Selecting the Right Person for the Job


By Orita Bailey

So your business is up and running and everything is going great. So good in fact that you need to recruit some help! Where do you start? One of the key areas where a small business fails to attract the right staff is here. Business owners should be very clear about what they require a member of staff to do.

The first step is to draw up a list of tasks you would expect the individual to carry out. Are they going to be working in an office, word processing, organising your files, taking calls and messages or are they going to be helping you to produce or deliver your product or service? Clearly identifying the tasks the individual will undertake provides clarity for both staff and managers. This list of tasks or duties is usually referred to as the Job Description.

The next step is to determine the skills, knowledge, experience and attitudes you expect the individual to possess to be able to do the job to an acceptable level. Try to be specific and use terms that clearly define the standard or level at which you expect the individual to perform. This document is known as a Person Specification and will also contain information as to what educational or professional qualification would be acceptable.

Determine what methods of selection you will employ to enable you to differentiate between the applicants. Various documents could be used for this, and are usually referred to as the selection criteria. Many employers share this document with applicants so that they are aware of what is involved in the selection process and are then able to determine their own suitability for the post. This is often to the employer’s advantage, as candidates can self-select, that is, having all the information regarding what skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications are required, applicants know whether they meet those requirements.

Develop your own or purchase a good selection assessment tool. The assessment process should define what you are going to grade or score as well as how you will do it, and should also take into account behavioural and attitudinal criteria. This will enable you to ensure that all applicants are treated fairly and consistently. You will then be in a position to assess each applicant objectively and identify which applicant is best suited to deliver the required performance. Next issue will be looking at the selection interview.

One of the key areas where a small business fails to attract the right staff is here. Business owners should be very clear about what they require a member of staff to do.

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