Recruitment and Selection: The Real Deal When Finding Your Star Performers  

Some recruiters do those things as well, so it's a matter of finding the right one.

See the above recruitment case? Unfortunately, it’s not a story that I haven’t heard before. There are a lot of recruiters out there, and they say they’re doing certain things and they don’t. Some recruiters do those things as well, so it’s a matter of finding the right one.

If you are going to use a recruiter, it’s through the referral base as well, but also set out very clearly with that recruiter, “This is what we expect. These are the terms of condition with working with you.”

Also, you’ll, at say three of your six months, if this person’s not working out, are they going to source someone else for you, or are they going to refund money? Whichever way they work, but make sure those terms and conditions of engagement are tight. Yes, that would be the big thing.

You did a job description, excellent. You worked out precisely what gets done; the job tasks you want this person to do for about three months. You’ve created your position description. This description you’re not sending to a recruiter; instead, you would go through and look at all the resumes that are coming in. In your position description, you would have highlighted the areas that are very important to you, such as job duties, necessary skills, job requirements, education, etc. You would be looking for those people that best fit that description and then just weed out everybody else.

Also, you need to consider the distance. How far away does an employee live from where they will be working. Because you have got to be mindful that the M1 here on the Gold Coast can be a nightmare. You don’t want to get someone onboard, train them, and then discover that travel is an issue for them. Over an hour’s journey may be a little bit much, depending on the level of the role. If it’s a low-level role, the traveling is too much, so you’d be going through looking at that.

Phone up and conduct a telephone interview with your prospects. When you hold phone interviews, make sure you have a standard set of questions that you ask everyone. They’ll be around the actual requirements of the role. What have they done beforehand? Have they been in this situation?

Testing is a good thing. From the word go, if you’re working in Mile, as an example, say if it’s an accountancy role, let them know that you’re going to be testing from the first time you speak with them.

“Just to let you know, in the final stage of interviews, we are going to be testing for this role. We will set up a scenario for you. Are you okay with that?”

Phone interviews are a general screening during which time you can identify any personality issues, time management concerns, and generally get a feel for the person. I’ve had a circumstance where someone had got through to third place interview, working on Mile, we sat her in front of the computer, and she didn’t know anything that they told us they knew.

So, you’ve done all your telephone interviews, and you’ve got down to three or four candidates that you’d like to interview. Try and only stick, if you can, to three or four. Otherwise, you can become overwhelmed with how many people show up. But keep a shortlist of resumes on hand just in case, you’ve got people to go back to should you find the people that you’re interviewing are not very good.

After selecting your three to four candidates call them in for a face-to-face. Always have two of you interviewing. Two interviewers can save you in the long run. For instance, if someone says, “Oh, they discriminated against me.” A person can claim discrimination from the moment you start recruiting for the role.

Always do two on one interviews. It’s just so much better that way, but it’s also you’ve got two people’s opinions on that person as well.

When you’re interviewing, go in with a standard set of questions again. That’s what is important to you as a role, but also bring some cultural things in, how your business works. Because the person needs to fit not just work-wise, but they need to fit into the culture as well.

The questions that you ask, in most cases, should consist of a variety of situational questions, hypothetical questions, and what would you do in this scenario-style questions. Be very broad across, again depending on the role, the variety of interview questions should cover the scope of competencies.

Look to Fresh HR for professional assistance. We have got a massive list of questions you could ask. From management and leadership to teamwork, the whole lot, all the way through, and some weird questions as well that test the person on the spot.

Don’t be afraid to be a bit challenging.

Just be aware, don’t be discriminatory. You can’t ask someone questions like, “How many kids do you have to look after?” Because if they don’t get the role, they could come back and say you discriminated against them due to the duties and responsibilities, so make sure to be very careful and mindful of potential pitfalls. Remember, Fresh HR can help you sort these issues out.

Once you’re sure, you’ve warned your candidates that you’re going to be testing, go ahead and sit each one down individually or set something up in an equitable way. Now, don’t stand over the applicant when they’re doing it. Give the candidate the space to be able to do what you’ve asked them to do without making them feel too nervous. And then, go back and assess from there.

Keep in mind that the probation period isn’t six months; it’s 12 months. So, 12 months for unfair dismissal. You could have managed them out without any recourse to unfair dismissal claims. However, you must be aware of unlawful termination and adverse action, but it depends on the size of the business. I will revisit probation periods in another section.

After a person comes on board, the next thing is going to be monitoring them. We’ve gone through the recruitment process. Again, we’ll put that we’re monitoring them up in their probation period.

