15 Hiring tips from an HR Consultant in Johannesburg

Chad Prinsloo | Web Designer

Tiaan Dwyer  |  HR Consultant

February 15 2022

Hiring the right person isn’t an easy task. It’s even harder to do so in a timely fashion. Not only do long hiring processes cost you time and money, they also delay you from filing a needed role on your team and that’s not including your onboarding process.

Every hour spent during the hiring process is an hour taken away from other essential business tasks. However, it’s also vital to be aware of that hurrying a hire can lead to other costly issues. Settling for a bad culture fit – or worse, dealing with negligent hiring – will only set your business back even further. Hiring means you need to perform an important balancing act – speed up the hiring process while finding the right candidate.

While tricky, it’s not impossible to improve your time to hire. Here are 15 tips you can implement in order to streamline your hiring process to get the candidates you need quicker than before.

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1. Think about your business goals before starting the hiring process

This means actively recruiting the right candidates as opposed to just filling the position with someone who may have some skills, but in actuality may not be the right choice for your business. Small businesses are often guilty of this. Just filling an open position instead of taking the time to identify, recruit and vet the right candidate is not the best route to a successful hire. Think of where you want your company to be in the future. Consider your growth plans and what kind of talent can help you achieve your goals and objectives. Taking the time to do it right will help you avoid mistakes, retrenchment, and dismissing, as well as lessen your risk and save you time, money, and frustration in the long run.

2. Create a Job Description template you can repeatedly use when you hire

Every job description you write from scratch is extra time and effort you can avoid. Using a consistent format for your job adverts will not only help you draft descriptions quicker than before, but it can also make them easier to scan for potential applicants.
Job adverts should be more than a laundry list of requirements. They should also be inspirational. More than anything, a good job advert should answer the question, “why is this company a good career choice for me?”

The following format can lay a great foundation:

• Summarise what the company is about – this could be the company tag line or pitch.

• Mention where the job is based. Let the candidate know straight away if you’re open to a remote role or let them know where the office is located so you won’t waste anyone’s time.

• Minimum requirements! This is the section where you want to list the necessary verified qualifications needed and skills to win this role.

• Nice to haves! List any skills that will be a bonus but not technically necessary to score the role.

• Sell the perks of the role to attract candidates. You want to make sure they know they will be valued before they even speak to you in person.

• Clear call to action for how to apply and next steps

Adding these details to a base template now will only save you time in the future.

3. Make the template more specific for each job you post

While a template does help, it’s important to make sure that your descriptions are specific enough to weed out certain applicants. If you attract the wrong types of candidates you prolong the hiring process. It’s important to be very clear about exactly what you want in a potential new employee to clear up any confusion from people who either aren’t right for the job or simply don’t have the qualifications.

That means thinking very carefully about the following factors:

• Which objectives the position should achieve

• The core skills required to meet these objectives

• Description of a typical day in the position, including regular duties, occasional tasks, etc.

By spending a little extra time going into detail about necessary skills and objectives, you can signal to unqualified applicants that the job isn’t right for them. This in turn will save you from going through these applications and potentially interviewing extra unqualified candidates.

4. Have a careers page on your website

You’ll need to spend a bit of time putting together an epic careers page on your company website as it will be the first place most candidates will look at before applying for the role. You’ll want to make sure you nail the brand tone and voice, and mention what makes your company amazing to work for and what sets you apart from others.

Having a great careers page will only lead more visitors to your company website, because quite frankly, you’ll want the candidate clicking through the site to learn more about it. From an SEO perspective, this will contribute to your company ranking better on Google (especially if you’re a start-up) and will help in the long run.

5. Look for talent in unique ways

Think outside of the box and discover new ways to post job listings to enhance the recruitment process to find the best applicants. If popular career sites haven’t helped you find suitable candidates then dive deeper into the talent pool. Along with Facebook job advertisements, LinkedIn is one of the best job posting boards to find job seekers that fit your needs.

There’s an even better offline approach to recruitment—employee referral programs. Your employees know everything about your company, its goals, culture, team dynamic and day-to-day operations. Nobody is better equipped for talent recruitment than existing employees, so make sure they know the hiring process and find the perfect internal candidates for the role. Since they are expected to vouch for their candidates, they’ll think twice before referring a person for the job.

6. Be More Selective About the Candidates You Bring in for an Interview

While a good description can cut out some less satisfactory applicants, you’ll still likely receive some resumes that don’t quite meet your standards. However, some people are tempted to still interview some of these applicants to try and reach a nice, round number of candidates. The problem with this approach is that it’s more important to interview the right candidates instead of trying to hit a quota. If you’re only impressed by two or three candidates, focus on just them instead of hoping that a fringe applicant might exceed expectations. This also applies to people during the first-round interviews as well. If someone isn’t impressive, it’s best not to give them more of your time just because you had hoped for a certain number of finalists. In the end, being discerning will save you hours of wasted time, especially if you have a more rigorous hiring process.

