Ask James Caan – 19th April – Issue 44
This week, James Caan, advises a small business owner on how to manage their in-house recruitment process, meet candidate expectations and build their brand.
It’s been an incredibly busy time for webrecruit. Not only did we become the 9th largest group with the arrival of our 45,000th member, but we helped c540 candidates to find a job. All in all, a great month’s work so far!
This week’s column focuses on employers and how to get the most out of the application process. As businesses are increasingly tasked with delivering more for less, the way a lot of employers recruit is changing.
Rachel’s letter demonstrates just some of the issues a small business can face when recruiting.
‘I’m in the fortunate position to recruit for my small business. I’ve chosen to bring recruitment in-house – but am fast realising it’s incredibly time consuming.
Rachel, your situation shows that it’s not just the job seeker who is faced with hurdles in today’s job market. Whilst current unemployment levels are starting to show some promising signs, the industry is still experiencing record-breaking numbers of applications, with job seekers applying in their hundreds for the chance to secure that all important interview. Particularly for the small business, this can have a big effect on resource allocation.
‘The online advert has only been running for a week, but the response has been overwhelming. When it comes to looking though applications and the interview process, what should I be looking for?’
If you’re faced with a big response, consider removing the vacancy from where it’s advertised, to avoid disappointment from prospective applicants. Hopefully, from the CVs already received (and if you positioned the role correctly) you should be able to start compiling an interview shortlist.
When creating this selection, make sure to look for relevant experience and skills, and remember not everyone uses the same keywords. Different candidates use different terminology, so don’t be ruthless. The ideal candidate will have presented their CV in an easy to read format, they’ll know what requirements are needed and preferably, tailored their application to get your attention.
If it’s a client-facing role, such as customer service or office support, consider how their experience would translate into your business environment. Anybody can claim they have flawless communication skills – that’s why it’s important to get the really good candidates in for a face-to-face interview. When I’m recruiting, I also like to keep an interview slot reserved for a wild card – someone who won’t necessarily match the profile I’ve got in my head, but rather they’ve included something in their CV that’s really got my interest.
If the new recruit will report to you, then ensure to play an active part within the interview process. After all, only you can determine if someone is right for your team. But also ask another manager to sit in to get an outsider’s view.
How do you deal with candidate applications you don’t wish to pursue? The issue of rejection letters is one of high importance when it comes to candidate communication. Their biggest complaint always comes down to getting confirmation their application has been received and whether or not their CV will be considered.
Replying to each candidate can be a time-consuming task, but in order to build your company’s brand, I recommend putting processes in place to do so. It’s an extremely competitive job searching climate in which candidates are always told to chase for feedback. Make sure you can provide insightful answers to help them develop further.
Best of luck,
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