How to Find Quality Staff

How to Find Quality Staff

Tests, advertising in the right places and asking questions can help find great staff.

By Marcia Smith

How do I identify the qualities I want in new staff?

The key to recruiting quality employees is first to define precisely what qualities you’re looking for, and which of these qualities are most important for the success of your business. If the key qualities relate to qualifications and experience, you can use screening questions to filter out candidates who don’t fit your criteria.

If you want to focus on skills and aptitude, you can use tests or quizzes to check for these qualities. If the qualities you’re looking for are less tangible, like being self-motivated or helpful, the best way to judge this is often in an interview.

You should also think about targeting your recruitment ads in the kinds of trade and professional publications that quality candidates are likely to read.

When faced with two equally-qualified candidates, who do I hire?

Just because two candidates are equally qualified doesn’t necessarily mean that the’re equally suitable for the job. Any recruitment process needs to look beyond qualifications and consider each candidate’s experience, character and personality. The latter two criteria are of particular importance in smaller companies where teams work closely together.

Things to consider include whether they’re a team player, highly motivated, well organised and whether you feel they’ll fit in with the rest of the team. It can help to look at their previous experience or set aptitude tests. Nothing, however, beats an interview for giving you the opportunity to gauge a candidate’s character face-to-face. Pose clear, relevant and challenging questions, and you’ll soon get an instinctive feel for who you want on your team.

How do I find the right people?

First, you need to cast your net wide to attract the right kind of applications. Think about where you can advertise your positions, for example in trade publications, specialist websites or social media.

Next, you need to screen them for their skills and experience. The right mindset for your company is likely to go hand-in-hand with the right expertise.

Then, if you’re having trouble shortlisting your candidates, behavioural assessment tests can help you to identify people with the personality traits you’re looking for. However, these tests aren’t always 100% reliable, and ultimately nothing beats an interview as an opportunity to grill candidates and reveal their true mindset.

How do I attract exceptional staff?

Exceptional individuals look for opportunities to progress along their career path. You need to show how you’ll contribute to their development while they’re working hard for you. Explain opportunities for training and progression and you’ll attract better candidates.

Be clear about core responsibilities, expected experience and how you’ll measure success.

Ask probing questions about previous experience. If candidates can’t give detailed descriptions of personal contributions to projects it’s a sign they lack experience or understanding.

Ask how they demonstrate the values of your organisation. Cultural fit can bring out the best in people and lead to stronger performance against objectives.