Are You Hiring the Right People for Your Business?

Most of us agree that hiring the right people is critical to the success of our businesses. The environment we create and the way we lead our employees are also important factors but we must start by making the right hires. Today’s blog presents 5 key steps on how to successfully do this. 


  1. Before you start looking for a new employee, make sure you have a detailed and deep understanding of the person your business needs right now for this role, and don’t just presume that you need to hire the same type of people as last time.

The two most important questions to ask to help define your requirements are:

  1. What are the objectives you want this person to meet and/or the range of tasks you want them to fulfill in the business
  2. What challenges will they face in meeting these objectives and/or completing these tasks (be really honest with yourself about the challenges specific to your business)

Once you have an answer to both of these questions you can start building a picture of the skills, experience and attributes you are going to need. Don’t jump to the conclusion that someone doing the same job for one of your competitors is going to be the best hire (it rarely is). Also, think about the values that are important to your organisation and the nuances of the culture within your environment.

Once you have defined your ideal candidate specification start prioritising your requirements as a perfect match is rare.


  1. Ask yourself (and your current employees), why might your business and the role you have on offer be attractive to the ideal candidate you are looking for.

There are many factors that will make your role attractive (or less so). These can include salary, benefits, and performance related pay (these are often less important than you think), flexibility, office location, office premises, parking, transport links, opportunity to learn/be trained, the challenge on offer, does it feel like fun, the working environment, the profile of your business, opportunity to develop and progress their career etc

Whatever factors you identify, make sure you shout about these in your recruitment marketing, share them with any recruitment agencies you are working with and make sure the candidates get to understand them and experience them through the interview process.

If you can’t identify anything that you think makes your role particularly attractive, either change/improve or accept that you are much less likely to attract and retain the ideal people you are looking for.


  1. Share the details of the role with your whole business and invite people to recommend suitable candidates from their networks.

A recommendation from a trusted employee is very valuable. They know your business and can see the type of people who are going to fit well. They are your best advocate in selling the opportunity to work with your business to any friend/acquaintance whom they feel would be a good candidate.

Make sure you share the details with the whole business, your most junior employee may know people who would be great in your most senior role.

Some organisations incentivise employee recommendations. There are varying schools of thought on the effectiveness of incentivising but the key factor to make a scheme successful is to ensure your employees understand that any referral made has to be a recommendation based on their belief that this is a great person for the business and not just the passing of a name in the hope of making a little extra money.


  1. If you don’t have the time or the candidate reach to do the recruitment legwork yourself, engage with the right recruitment agency and partner with them in the right way.

Early on in the process you need to decide whether you are confident you can hire the best person without the support of a recruitment agency or if you are going to need to partner with one. Recruiting directly for yourself will save having to pay a recruitment fee but remember to consider management time, advertising costs and risk of making the wrong hire when considering a cost comparison.

If you are going to engage with an agency, follow these steps to ensure success:

  • Look for recommendations for agencies. Focus on recommendations from people who have had a great experience as a candidate of a particular agency rather than just recommendations from other business users of their service
  • Ideally engage with just one agency and strike an exclusive arrangement, you will then have the recruiters undivided attention. They may ask you to pay a small retainer which again can further ensure their focus on your hire. Exclusivity and retainers are both negotiable factors that could also help you agree a lower overall fee
  • Strike a partnership with the agencies you engage aiming for a level playing field. Make sure your expectations of them are made clear and equally, allow the agencies to paint a picture of what they need from you to optimise the relationship
  • Invest your time at the beginning of the process in order to provide your chosen agency with the information they need to hire the best person for your role and your business. Also, allow some time for questions that will arise through their search and selection process
  • Rather than just an email with their shortlisted candidates, ask your agencies to have a briefing with you (on the phone or in person) to talk through why they feel each shortlisted candidate is suitable for your business and role. Make them feel it is okay to provide the positives and negatives on a candidate so that you gain their candid view


  1. Have an efficient and objective interview process, remember that it is a ‘two-way street’ and that a positive candidate experience is imperative to you hiring the right people for your business.

Make sure your interview process is designed so that you are measuring all candidates on equal terms and against the ideal candidate specification you created at the beginning of the process. Be conscious of striking the balance between being thorough in your interviewing but not too laborious – good candidates can disappear off the market quickly so may not have the time or inclination to commit to an overly drawn out recruitment process. But equally, each party wants to spend enough time with each other to know that it is the right employment relationship.

Throughout the process, make sure the candidate feels that this is as much about them interviewing you as it is you interviewing them. Some great companies even go as far as letting the candidate influence what the process looks like, there may be particular people that they would like to meet or aspects of their business that they would like to see as part of their decision process.

Communicate effectively throughout the process and make sure you meet any timescales expectations you set. If you aren’t in a position to tell a candidate the exact day they will have feedback, don’t make a false promise as it will only lead to their disinterest, you are better to be open and explain you don’t have a finite date.

Provide detailed feedback to all candidates that enter the process. Make it very clear to any recruitment agencies you are working with that you expect all candidates to have a positive experience and for all candidates to receive feedback, positive or negative.

Remember, your recruitment approach and process is the ‘shop front’ of your business!


Good luck with your hiring. If you would like to discuss how Middletons Assured Talent can help you create a great process, please call Nick on 0113 416 6114

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