Six Rules of Wise Recruiting for Small Businesses

By Johnny Laurent

1) Look back to go forward. When you're recruiting new talent for your firm, first take a look at your past procedures and practices. Determine what worked and what didn't, then learn why. If you can't fix a process, throw it out. Developing a strategy based on tried-and-true techniques as well as implementing new techniques that are helpful (like social networking) is the best approach.
 
2) Hire for attitude - train for skills. A resume will give you information on a person's experiences and background so you can learn what skills they have. Companies have the ability to train for certain skills and do so all the time. Software changes and protocols change, but you can't change a person's attitude about life and approach to work. Hire people whose attitude fits your company culture; if need be, you can train them to acquire the skills your company needs. New hires should have the ability to learn but the willingness to do so is crucial.
 
3) Past performance does predict future behavior. When interviewing and doing background checks - knowing how someone performed or behaved in the past - is a strong indicator of what he or she is likely to do in the future, so questions should be based on behaviors. Unclear answers from former employers shouldn't be accepted. Ask more questions until you're comfortable so you can determine somewhat how the potential employee is likely to act in a given situation. Develop a recruiting strategy based on finding out who people are, not just what they can do.
 
4) Become the employer of choice. This is the number one recruiting strategy. If an employer is the employer of choice, everyone wants to work for the company and no one wants to leave. You can control your recruiting budget because word of mouth is your best advertising. Resumes come to you rather than you having to pay to get them from ads, online search engines, etc.
 
5) Put them in the book - it's important to keep a reference guide. A reference guide is a recruiter's best tool. It has information about everyone in your organization, including people who work for you and people who don't but you wish they did. An employee's, likes, dislikes. What a current employees want in their next job. Who's moving up or out - who's leaving and have they found a new home? Who took a job where and why. A good reference guide is a record of what's happening inside your company and those of your competitors. It's a little black book to give recruiters an edge on their competitors.
 
6) "Hire hard, manage easy." This is a quote from Alan Davis, chairman and cofounder of Alan Davis Strategic Recruiting, and it says it all. If you spend your time and energy on recruiting, interviewing, and hiring the best, then managing them is a breeze.
 
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About the author:
Johnny Laurent is a vice president and general manager for the Sage Employer Solutions business unit, which includes the market-leading Sage HRMS (human resources management system) brand.
 

 

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