Build great Teams – People management

Hiring (Or Recruitment) – What’s It All About?

Hiring (Or Recruitment) – What’s It All About?

When you’re hiring, you’re looking for the people who can support you growing your business. The people who will work with you not against you. But there are some things you need to do before you start looking for candidates and advertising your job.

You want people that will fit with your company’s culture and who will work well with your existing team. But you also need people who have the skills and experience do the job you’re employing them to do. You’ll also want to make sure there is a mix of personality types in your team. A team of one personality type will argue, not challenge each other, or will get nothing done.

Hiring – A Story

Let’s think about Ed, who Evan at Effective Engineering hired. Evan hired Ed for his technical expertise installing sound equipment. Finding people who know how to install this equipment is not easy. When Evan found Ed he thought his luck was in. Ed demonstrated his technical skills to Evan and came across as friendly and polite. Evan hired Ed as a senior member of the small team of engineers at Effective Engineering.

It soon became clear that Ed is not a team player and likes to keep his experience to himself. His customer service skills aren’t great either. Ed’s first jobs were all in expensive residential homes. Customers weren’t happy with the condition their houses were left in. Junior engineers raised concerns that Ed wouldn’t show them how to do things.

So what went wrong? Technically, Ed fits perfectly, but Evan didn’t check for attributes that would be key for Ed’s success at Effective Engineering. Evan didn’t dig down in the interview to find out details about Ed’s experience. Ed used to work in industrial premises and new-build homes. He didn’t have to mentor others or leave the place clean and tidy. A very different culture to Effective Engineering.

Hiring – Another Story

Now let’s think about the hiring or recruitment process itself. Consider an experience that Ally, the owner of Accounting and More learnt from. When Ally was recruiting Anna, her Admin, she put a job advert out locally. She figured that the job didn’t need huge amounts of experience and she could train the person to do most of what she needed. She thought it was more important that they were relatively local so they could get to and from work easily, and that they fit in the team well.

Her job advertisement was very generic. It listed some of the things the person would be required to do and put a lot of emphasis on covering the phone answering service. It surprised Ally to get responses from thirty-two local people. That was far more than she was expecting and these people had all sorts of experience between them.

Ally arranged 90-minute interviews with all thirty-two people. She asked everyone the same questions to keep it fair. And she continued even when it was clear that the candidate was not at all appropriate for the job. Many had come ready to answer phones all day but not to do any other administrative tasks.

Ally could have saved herself, and most of the candidates, a lot of time if she’d used a funnel process. A funnel process applies screening at various stages through the hiring process. Filtering leaves you with a few good candidates to interview in person.

Hiring Is Expensive

In the UK the average staff turnover rate in the UK is 15%, and it costs over £30,000 to replace a person if they leave. This is made up of logistical costs of hiring someone, as well as the loss in productivity costs of not having an employee who’s fully up to speed. And it will also cost you time which is probably better served doing something more strategic for your business.

If you don’t hire the right person it may also cost you a lot of management time later to handle performance and productivity issues. If you can’t work through those issues, it may ultimately cost you time and money to move the person out of your company. Then you start all over again spending time and money to recruit a replacement.

But don’t forget the cost to your business in terms of team motivation for the time the team is disrupted. That might be the time when your team is short a person, and the team has to work harder to cover. It also includes any team ‘rebuilding’ that is necessary when the new person joins, as the ‘new’ team will need to adjust. You may also have to deal with low morale in a team if they have to work with someone who is not happy, motivated or productive.

Hire people who fit well and who will deliver what you need, first time. It’s vital to your business success and impacts your bottom line in many ways.


Recruitment is the process of finding and hiring the best-qualified, best-fitting candidate for a job opening, in a timely and cost effective manner.

It requires that you:

  • Analyse the job requirements.
  • Attract candidates to the job.
  • Screen to exclude less or non-qualified candidates.
  • In-person interview (behavioural interview questions and follow-up questions).
  • Select applicants.
  • Complete the legal and administrative tasks that are associated with hiring.
  • Integrate the new employee into the company (including induction).
  • Do the above steps in the order shown to use your time effectively. This process will help you make an objective decision so that you hire the right people. Don’t be tempted to skip any of these steps and go right into “I know someone who’s looking for a job who will do”, or do the “advertise job” step only and then interview anyone who applies. Play the long game and do it systematically to make sure you invest in the right addition to your team.

    The Interview

    How you conduct interviews affects your brand. A well-organised interview will enhance your brand with the candidate – even if you don’t offer them a job. If they turn out to be your ideal employee – don’t put them off with a bad interview experience. You’re interviewing them, but they’re also deciding whether they want to work for you.

    Prepare behavioural interview questions well in advance of any interview based on the attributes you’re looking for. Design them so you spend 10-15 minutes per attribute. If you only bring in the best candidates you will have time to conduct a thorough interview. Use templates to help you make sure you give everyone the same experience and that you gather all the information you need to make an objective decision.

    Ask all candidates the same questions and give all candidates the same amount of time to sell themselves to you. You can then compare them fairly after the interview. The main part of the interview should focus on your behavioural interview questions. This is where the candidate gives you real-life examples of how they’ve demonstrated the attribute in other situations. Find out the situation they were in, the task they were asked to do, what actions they took and what the result was. If you need to test your candidate’s practical or technical skills, don’t forget to build that into your interview process too.

    My Question To You

    Are you happy with your hiring process? Are you confident in your hiring process? If this is something you would like to discuss or would like some help with, contact me at You can also buy my book Accelerate to Team Success which is available as a paperback or on Kindle.


    About the Author:

    Nikki Faulkner photo Dr Nikki Faulkner founded Mulberry Bush Consulting to work with business leaders and their teams to make the 'People' side of their business as effective as possible. Mulberry Bush Consulting's specialty is helping small businesses who are new to having employees and helping businesses who are growing rapidly and increasing their employee-base at a rate that is creating a significant challenge.

    You are not alone and we can help.

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