Guy Moreton: recruiting the right staff


Guy Moreton, director of MorePeople, discusses how to recruit the right staff.

I have been in the horticulture trade since 1985, recruiting in the sector for 14 years and I am still amazed at the number of businesses that continue to make simple mistakes during the recruitment process ? mistakes that if eradicated could seriously help reduce the risk of recruitment failure.

We all know that the costs of poor recruitment decisions are huge, and not just in terms of a fee for the recruitment specialist but also the fact that the amount of time a ?proper process? takes should be extensive, thought-through and thorough and, to be honest, it is some of these really basic things that most companies can improve on.

I previously ran a workshop session at last year’s ?HTA Catering Conference on recruiting the right staff and some of what we discussed is really relevant, pragmatic and straightforward.

This first part is going to focus on the initial steps in the process, the role itself and the type of person you need. Then next month I will look at the actual interview and candidate selection.

The start of the process is vitally important. When a vacancy arises the first question to ask is whether you really need to fill the role, or could it be done in a different way, perhaps by an existing staff member or does the role actually need to be filled at all? Maybe other changes in the business could be made that fill the gap.

Most companies recruit a replacement straight away without at least thinking through the actual role and how the business has or could change and do things differently.

The person who is leaving could have been doing the same job for many years and therefore it is logical to at least review how that role fits in to current business practices and future expectations and also the type of person that is going to be required.

Once you are clear that the actual role needs to be filled, then there are other questions; can you fill the vacancy from within by moving or promoting an existing team member?

I know this will surprise some of you who think all recruiters just chase the money but at MorePeople we genuinely want the client to make the right decision for them, not us, and sometimes promoting from within is completely the right thing to do.

It is cheaper, of course it is, but it sends the right message out to all stakeholders regarding your desire as a business to progress the careers of your team and we are big advocates of that.

However, if you do need to go outside the organisation then the next part of the jigsaw is a job specification and a person specification.

The job specification is straightforward, essentially a list of the tasks required, the objective of the role and anything that is relevant to that role, so that both you and any candidate can actually make sense out of it.

The person specification however is much harder to write and does ask you to review what type of person you want in the role and in your organisation.

It should not just be about the fit regarding the actual job but also the culture of the company and the ideal person to fit in with you and your colleagues.

You should give thought to what you want to achieve as a business and debate internally whether you should make the role bigger or smaller and recruit someone that has different experiences and capabilities perhaps to what you had previously.

Again this is vital and very straightforward yet a lot of businesses make the simple mistake of just trying to get on with the process quickly without first really analysing the actual need.

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