You need to remember to conduct reference checks for each candidate before bringing anyone on. Make sure you do reference checking. A lot of people don’t. There are people out there when you phone up; they don’t want to give you any more details than the fact that they’ve worked at the company; this is the role they’ve done within the company. You can read between the lines sometimes. If they’re not willing to tell you anything or answer your questions directly, then think, “Hmm, what’s up?”

There are questions that you can ask that would help you gauge what the person is like on the job such as you’d ask them:

  • How long they’ve been there?
  • What was their work ethic?

A good one is:

  • “Would you re-employ this person?”

And always end with, “Is there anything else that you would like to tell me?” Remember always to be respectful. “Thank you very much for your time,” is the polite thing to do as well.

Don’t be afraid to do that. And if you’re not sure of something, phone the candidate back up and say, “Hello. We’ve just done your reference check. We want to double check a couple of points before we make a formal offer to you.”

But yes, after the recruitment, the probation period’s the big thing, which we will also go through. During the probation period, everyone kind of holds on, “What if, what if?” But sometimes letting go is more natural than holding on.

The recruitment process is challenging to navigate because people can put on a show. You might think it’s like being an actor. The interviewee could be putting on a show for, say, half an hour. In half an hour, the business owner needs to decide, “Is that person right for me, or is that person, not a good fit?”

There’s a whole pile of different tools, like standardized questions, that you can use in recruitment. I have an attitude meter that I go through:

  • How was their handshake?
  • How did they appear when they turned up?

There are lots of different ways to gauge people during and after an interview. You could do psychometric testing and may want to as well. The price of those can be quite high, so it depends on the level of the role again. I certainly can refer people through to someone who does DISC profiles. You need to consider everything, not just one area or aspect of recruitment.

There is a debate about using social media and looking at people’s social media presence. It’s entirely up to you whether you decided to build that into your recruitment or not but be very mindful of using social media as an avenue because you can open yourself up to claims of discrimination.

One of the examples I use is seeing someone in a photo on social media standing behind someone in a wheelchair. And this person doesn’t get the role; you’ve let them know for whatever reason you’ve seen them on social media, they can turn around and say, “You’re discriminating against me based on the fact that I was in a picture with someone in a wheelchair, so they’ve assumed.

You could go on LinkedIn, depending on the roles. See if the person’s on LinkedIn. Because, don’t forget, on there you’ve got the recommendations. You can see what suggestions people have put on there. You can go back over a people’s job history to verify and substantiate their job timeline.

Now, it’s exciting, a lady did a TED talk, and it was about Don’t Dismiss the Scrapper. She talks about the silver spoon and the scrappers. The silver spoon gets brought up with all the opportunities available for them. The scraper maybe left high school early and has had several different jobs, but don’t dismiss him or her because sometimes the scrapper needs to find the ideal opportunity. The scraper is more determined, more consistent, and more driven than someone that has been spoon fed everything. Don’t Dismiss the Scrapper. It’s a fascinating TED talk.

And if you’re considering second interviews, that’s a good idea as well. I would. I’d go a second set. If you’re going to do a second interview, have a different person with you. Then, that way, there’s going to be another perspective and possibly someone more aligned with the position around. The three of you all bringing different perspectives, would then have different sets of questions.

You can even say to them, “If we employed you for this position, what’s the first thing you’re going to do?” And gauge that as well. There’s a whole set of different questions you can ask.

If you’re considering group interviews depending again on the level of the role, I’ve certainly held what I’ve called assessment centers, where I’ve had 15 people come into a room. You have four or five people watching them, giving them tasks, and seeing how they work together as a team. Then, you get to lunchtime, and you weed some out that aren’t going to stay on. Then, you do a bit more in-depth interviews and one-to-one until you get down to the last couple, and then you can go from there.

But again, it depends on the level of the role. If you were interviewing for a low-level admin position, as an example, you could talk to a couple of people coming through. But be mindful of not creating too much stress. Remember, you’re only seeing a snapshot of each person.

If you are going to do group interviews, let them know before what you are going to do so they don’t turn up here and absolute panic. Remember, you’ve got introverted people and extroverted people out there. Both personality types offer significant advantages and depending on the role and the individual, you need to be mindful of the big picture and to find the best candidate.

In the end, it’s about being authentic because you’re wanting to get someone who’s going to fit with you and your business. Don’t try to be something you’re not. Candidates are interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them. Help each person relax and feel as comfortable as possible. You want to do all you can to see their best side during the interview.

For more information and some hot tips check out our Talent Management and Recruitment and Selection Manual