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Posted On 07 Jul 2021
Sharon Vandermeer

Recruiting can be a challenge for any company – regardless of size. But for small businesses specifically, that may have limited resources at their disposal, recruiting the right way can be crucial to survival. Finding the right talent isn’t easy, and it takes a good recruiting strategy to find and hire quality candidates. We spoke with hiring professional Sharon Vandermeer from On The Ball Personnel to learn her tips for implementing a smart recruitment strategy to attract the cream-of-the-recruitment-crop!

Hiring and creating awesome teams and cultures for companies has always been my jam! It’s also a craft that I am always refining. I love the challenge of finding the right talent, through to seeing the company surge ahead through top people power. SMEs are particularly great to work with, because they understand that without the right team on the ground they can’t take their business forward. They are also open, knowledgeable and enthusiastic, which is great to partner with and often filters through to the interviewees. 

How Long Does it Take to Recruit?

I’ll say what I say to all my clients – it takes time. Especially in a tight candidate market like we are seeing right now. You always want to take the time to find the right one because the alternative could be disastrous.

In a tight talent market, you need to recruit by building your brand, pumping out value to your client base and asking for referrals – as good people refer to good people! You also need to ensure your recruitment process is both engaging and efficient. No one wants to wait two weeks for an interview! Be on the ball about it as good talent won’t just wait around.

Don’t Rush The Recruitment Process

Many times I have been told “just get me someone” as the client’s business was in dire need. I get that you may have just lost a team member and are completely under the pump. But hiring incorrectly returns you right back to that pain point with a lot more damage on top. Your team could end up doubting your credibility to lead and hire effectively. Your company culture could be impacted. Plus the investment of time, money and resources you made will have been for nothing! And what about possible customer or brand impacts? There really are so many negatives to making a rash hiring decision!

It’s All About Company Culture

The culture and the mission of your business is crucial to finding the right fit of employee for you. So how do you know who is a good fit for your culture? Jeff Hyman from the US said it’s all about knowing and matching to your company’s DNA! So, what does that mean? You need to understand the main four or five traits that form the foundation of your culture and then hire according to them. You can read more about Jeff Hyman here.

You’ll Be Reference Checked Too!

Know that candidates will most likely research your company before applying for a role. They are basically reference checking you, like you will reference check them! Good talent these days are very considered in who they align with. You need to make sure you look after your brand’s reputation for recruiting as well, and ensure that every touch point with prospective talent is an awesome one!

Make Sure You Interview Effectively

Make sure you have well thought out skills and behavioural questions that are job specific. Ensure you have taken the time to read their resume and ask questions accordingly. It’s really obvious when a hiring manager has not read the resume and questions are sporadic and not well thought out. This results in poor brand image and most likely a rushed and poor hire. Remember – what you give out, you get back tenfold!

Feedback is also crucial and goes to care and investment. Let a candidate know when they have not been successful and why – be responsible with the truth. Allow them to make the decision to improve or not.

Reference Check, Reference Check, Reference Check!

One of the most crucial parts of the recruitment process is to conduct multiple reference checks. Most people think they are futile. Who would be silly enough to provide a referee that would talk poorly about their performance? My answer is plenty.

For me conducting a detailed reference check confirms the data I have gleaned from the candidate through the interview process.  The trick is to have specific questions to ask about the candidate’s performance ready. Ask about their targets & KPIs, the time off they had, annual reviews etc. You want to also confirm their dates of employment and reason for leaving plus whether they would ever rehire them. The referee must be someone the candidate reported to in their role such as a Manager, Supervisor etc. Someone who can accurately discuss their performance.

Top talent always have their referee details on hand and make them aware a call will be coming through. A referee should never be surprised to hear from you! Plus, if the candidate does not have current reference details available this would ring some alarm bells for me.

The Take Away?

Hiring is truly a craft – done well it reaps incredible results and creates awesome teams and cultures. Done poorly and it is disastrous for all involved – including your brand. Your brand is on display at every point in the recruitment process. The way you advertise the role, the time it takes to call candidates, what your office and team are like on the day you interview, right through to your feedback and response time – all impacts how successful the process will be for you! Investing in this now will see you reap recruiting rewards well into the future.

To read more about Sharon and what she does you can head to her website here. At Oracle Tree we love nothing more that connecting people in the small business community together. If you would like to contribute a guest blog post like this one or if you would like to discuss a collaboration with Oracle Tree please get in touch with us here.

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Sharon Vandermeer

Sharon Vandermeer is the owner and founder of ‘On The Ball Personnel Australasia Pty Ltd’ which is a boutique recruitment agency based in Melbourne. She has spent the last 30 years dedicating her expertise to changing the lives of job seekers and the small businesses owners that work with them. Her mission statement is simple - No Poor Hires. Sharon would love business owners to understand that hiring is a craft and when you hire well, you have an incredible team/ culture that will take the business to the next level and beyond. To learn more about Sharon, check out her out on social media at the links above!!

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