Recruitment and selection is one of the most important business processes; a firm is only as good as its staff members.

Recruitment and selection is one of the most important business processes; a firm is only as good as its staff members. Making mistakes with regard to recruitment and selection can cost a significant amount of operational efficiency.

Poor interview techniques

Interviews are the main method by which businesses find out what employees can offer. It’s essential to ask the right questions and find out the necessary information because, barring further interviews, the decision to offer a permanent position will be made on the basis of an interview. Yet many companies fail to prepare adequately for interviews; interviewers must know what they’re looking for and why they’re looking for it to be able to ascertain where a candidate is suitable. Producing a bespoke question list is also key, in addition to a list of possible discussion points.

Emphasising certain skills

For many positions specific skills or experiences will no doubt make a candidate more viable but many companies overvalue certain backgrounds, such as university graduates, even when they may not be best for the job. There’s no harm in acknowledging that certain skills and experiences will benefit the successful candidate, but you should remember that each candidate is unique – uniqueness and an ability to learn quickly can often make up for a lack of experience.

Relative comparisons

When considering several applicants for a position, companies should not compare candidates against one another as this reduces the importance of individual worth and abilities. Candidates should be compared directly to the open position and judged on their ability to fulfil the requirements of the job. This helps ensure that candidates are not cast aside for reasons that may not pertain to the position.

Producing a poor job description

Jobs descriptions should be very thorough, otherwise it’s extremely difficult to know whether a candidate will be able to fill the position successfully. Descriptions should include not only what is required of the position but also the essential and desirable qualities the company would like to see in the successful applicant. By producing a more in-depth job description, companies will be more likely to attract key talent able to add value to the position.

Not advertising in the right places

Small businesses are often concerned with not getting a substantial mix of applicants and therefore advertise their positions in as many different places as possible to increase the chances of finding the best talent. However, this can often be counter-productive; advertising in general media encourages passive jobseekers to apply on a whim. General marketplaces are important when posting job adverts but be careful not to overvalue them; consider industry publications and specialised websites in order to really tap into your niche. Key talent often keep up to date with industry developments and may find your job this way.