…get the first bit right and often the rest will happen much more smoothly!
I was surprised to read that a survey of 2000 micro businesses (those with less than 10 staff) by the British Chamber of Commerce showed that
- 55% were looking to increase the number of people they employ
- But 50% are having difficulty finding the right ‘fit’
One reason for this, according to Dr Adam Marshall, BCC director of policy is that “There is a real mismatch between business needs and local skills supply, with many businesses unable to find school leavers or even graduates with the right mix of skills”.
That may well be the case amongst some younger people wishing to join the workforce but I don’t believe it’s anywhere near the whole story… and anyway what about all those qualified and experienced mature people who are looking for work?
Be clear about what your company needs
This may sound so obvious that it should be as plain as the nose on your face – but that’s not always the case! Working on the sales & marketing communications training side with many micro companies over the years I’ve come across more than I’d care to say who’ve more than once taken on the wrong person for the job at hand – and then moaned about them.
And so from my experience in having to ‘pick up the pieces’ of mis-hires, to be honest I’d say: You can’t blame it all on poor quality applicants! There’s a duty of the would-be employer to get their bit right, too.
Yet if we’re fair, when we stop to think about it, is it really so surprising that business owners often get it wrong? We are largely not trained in the finer arts of recruitment so many, otherwise savvy businessmen and women whose company has so far grown organically may struggle when faced with a blank sheet of paper to put together a decent job spec, let alone a person spec… and that’s the very first thing we need to do.
One thing we need to remember is that we’re about to embark on a buying process and most of us know that, for anything other than a commodity, that process will be swayed ultimately by our emotions.
Put this into perspective in the recruitment process: If we haven’t drawn up the role’s essential requirements along with some nice-to-there’s a much stronger danger we’ll follow our inclination to give the job to the person we like best, conning ourselves that they have the necessary skills, and then feel let down when they fail to reach our expected standards… And whose main fault is that?
There are other steps, of course but I believe this is the first we must discipline ourselves to take and you know what? Each successive job and person spec is that much easier to craft
PS If you want a bit of a laugh why not head on over here for 10 Tricky interview questions from Lynn Tulip…