7. Consider Group Interviews

Sometimes, you have openings with several qualified candidates, but it’s hard to devote enough time to give every person a one-on-one interview. Instead of cutting a few promising people because of a time crunch, consider having multiple people participate in one interview at a time.
Not only will this create massive time savings, but it also has some interesting advantages. For one, multiple candidates mean that you’ll get different perspectives and the opportunity to see how other candidates react to those perspectives.

8. Check for a good culture fit during interviews

Hiring employees that fit with your company’s culture is of key importance for team work and productivity. Make use of behavioural interview questions to find out how they’ve handled previous clients and scenarios to gauge their social skills and business relationships. Previous relationships can tell you a lot about their amenability and can affect your decision for hire or non-hire. It is also beneficial to have the rest of your team sit down for a round table discussion with the candidate at the end of the interview. This will insure the compatibility with other office staff.

9. Check out for these red flags!

Never ignore red flags in the hiring process. These warning signals can include:

• excuses or vagueness about why they left previous positions;
• not researching or having any information about your company or what you do;
• not being able to back up their resume with names, facts, etc.;
• being late for interviews;
• not dressing appropriately for a job interview;
• being unprepared for the interview;
• complaining about previous employers;
• not being able to provide references; and
• rudeness or a bad attitude.

10. Streamline your background check strategy

Background screening is expensive and time-consuming, so why conduct background checks on all applicants? Many companies are streamlining this process by making a selection first and then screening only the final candidates.

To make background checks more efficient, consider tailoring your screening process to the needs of each position.

11. Hire for attitude and train for skills

By prioritising work ethics, flexibility, and teamwork over expertise and technical skills, this recently popularised approach to hiring helps build dynamic teams. Candidates who pass the attitude test can make better employees in the long-term. They are in the right mind-set to learn, develop new skills, and contribute to your company’s future.

Besides, necessary skills change fast in the modern age—the tools your employees will be using in two years will be different from the ones they use today.

12. Use tools to eliminate bias and boost efficiency

A great part of your recruitment and selection process can be automated.

• AI for screening can reduce your time per hire and eliminate bias.
• Candidate rediscovery tools help you re-engage past candidates.
• Chatbots can boost engagement with new candidates.

These tools will introduce a recruitment marketing practice and allow you to use marketing techniques such as multi-channel approach, targeted ads, and deep analytics to discover, attract, and engage better-qualified candidates, making the recruitment process so much easier.

13. Collect and analyse feedback from candidates

A candidate who’s just been offered a job at your company would hardly go on record with rating your hiring experience. The candidates who you have turned down, on the other hand, would probably have a lot to say about your employer brand.

Use the recruitment process as an opportunity to collect and analyse candidate feedback. This will equip you with valuable insight into how applicants perceive your hiring process and tell you what needs to be changed and why.

14. Understand the importance of onboarding

The recruitment process certainly doesn’t end once you’ve found the right candidate. Spend time setting up a remarkable onboarding process that will get your new hires up to scratch as quickly as possible. Those first few weeks are crucial for molding your new employees into being highly engaged and passionate staff members.

You’ve got a busy schedule as it is and probably don’t have a lot of time to train employees. If you nail the onboarding process, you’ll cut down on training new staff in the long run, which will help you concentrate on growing your business.

The best way to set up a captivating onboarding experience is by turning your PDFS, Word documents, and any other pieces of information you have floating around into one concise document.

15. Have your employee handbook ready

Just because you may have nailed the recruitment process doesn’t mean the whole selection process ends there. You’ll need to make sure you have an employee handbook to give new hires before their first day.

It’s an important process all companies need to have in place to ensure the new hire understands the essentials about the company’s policies and procedures and answer any questions they might have before they start.

They’ll fully understand everything from the company culture, code of conduct, and every type of workplace policy required.

Are you in need of an HR Consultant to help you with hiring?

FIC Consulting’s business recruitment services are designed specifically to help established and growing companies recruit at a highly competitive level. We work closely with businesses supporting them with every step of the recruitment process, providing guidance throughout.

If there is something I want you to know about me right away, it’s that I have a passion for supporting business owners. I believe in the future of South Africa and that there are so many opportunities out there to be successful and to make a change to our economy.

I want to be part of that change by providing businesses with core HR and Labour Solutions that will not only result in legislative compliance but actually positively impact their bottom line.

Over the years I have gained practical HR experience working in various sectors such as mining, construction, financial services, and corporate legal. As a business owner myself, I can relate well to businesses and what their needs are.

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