The Challenge of Finding Great Staff

Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 13:57
The Challenge of Finding Great Staff

Searching for the best employees may be an overwhelming task. Advertising the position, receiving CVs, selecting the best candidates, arranging an interview with them, rearranging a second one and handling the candidates offer. The whole recruitment process may put hiring managers off but it’s important to manage the candidates’ expectations and remember what it’s like to be one interviewing for a new job.

As a Talent Acquisition Lead at intelligentpos, I’d like to share some tips to make this process easier, make you save time and energy, and help you choose the right person!


1) “Hire for attitude not just skill” (Simon Sinek, speaker, and consultant on leadership and management)

As everybody knows, a magician cannot take a rabbit out of a hat if someone hasn’t put the animal in it before. This is why I tend to focus more on the attitudes, interests and skills of the candidates rather than on their actual knowledge and experience. You can tell from someone’s CV what experience they have but ask yourselves: ‘Would this person fit in my team?’  My advice: open up your criteria to a wider pool of candidates because you might have a nice surprise.

We’ve recently hired a few students from CodeClan, some of the candidates showed more passion and determination to succeed in their career than people working in the tech industry for the last 5 years!

2) Always give candidates a good experience

Among those people you interviewed, there will be some disappointments. Maybe they were nervous, maybe they realised it wasn’t the right job, maybe they had just received a difficult call on the way to your appointment… Or maybe they weren’t the right person for you.

In any case, they’ve invested time and energy in your business and they deserve your feedback. Intelligent applicants are able to distinguish whether they don’t deserve the position or they’ve been treated unfairly. Nowadays, pages like Glassdoor or your Facebook channel are open doors for bad reviews – and it’s more likely that someone very upset will vent online in the heat of the moment, than someone who’s had a good experience.

3) Keep your emotions out of the game

Be cold – and I know how difficult this is sometimes! You may have a great connection with someone because you’re both watching The Killing, but it doesn’t mean that they’re the right person. Many other emotions may leap into the game: sorrow, compassion, empathy, etc. Even someone who didn’t have a great connection with you, may be THE one. 

Create a scoring card and fill in with the relevant information for the position and your objective impressions. If you’re still unsure about this, you can invite this person to come for a second interview and conduct it with the colleagues the candidate will be working with for a second opinion.

4) What are you really looking for?

Urgency is blinding so put an extra effort in thinking objectively. Do you really need this person? Do you really need this person right now? Are you planning to pay the minimum salary, the living wage or what’s fair in your industry? What are going to be their duties? Would this person overlap their colleagues’ jobs? Think to yourself, if you didn’t have an urgent requirement for this role, would you hire the person you are interviewing? It will cost you more in the long run hiring the wrong person, you’re better waiting until you have the right candidate.

5) Sourcing candidates

Whilst the internet can be your own worst enemy, it can also be your ally. We are in a candidate lead market, many candidates that you are headhunting will also be contacted by your competitors. I actively head hunt on LinkedIn and job boards, and I recommend you to advertise your roles on your social media channels. Try and regularly update your social media channels, so prospective candidates can get a real ‘feel’ of your organisation.

When inviting candidates for interview via email, make them feel special by personalising the communication. Always use their first name instead of writing: ‘Dear Candidate’. When they arrive make sure you offer them a drink and give them a nice, friendly reception. Your company is the place where your employees spend one third of their working days – it has to be a special and appealing environment.

I’d like to close this post with a tip of advice not everyone wants to hear: let them ask questions about the company. Remember they’re also interviewing you to determine if they would like to work at your company. It’s great to ask for feedback after the interview and if appropriate you can ask the candidate what their impression of the company and culture is. This will give you a chance to clear up any misconceptions and confirm what they already think. Finish your interview by giving candidates a timeline on when they will hear from you and invite them to ask any questions via email.


Amie Harkins

I am Amie, Talent Acquisition Lead at Intelligentpos. Prior to working internally for Intelligentpos I spent over three years recruiting for various agencies. I’ve recruited for both large international corporate organisations and small local companies.