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5 Tips For Finding The Perfect Staff Member

Fri, 11/09/2012 - 4:26pm | by monicadear

The ongoing recession has put a strain on businesses everywhere. Smaller companies in particular may be struggling more than usual to find and attract suitable and dedicated staff, with whatever capital that might have been available for recruitment and employee development being reallocated to more central aspects of the business budget. Fortunately, it’s still possible to locate and attract great candidates if you know what you’re doing.

1. Make Sure Your Advertising is Effective

With the current surplus of capable candidates, one might be forgiven for believing that the pressure on employers has been reduced. However, the ever-increasing proliferation of the internet means that online recruiting is the name of the game, and so candidates have virtually instant access to adverts from rival employers with the click of a mouse. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that your advertising copy is on-point. Is it keyword optimised? Does it offer a concise description of the role and the necessary skills and experience? Finally, does it sell your company as a great place to work? Writing a good ad isn’t as easy as it first seems, but stick to these points and you should be able to attract the right types of people.

2. Devise a Productive CV-Filtering System

Let’s be clear - despite the fact that you are actively competing with other employers, you will still need to sieve through dozens or even hundreds of applications before whittling the candidates down to a shortlist. Look at the CVs first. Does the candidate have the required level of education and/or experience? If so, look at their covering letter. Do they seem like they could be a good fit? If so, put their application to one side. Online recruiting makes this process far easier, as discarded applications won’t mount up on your desk!

3. Conduct Preliminary Interviews

One of the quickest and most effective ways to further reduce your shortlist of candidates is to arrange a phone interview. By this stage, you will effectively be operating on instinct. Ask a few standardised questions of each job seeker and attempt to judge their intelligence and character. If they still seem like they would be suited, invite them for a conventional interview.

4. Face-to-Face Interviews

It’s crunch time. Traditional interviewing remains the cornerstone of any employment effort, and is one method with which online recruiting cannot compete. As with telephone interviewing, it is useful to design a set of standardised questions. In this way, you will be able to best compare the responses of diverse candidates and come up with the best option.

5. Formalize it

Make your initial offer of employment in writing, and be sure to note that any final offer will be dependent on the receipt of satisfactory references. You will also be responsible for ensuring that the successful candidate is legally entitled to work in the country, so ask for verification of their identity at the earliest possible point.


Robert Jones is a senior Human Resources professional from an international business services consulting firm. He has over 20 years’ experience in selecting and interviewing candidates.

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