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What Do You Look For in Your Recruits?

What manager doesn’t dream of finding great employees, building a great team, having minimal employment issues and increasing productivity and generally having a wonderfully smooth work life?

Pie in the sky? No, not entirely.

Employees are humans, not robots so it’s likely that you will have problems from time to time. Even the most diligent and hard-working people have the occasional hiccough. But if you recruit the right team your problems will be far, far fewer and your life much pleasanter.

There’s no 100% guarantee I’m afraid. Even HR businesses and recruitment companies make mistakes from time to time. I once recruited a person – very able, not doubt of that – but with a penchant for nicking the teaspoons and blocking the loos. It was a bit odd.

In some cases, you may have to start at the beginning and be prepared to train. I have found that very few HR people transitioned comfortably to this business so I started to recruit team members who came from other disciplines but were good raw material. Then I trained them.

It took a while and was a lot of hard work but the results were excellent. Just to give you one example; several of my team attended a workshop run by a top firm of London solicitors. All sorts of senior HR people were there. When the firm ran an employment quiz my team were the only ones who got all the answers right. The organisers really couldn’t believe it.

Not everyone espouses the training route. I once read a blog that effectively said recruiting for attitude, training for skills is just a way of trying to recruit young, cheap labour. Not in this business. Trainees were well rewarded and progressed quickly. Incidentally, we were very happy to train anyone who wanted to learn, whatever age or background.

Of course there is a place for recruiting skilled people too. When you’re talking about senior roles or big organisational changes, you should recruit people with the appropriate skills. You’ll need to invest time on this to recruit the hiring the best obtainable (rather than simply settling for the best available). The time to start recruiting your highly skilled people is now – even if you haven’t got a vacancy.

Make a list ten people who impress you the most and ask them to introduce you to someone who impresses them. Repeat. Build a relationship with this talent pool. Have coffee, get to know them, keep in touch. Then when you do have an opportunity you’ll be able to find the right person with the minimum of fuss and bother.

Building a fantastic high performing team is quite do-able with a little patience, some good processes and planning.

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Although every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this blog, nothing herein should be construed as giving advice and no responsibility will be taken for inaccuracies or errors.

Copyright © 2018 all rights reserved. You may copy or distribute this blog as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author are attached. The author is Kate Russell of Russell HR Consulting Ltd.

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