Tuesday 22 December 2020

Tips for hiring the right candidate

Making sure you hire the right candidate is not only important to the financial success of your business, but it is also vital for creating an environment where work colleagues can work together amicably and efficiently. Choosing the wrong person for the job can be seriously damaging, not to mention costly, and could negatively impact the culture of your current workplace and employees. Research published in the journal Personnel Psychology, which analysed 200 individual studies, showed that employees who were compatible with the culture of the workplace would stay longer at the company, were more satisfied in their role and performed better overall.

Negative impacts of hiring the wrong person:
  1. Missed deadlines may lose future contracts
  2. Time and money are lost from correcting mistakes
  3. Toxic work environment
  4. Stress on managers’ and employees’ mental wellbeing
To avoid these issues, try not to rush the hiring process and make sure you have everything in place before you start the selection process. Understandably, you’re never going to please everyone with your choice of employee, so you need to figure out what’s most important for the role and the company. Trying to find someone who has the ideal skill set as well as being able to integrate harmoniously into the culture of the company can be a tricky task so we have a few pointers that might make your selection process less challenging.

Create a checklist

Make a comprehensive list of all the skills and personal qualities you would like the right candidate to possess before you begin advertising the job role. Consider who they are most likely going to be working alongside in their role and perhaps even ask those employees what kind of person would benefit them in their job.

Introduce candidates to present employees

At the interview stage, it’s always a good idea to introduce candidates to other members of your team. How they interact with other people, especially when it’s not the person interviewing them, can be very telling of their personality and communication skills.

Check previous career commitment

If you’re wanting to employ someone for the long term, someone who isn’t going to abandon you when the going gets tough or because they constantly strive for a new work environment, pay particular attention to the duration of their previous job roles, whether that’s on their CV or during the interview. If there are signs they seem unable to hold down a position for a considerable period of time, make sure you get to the bottom of why this is the case. If you find yourself having to go through the advertising, interviewing and selection process again a few months down the line, it will be a further expense as well as time consuming.

Don’t rely purely on someone’s CV

Of course, most of us use our CV to showcase the best of our achievements but it’s not unheard of for some to perhaps exaggerate or, in some instances, completely fabricate work experiences. So, although CVs are generally a good indication of a candidate’s skillset and experience, make sure you don’t wholly rely on it. It might be a good idea to set a task that tests the relevant skills needed for the job during the interview stage or alternatively ask candidates how they would respond in certain key situations. This way, the candidate will need to think on their feet, and you can get a sense of how they would respond if they were appointed to the role. 

Keep it conversational

You will find out more about candidates if you keep the interview process conversational and relaxed rather than confrontational. The job website Indeed suggests spending 5-10 minutes at the start of the interview to build rapport with the candidate. You could ask if they had any difficulties finding the location, how their day is going, or comment on something you have in common with them. You want to see if the person you are interviewing has the skills but you also want to employ someone who fits into your team and your organisation as a whole. You will only be able to determine this by having a conversation with them, so keep it professional but friendly.

Have more than one interviewer

Involving other members of staff in the interview process and decision making can provide different perspectives and could highlight either positives or negatives that when interviewing alone, you might miss.

Check social media

It might seem intrusive to check up on a person through their social media but if they set their profiles to public then they are open to public viewing. You might very well find some important giveaways about a person’s true character, whether that be good or not so good.

Make sure you request references and do background checks

This may seem like an obvious tip, but it can be tempting to put references and background checks on the back burner once you have the ideal candidate in mind. Regardless of how well suited you think a person is to the job, always request references from previous employers and follow through with background checks as you could learn something that may tip the scales.

During every part of the hiring process, remember to take your time and don’t rush into anything, even if you need to find someone urgently, as it could lose you even more time in the long run if you cut corners. 

Getting the right people working for your organisation is the key to success. 

Thursday 10 December 2020

Keeping your team engaged during the festive season

In the build up to the festive season, people often start to feel excited and become wrapped up in the happy atmosphere. However, sometimes too much excitement can create a lack of focus and motivation in employees, which results in them becoming distracted in their work as they start to wind down for the holidays.

The run up to the Christmas period is often one of the busiest times for businesses as there are deadlines to be met and loose ends to be tied up. Of course, this kind of pressure can affect the health and wellbeing of employers and management so it’s important to keep employees engaged and operations running as smoothly as possible without being a killjoy and dampening staff morale. A report by Gallup found that companies with highly engaged employees resulted in 21% greater profitability.

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect your own and employees’ wellbeing while keeping them engaged at the same time.

Tips for maintaining engagement

  • Embrace the season and decorate the workplace. A brightly decorated workspace can lift people’s moods and by encouraging staff to help with the decorations during their lunch break, they can get into the spirit of Christmas without it eating into their working hours. This kind of activity is also a good team building exercise and great for (socially distanced) engagement. You could reward them with festive treats (although not too much or you might find them becoming a little bit giddy!) 
  • Play festive music in the week before the holidays, but perhaps not so loudly as to distract them from their work!
  • Arrange a Secret Santa with the promise of exchanging gifts at the end of a working day to motivate employees to complete their work first.
  • Organise a staff party on the last day before the holidays with awards and prizes for the most motivated employees. This is sure to make them eager to meet their deadlines prior to the award ceremony and will keep them engaged as well as making them feel appreciated at the same time. Make sure you also celebrate their achievements from the past year. In a survey by Glassdoor, 53% of those who took part said that appreciation from their boss would make them more likely to stay working at the company.
  • Send personlised Christmas cards thanking your employees for their efforts throughout the year. This small gesture can have a huge impact on someone’s wellbeing, particularly if they suffer from a lack of self-confidence or experience feelings of loneliness at this time of year.
  • Make the last day in the workplace a more relaxed working day - perhaps watch a film, host a quiz or a organise a few party games during extended break times. 

You’ll be amazed at how motivated and engaged your employees become if there’s a promise of an early finish or other rewards involved!

Remember that the festive season isn’t always a happy time for everyone, especially given the current Covid situation. By lightening the mood at work and offering thoughtful and personal rewards, you could have a positive impact on an individual’s mental wellbeing. If many of your employees will be working from home in December, be sure to adapt the above ideas by creating virtual online events instead.