How many times have I heard “I just can’t find good people”. The silly thing about it is recruitment doesn’t need to be that difficult at all.
I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know when I say ” your team is one of the most valuable assets you can ever invest in”, but I thought a reminder wouldn’t go astray. What’s interesting though is when we say “invest” most of us think in terms of money, but in actual fact it’s not about the money, but more about “time”.

More in small companies than in big ones, individual performance can really impact the company’s overall performance. The big guys have depth and specialization, where your managers are stretched thin, have multiple responsibilities and are running hard to keep up. They need to be really good at their jobs, and therefore the quality of your recruitment process can make or break you.

A typical employee in a small business will cost of between $45,000 and $85,000 a year. A miss hire can cost a significant part of our annual profit. To get good people with the right skills and personality first you need to understand what that actually is, and then use the tricks along with a little science to find and recruit them. This is where the time comes into it, but not as much as you think.


Review your organization chart to make sure that all areas are properly covered and that, tasks are logically grouped and match your organisation’s goals. Then create or review the position description. An old description may not accurately describe the job today.

  • Set a realistic timetable for your search and hire. Don’t let the pressure of an upcoming meeting or the start of a big project push you to hire someone. Perhaps temporarily parcel out key tasks among other staff with the appropriate rewards and incentives to buy you the time needed. Otherwise use temps or contractors to handle specialized work. It is all worth it because the wrong hire can mean you have to train the person, deal with disgruntled coworkers, or let the person go and start again. Remember, it is a lot harder to get rid of someone than hire them.
  • Depending on the position you are filling, bear in mind that you may get an avalanche of candidates, from qualified to wishful to awful. So start with a narrow, focused, specific search. Word your advertisement carefully to attract the skills and personality you need and discourage those who do not fit. The trick here is to use a behavioral profiler (DiSC or similar) to find the right words which will attract only those people who are suited for the role.
  • Internet recruitment sites offer good value–but be prepared to be inundated by poor quality applicants playing a numbers game with their electronic resume. The trick here is to place a hurdle in their way. What I recommend and teach is a request at the bottom of the Job advertisement saying “Please do not send resume. Only applicants that phone will be considered”. The number they call doesn’t even need to be manned. It could simply have a recorded message on it asking applicants for explanations as to why they should be considered for the role. This saves time and also deselects those people who aren’t truly interested. Another little trick: Local newspapers are very good for recruiting part-timers looking for the convenience of a local job.
  • The next trick is to have them attend a group interview. Keep the number of applicants you interview to a manageable number, around 6 to 8. The group interview has a strict format which you need to adhere to. The format is too involved for me to explain now so please contact me and I’ll send you the complete document with the PowerPoint template and interview questions that should be asked (along with the responses you should be looking out for).
  • Ignore this step at your own peril... Take the time to check references. If the candidate hasn’t supplied you with at least 3 or 4 work references (not social) then push hard to get them. This is not a trick but instead a non-negotiable. Remember a miss-hire can cost you more than just a salary for a few months.

Not money but time is the key to successful recruitment. Add some of these tricks above to your recruitment process and I’ll guarantee you’ll improve your chances incredibly. Obviously if you feel you need a hand give me a call and I’d be happy to help you through the process.