Help! I've tried everything but I can't find the right person for my job?

I can't find the right person for my job?

If you're feeling this way, you’re not alone! Together we can fix this. 

Yes, the recruiting process can be a slog – especially when you’re trying to run a business at the same time. It’s distressing for candidates too. In fact, 73% say that the job search process is one of the most stressful things in life!

Loads of small business owners jump into hiring without spending enough time upfront thinking about why, what, and who they’re looking for.

Fear not.

Whether you’ve been burnt by the hiring process 🔥 or you simply can’t find a suitable applicant, here are some things you can do to maximise your chances of finding the right person for the job.

REWIND

Go back to the very beginning and ask yourself this question: ‘Why do I need to fill this vacancy? It’ll help to inform every subsequent decision you make. Including what tasks need to be done and what skills are needed to do them.

It sounds flippin’ obvious – but as the interview process can last weeks – it’s easy to lose track of why you started on this path in the first place.

To turbocharge your business 🏎 you might need to hire a new employee to:

  • Free up more of your own time, by giving some of your tasks away
  • Keep up with customer demand, so you can take on extra work
  • Diversify your offering, to move into new, exciting areas
  • Fill a skills gap, to achieve something you just cannot do today

It could also be a combination of any of these reasons above. Or, you may need to replace a member of staff.

Whatever your ‘why’ – remember that this what you want to achieve by bringing in somebody new – so have it in mind, every step of the way.

TELL ME WHAT YOU WANT, WHAT YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT

Jot down the skills, experience, qualifications, and behaviours you want your newbie to have. This might be a humongous list at first, but that’s okay.
 
To cut it down ✄,underline the five things that represent your ‘absolute yes’ criteria. This is what you won’t compromise on – although you might have done in the past. Anything more that your applicant has to offer is a total bonus. 🎉
 
Figuring out what you want them to achieve for you in the first six months, will also shape what you look for in a candidate – and provide super material for interview discussions.

UH-HUH

Have you ever settled for less in a candidate?

Identifying your deal-breakers is as important as having a wish-list. In other words, the things that would cause you to automatically reject an applicant. Do this from the outset.

These could be behaviours. For example, if punctuality is mega important to you and essential for the advertised role – but the person is late for the interview – that might be enough for you to turn them down.

Lack of experience might also be a show-stopper for you. For example, if you only want to hire somebody that’s worked in a particular sector.

Decide upfront what your deal-breakers are – and stick to your guns. Remember, these represent the things you simply won’t compromise on.

BRUSH UP ON THE WHAT AND WHERE OF YOUR JOB ADVERT

Stop right there! ✋

Don’t be tempted to copy and paste old job adverts. If you don’t put maximum effort into creating a compelling job advert, you won’t attract the talent that’s right for your business.

Guess what? Your ideal employee is out there. But they need to know your vacancy exists and be persuaded to apply.

Start by putting yourself in their shoes. 👢 Do a bit of research, and suss out where they’re likely to be looking for jobs, and what they’re likely to be looking for. Have a peek at what your competitors are doing to entice people to their business.

Recruitment is a two-way thing – so you need to work hard to sell your role to potential candidates. What does the job actually involve? Why is it an important role? What are you offering beyond the salary? What does it feel like to work at your place?

Research shows that the top five things job seekers look for, before accepting a job offer are: salary, commute, work-life balance, benefits, and career opportunities. Are these things plain to see in your job advert?

Put thought into where you advertise your vacancy. You don’t have to spend loads to get your advert in front of the right people.

Social media is an awesome channel for recruiting – allowing you to get creative and stand out from the crowd. LinkedIn say that 56% of job seekers use social professional networks to look for new jobs. Tap into your own social following and use them to help you to find the right person for the job.

WATCH YOUR BIAS

As mere mortals, we all have an unconscious bias that can rise to the fore during the hiring process – potentially leading you astray – so you end up making the wrong decisions about candidates.  

An unconscious bias is your automatic prejudice, shaped by all your worldly life experiences. It’s when you have a natural penchant for a person – and as a result – you might make a quick, irrational decision about them.

This is how it can play out into the recruitment process…
  • You let one positive or negative trait totally rule your thinking. For example, if the candidate looks or reminds you of somebody you know, like, or respect – they’re gonna make a fantastic first impression on you, causing you to overlook humongous gaps in their skillset or qualifications. This is called the halo effect.
  • You’re tempted to hire somebody, just because they’re ‘like’ you. For example, they went to the same college as you, or support the same football team. This is called affinity bias. 🏈
  • You look for qualities in a candidate to confirm your own stereotypes. For example, if you believe it would be better for a man to fill your forklift truck driver vacancy – you might unknowingly, try harder to find fault in female candidates applying for the same job. This is called confirmation bias. 🚚


Have you been guilty of any of these in the past? It’s worth being aware of your own bias. Make sure all your applicants go through exactly the same selection process – and prepare your questions in advance. Get somebody to give you a hand looking through CVs and doing interviews. That way, you’ll come to a more balanced view about an individual.

TO SUM THINGS UP THEN

  • You’re not alone if you’ve failed to recruit the right person for the job 📊
  • Go back to the beginning and really think about why you need to fill your vacancy. This will shape all decisions after that❓
  • Figure out what you really want and what you really don’t want, and stick to this throughout the process 📝
  • Put yourselves in the shoes of potential candidates when you’re creating your job advert. Then use that insight to shape what it says, and where you post it. Recruitment is a two-way thing, and demands loads of effort to attract the right person for the job 🌟
  • And finally, keep a check on your unconscious bias and take steps to rein it in!


If you need more help, read my book Hiring Your First Employee.

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