Recruitment is a very expensive and time-consuming process.  This is why it is wise to begin only after you’ve assessed your needs, identified your requirements and established a plan of action.

Here are a few things to take into consideration when your next recruitment arises.

Assess your requirements.  When advertising a vacancy, be specific.  Don’t limit the duties of the position with only immediate requirements, think ahead and make sure you include any future duties that tie into your business growth.  Separate the skills and abilities that are essential from those that are desirable.

Find Prospective Employees.  It is common practice to advertise in the local newspapers.  But, with the evolution of technology, you can now post your vacancies on a local job portal like bridge.com.bz, or even on your business’ social networking pages like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the like.  Utilizing these obvious options will save you valuable time and money.

If you choose to advertise in local press, assess who reads the publication and see if they match your target candidate.  Just remember that internet-based portals and social networks may reach a far wider audience.  In the end, your announcement must be concise to ensure that you won’t waste time receiving CVs and calls from candidates who are over or under qualified for the position.

Filtering Through Applications.  In an effort to save time, it is probably best to review your applications and make personal notes on each as you receive them.  This saves time and allows you to get right into the interview process.  Call interviews with those candidates who successfully meet all of your requirements.

Interviewing.  Once you’ve shortlisted and called in your candidates, it’s time to start interviewing.  This is your opportunity to find out more about these candidates.  You already know most of their employment history from their CV, so ask questions about their personality, their interests, hobbies, work ethic, etc.  These types of questions will give you a better idea about the candidate and to decide if they are right for your business.  If you are undecided between candidates, feel free to invite them back for a second round of interviews.

Do your homework.  Be sure to conduct reference checks on your selected candidate.  Ask previous employers about their time-keeping, work ethic and how well they worked as part of a team.

Dos and Don’ts for an interview

Posted by | July 25, 2011 | Advice

Many times we prepare for an interview and overlook the little details that leave a lasting “bad” impression. Here are a few tips to help you avoid those pitfalls and prepare for a successful interview:

  1. Plan ahead
    If you are unsure of the location and/or travel time for an upcoming interview, take a test run. Being on-time and having a little time to calm down and settle in gives a good first impression. If you must be late or absent, try to call within 10-15 minutes of the proposed interview time to reschedule.
  2. Bring along neat copies and/or originals of documents
    Try not to present the employer with wet, dirty, torn or crumpled documents. This tells the employer a lot about your character.
  3. Dress in a presentable manner
    An untidy personal appearance tells the employer that you don’t really care about the way the world looks at you. This immediately tells a prospective employer that you may be coming to work everyday in this manner.
  4. Try to become engaged in the interview, even if the employer is boring you
    Lack of genuine interest or enthusiasm tends to show on a person’s face even when they aren’t trying. Looking all over the room, tapping your feet, swinging the office chair, or even slouching gives a bad impression of you.
  5. Be optimistic
    Having a negative attitude immediately turns off the employer. Be open to suggestions and/or work environment, you might be pleasantly surprised to find out that the employer is only trying to see how flexible you can be in certain situations.
  6. Do your research
    Be ready for anything during the interview. Employers prefer candidates who have a general sense of what their business does on a daily basis.
  7. Distractions
    Try not to enter the interview room with gum in your mouth and be sure to turn off your cell phone before you enter the interview venue. These are common oversights that distract the employer from what you have to say.
  8. Greet the Receptionist/Secretary with courtesy and respect
    Remember that even though they may not be the employer, they are potential co-workers and you want to ensure that you leave the establishment with a good overall impression. This way, everyone has something good to say about you.
  9. Don’t rely on your application package to do the selling for you
    No matter how qualified you seem on paper for a position, the determining factor is how you present yourself to the employer. You NEED to sell yourself during the interview!
  10. Show a little interest/courtesy for the employer
    Greet the employer by title (Mr., Mrs., Ms.) along with their last names. It’s true many times we forget the name of the employer or don’t know the proper pronunciation of their name. Show some initiative and interest and clarify with the receptionist prior to the interview.
  11. Avoid being humorous during the interview
    Many times, nervousness seems to directly affect the funny bone. Try to avoid unnecessary distractions with humor. This is a big turn-off when employers have a full day of interviews.
  12. Watch your language
    Avoid slang, poor language, pause words and being soft-spoken. A strong voice and good presentation projects confidence and shows that you are capable of working under pressure.
  13. Be nice about former colleagues
    Be cautious about negative comments toward former employers, supervisors and colleagues. This raises many questions about your ability to work with a team.
  14. Don’t stop at “yes” or “no”
    Try to elaborate a little when responding to the employer’s questions. Answer sincerely, truthfully, frankly and succinctly. Don’t babble or bring up personal issues or family problems. As much as you can, try to stress your achievements and show off whatever research you have done on the company as it relates to the employer’s questions.
  15. Compensation and benefits
    Never inquire about salary, vacation time, bonuses, benefits and the like until after you’ve received an offer for the position.
  16. Closing
    End the interview by reassuring the employer that you want the job and inquire about next steps in the recruitment process. Ensure that you’ve got contact names spelt right for future reference.

