruiting Construction & Engineering candidates, get in touch with the RobLawMax team.