Business, Career, Entrepreneur

Recruiting Staff During the Pandemic

2020 has been a difficult year for many businesses, but as we’re beginning to adapt to new ways of working and operating through the pandemic and fluctuating restrictions and guidelines, many of us are seeing our businesses getting back on track. If this is true for you and you’re experiencing success, you may find that you want to take on new staff members to expand your company and boost your business’ success. Of course, recruitment is going to be a little different right now. Most recruitment processes will now be carried out remotely and you may be feeling a little lost as to what you should do to secure the best quality staff without ever meeting them on a face to face basis. Here are a few tips that should help to guide you along the way!

Advertise Vacant Positions Well

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The first step you’re going to have to take when it comes to getting new staff on board is advertising the vacant or new positions that you are looking to fill. Now, traditionally, many companies may have put out physical ads – often job notices pinned up around their commercial premises. But even before the pandemic, this practice was slipping out of fashion. Nowadays, the best way to attract new staff is generally to post the position on an online jobs board. There are a number of sites that you can use to do this, or you can even use job boards on professional networking platforms like LinkedIn. This will allow all sorts of potential candidates to see the position without having to leave the safety of their own homes.

Choosing Potential Candidates

When applications start coming in, it’s time to start sifting through them to root out potential candidates who you feel may be relevant or suitable for the job that you’re advertising. Of course, unemployment is extremely high right now, so many people are applying for positions that aren’t relevant to their actual qualifications and experience. Many people who are recruiting new staff members are finding themselves flooded with applications and resumes and don’t have the time on their hands to actually go through the hundreds or even thousands of applications. If this sounds familiar to you, you may want to use a recruitment agency to help. This comes at a cost, but will free up your time. You’ll get someone in the position as quickly as possible without the process interfering with your own work.

Conducting Interviews

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Once you have some potential candidates lined up, it’s time to start conducting interviews. Nowadays, for many businesses, this is now a multi step process. Most businesses will now conduct a phone interview to get a feel for the candidate, followed by successful applicants getting through to a face to face interview stage. Of course, most of us are working remotely now, and face to face interviews may not be possible. So consider conducting the interview over video call software like Zoom instead. Here are some interview steps to work into the process.

Introduce Yourself

Start the interview by introducing yourself and anyone else from the company who is present within the call. Give the candidate a brief idea of your position, what you do in the company and why you, in particular, are interviewing them.

Ask the Applicant to Introduce Themselves

Next, ask the applicant to introduce themselves. This will serve as an ice breaker of sorts. It will also give you an opportunity to get a feel of their character, an insight into their interests and a better idea of whether they’ll be a good cultural fit within your company.

Go Through the Job Description

Next, you should do a quick run through of the job description for the position that the applicant is applying for. This will give them an idea of what would be expected of them within the role and what responsibilities they would take on if offered the position.

Go Through the Applicant’s Resume and Cover Letter

You can then ask the candidate to give a brief overview of the information in their resume and their cover letter. This could include talking about the qualifications that they have listed, the experience they’ve claimed that they have and any other additional information that is relevant to the role. Sometimes, candidates don’t put all of their previous experience and responsibilities in detail within their CV and this gives you a chance to review their suitability for the position. They may turn out to be better suited to the position than you originally thought, or vice versa.

Have Interview Questions Prepared

The bulk of the interview will then consist of interview questions that you should already have prepared. Now, there are a few questions that are commonly asked in interviews for good reason – they give good insight into the applicant’s suitability. Some common questions you may want to consider asking include:

  • How their educational qualifications are relevant to the role
  • How their past experience is relevant to the role
  • What the candidate feels they can bring to the role
  • Why the candidate wants to work for your company as opposed to other positions
  • How the candidate would deal with problematic situations should they arise

You may then want to ask questions that are more specific to the role you’re looking to fill. For each planned question, think of what answers you’d like the candidate to give. This can help you to analyse their performance post-interview a little easier.

Request Any Necessary Documents

If you’ve settled on a candidate you’d like to employ, you may want to run a few extra steps before actually offering them the position. This could include checking necessary documents like proof of ID and copies of their qualifications, including degree certificates and training programme or course certificates.

Conduct Necessary Checks

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You may also need to conduct checks to ensure the candidate is as ideal as they’ve presented themselves to be. Some common checks include:

  • Reference Checks – it’s common practice to request two or three references from previous employers. This will give you a good idea of how the candidate conducted themselves in previous jobs.
  • Background Checks – some positions require background checks, such as criminal record checks.
  • Drugs Testing – some positions will require drugs testing using blue dye tablets in urine samples.

Make an Offer

If you’ve received all necessary documents and you’re happy with the results of all of your checks, you’ll find that it’s time to make an offer to your chosen candidate. Generally speaking, offers are made over email. This should have a congratulatory tone, offering the position and outlining the terms of the offer – for example, pay, contracted hours, benefits and more. Alternatively, you can offer the position over the phone, however, this puts more pressure on the candidate and isn’t as advisable. Avoid rejecting other candidates until your first choice has accepted the position. You may find that your first choice doesn’t accept and that you need to fall back on other candidates.

Reject Unsuccessful Applicants

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Once you’ve filled the position, you have a final step to take. This is rejecting unsuccessful applicants. This, of course, isn’t pleasant, but it does need to be done. All too many businesses completely ignore rejected applicants once they’ve filled the role. But this is bad manners and should be avoided. You never know when you might expand your team and want to bring in people you’ve previously interviewed. You might also find that your first choice drops out soon after starting and in this situation, being in the good books of people you’ve already interviewed could lead to a simple and cost effective replacement. Create a polite rejection email letting rejected candidates know that they haven’t been successful this time, but reassuring them that you appreciated their application.

Recruitment is a complex process and can often be time consuming. But it’s more than worth investing in if your business requires extra helping hands. Finding the right new team members can significantly boost profits and help your business to keep going during these difficult times. Of course, recruitment is going to be a little different to usual during the pandemic. Face to face communications are off the cards and it may feel odd conducting interviews with new people over video calls. However, changes to the process are essential, so you need to be flexible and adapt your recruitment process to accommodate new ways of working. Hopefully, some of the above information and steps will help you to achieve this. Try them out in your recruitment process and see how they work for you and your business!

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