Writing a Winning Résumé

Posted by | July 25, 2011 | Advice

Many times, employers receive hundreds of resumes in response to advertised positions. But, how can you be sure that your resume will stand out from the crowd? Here are a few tips to help you secure your next job interview:

  1. Formatting counts
    As much as you can, try to turn in a type-written resume. At first look, your resume can either intrigue the employer or immediately make them put it away. Try to review for spelling, appropriate grammar, missing words and typing mistakes before hitting send or print. A clean envelope, lots of open space, a clear font and coherent sentences will also entice the employer to continue reading.
  2. Contact information
    Don’t hold back information. In this era with messaging, email, cell phones and the like, there is absolutely no reason to make contacting you difficult. Still, many job application letters make it to prospective employers with only a return address and/or home telephone number – and half the time, you’re not even home. Try to avoid frustrating an employer with trying to reach you.
  3. Customize an “objective” for each specific job application
    An objective should clearly connect your skills, experience, traits and job requirements with those specific to the job applied for.
  4. Make sure your résumé includes a section specific to your qualifications and past work experience
    Be sure to emphasize your most important career experiences, job-related training, personality traits, characteristics, and skills and accomplishments pertinent to the job to which you’re applying.
  5. Clearly list all previous work experience
    Clearly and briefly state exactly what you did for each company in chronological order. Don’t make the employer “search” for information.
  6. Education statements matter
    State specific dates of attendance, major, minors, degrees, and certificates received. Don’t make the employer have to guess whether you have a diploma or not.
  7. Include a section that clearly lists awards and other recognition received throughout your career
    This catches the eye of the employer faster than a résumé that doesn’t contain this section, as this shows the employer that you are a well-rounded employee.
  8. Remember to attach letters of recommendation from past employers
    Previous employers/supervisors are your safest bet when trying to secure employment, as they are the ones who know your performance better than anyone else.

10 Tips for a Successful Interview

Posted by | July 4, 2011 | Advice

  1. Do a little research about the Company before the interview.
    This will allow you to be prepared in the event you are faced with basic questions about their line of work.
  2. Always try to attend an interview alone.
    Bringing along friends or children tend to cause unnecessary distraction.
  3. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake.
    This gives the impression that you are comfortable and prepared for whatever awaits you during the interview.
  4. Try to maintain frequent eye contact.
    This tells the interviewer that you are attentively listening to what they are saying and are actively analyzing their statements and questions.
  5. Smile, be polite and try to relax.
    Remaining calm during the process allows you to think more clearly and to emit a healthy sense of confidence.
  6. Listen to the interviewer’s questions carefully.  Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer to restate the question if you are unclear about something.
    Try not to hurry the interview along with one-word answers.  Try to elaborate a little when being interviewed, this will allow the interviewer to gain better insight into the type of employee you will be.  Answer directly, be upbeat and be sure to make positive statements.
  7. If you’ve worked before, tell the interviewer a little about how you’ve grown from that experience.
    Use direct examples of how your skills and abilities would fit the current position being interviewed for.
  8. Be sure to prepare one or two questions to ask your interviewer about the company.
    This shows that you have genuine interest in the company and would like to become a part of its success.
  9. At the end of the interview, thank your interviewer for their time and be sure to use the same enthusiasm as when you first entered.
    This will leave your interviewer with a lasting impression of you.
  10. Shake hands in closing and maintain eye contact.
    This again shows confidence in a successful interview and leaves the interviewer with a good impression.