Apparently we can all manage to maintain a relationship with around 150 friends. It’s called ‘Dunbar’s Number’, after the scientist who identified it. Actually, it’s not an exact number and could, potentially, be a lot higher. It’s still damn high and doesn’t even include the strange ones you meet at a party and regret swapping numbers with.
It can sometimes feel like this when you are hiring. You get plenty of CVs, which is decent in a tricky market. Sometimes you won’t get one (do call us if that’s the case). You’ll meet some, and like some more than others. Some apply and then disappear into thin air. David Blaine springs to mind. I don’t think poor Eamon Holmes ever recovered. You then find the one you want, accompanied by renditions of JT and Olivia Newton-John, but they also disappear or decide to remain in love with their current employer by virtue of a whacking great salary hike. You most likely helped with that pay rise too.
Is it me you say?! Don’t worry, it’s natural. We see it a lot and it explains why we’ve aged considerably over the years. It’s just the way things are. Hiring has become a lot tougher than it was. There’s no doubt in our minds that little thing called Brexit has significantly impacted the supply of candidates and the high rate of employment, as well as the apprehension of potential candidates, means there just aren’t a lot of suitably skilled people out there to hire anyway. This is an increasing problem for firms seeking qualified candidates, and sectors that have been impacted most is technology, health, and engineering who are experiencing a big skills gap. The nice bit is that it hasn’t dampened companies desire to hire people – our intake of jobs is up compared to this time last year.
These ten tips may be worth considering when it comes to your next hire.
- The perfect person does not exist. I’m not moralising here but too many interviews focus on what is wrong with someone as opposed to what is right. If you’ve found someone that ticks about 70% of the boxes and the other bit isn’t a sign for pulling the wings off baby birds, hire them.
- Be mindful that you may be 10% short of their ideal partner too but if it saves you figuring out how people can disappear, you may have hit the jackpot.
- Don’t wait to compare and contrast either. It’s sadder than Marley and Me when someone says this. As hard as this may sound, people won’t be falling over themselves to work for you – you have a lot of competition. If you’re comfortable with someone and feel they will bring value and compliment the team, please do not ask to see others. You will lose the candidate’s faith and confidence in you.
- Don’t rush it but do keep your process fluid. From application to offer, the process has to be kept moving. Delays or simply waiting for HR, Marketing, and Accounts to agree on someone does not cut it in this market. As hard as this may sound, companies that procrastinate lose out every time.
- Let people talk. You will find out far more about a person. It’s amazing what you can unearth by simply listening. Also, it removes the focus off yourself and you can get a very good insight into someone’s character and values. After all, you are employing a person, not a CV.
- Doing well at school and university is not the same as getting on at work. A poor academic record does not mean that someone will not succeed in the workplace. They are two very different environments. One of the best Social Media experts I’ve ever met flunked his degree and got overlooked by many companies, much to my dismay. He’s now highly regarded and a thought leader on the subject. Einstein failed his university exam too.
- You won’t always get it right but you will learn from mistakes. Hiring people is without question one of the hardest things in business. I find it easier to help other companies than I do recruiting for myself. It’s an emotional thing but do trust your own instincts.
- Not one company is perfect. Be honest about the culture and the role, be open about the odd bits about it too. If it isn’t right for someone because they don’t like the fact you keep hamsters in the office, you’ve saved yourself a lot of pain and money in the long run.
- Don’t look for an either, or. You will change your mind once you start meeting people but do not deviate from what is truly needed. It never ends well and you will end up going round in circles.
- Be Nice. It’s hard for you but doubly hard for a candidate. And, if you turn someone down that has put time and effort into the process, give them the respect they deserve.