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Team work when recruiting

Having difficulty employing the right staff? Pace Solutions managing director Tracey Underwood shows how a well-rehearsed recruitment process increases the chances of selecting the right candidate.

Recruitment is sometimes quoted by employers as a necessarily evil. So why is that? We all aspire to have a great team around us but the time and effort to find that team, can sap the energy of even the most enthusiastic employer.

So how can you recruit whilst retaining your sanity at the same time?

First of all, don’t do all the work and decision making yourself, work with a senior member of your team, perhaps the practice or operations manager if you have one (or maybe you need to recruit one!), they can do most of the legwork. To ensure that person makes the most efficient use of their time, you need to have a clearly defined recruitment process.

The starting point is to identify the need. Sounds
crazy right? But take a step back, sometimes it’s inefficient processes that are taking up all the time and resources, making you think that you need a new member of staff. Redesigning a process may create capacity where a new member of staff is not needed. If however, after reviewing your processes, there is still a clear need for a new member of staff, then create a clear and concise job description based on the firm’s objectives.

It is important that the people fit the description and not the other way around.

Recruitment methods

There are a variety of methods that can be used to recruit:
1. Headhunting/word of mouth
2. Engage a recruitment agency
3. Advertise

Each method is not without
its positives and negatives. In terms of expense, advertising and word of mouth are the cheapest routes but if you find the right recruiter they are worth the extra expense. A good recruiter should thoroughly understand your business and market.

Once you start to receive CVs, then filtering is required to match back to the job description. Once you have filtered, then invite successful applicants in for an interview.

A competency based test should form part of the interview process, however this should be used as a guide rather than a given. Much more important is application of knowledge and for more senior roles such as paraplanners and advisers, a case study analysis would be more appropriate.

You should have a prepared list of questions to ask the candidate to ensure consistency. Candidates can then be filtered according to their responses to the questions. Question should be structured around:
1. Job specific
2. Personality – strengths/ weaknesses
3. Context – why have they applied for the job?

Personality and passion

Personality and passion is something that can’t be taught, whereas qualification/technical ability can. If you have someone with lots of qualifications but
no personality or application of knowledge then it’s likely this is not the person for you.

Once you have filtered from first interview, the second interview should be used to introduce the candidate to meet a wider range of staff, their direct reporting line and other members of the team. The existing team can offer a different perspective that the interviewer may have missed.

You may also want to introduce psychometric testing. There are various tools available and you should use the one that suits your business and team.

Only once you have gone through this whole process and narrowed it down to the individual that suits your business can a formal offer be sent.

A well-rehearsed recruitment process increases the chances of selecting the right candidate based on the business needs and not on gut feel. The time and expense afforded to the process will pay dividends in the longer term. ●

The job description provides:
1. A clear brief for staff
2. Performance benchmarks
3. A selection filtering process

A job description contains:
1. Job title & purpose of job
2. Reporting lines
3. Main responsibilities
4. Personal skills, experience & knowledge – broken down into the essential and the desirable


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