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By Anony Mili

Human Resources: Best recruiting tips to make the right hire.

Having worked for many years in recruitment roles be it as a recruitment consultant within a recruitment agency or as an in house recruiter for an employer, I thought I could share some of the useful tips I've picked up over the years to make your recruiting drive easier for you.

1) One of the most important things to remember when recruiting is to have a job and person spec. You can't say "I need a Software Engineer/Receptionist/Accounts Assistant/etc" without having a good idea of the responsibilities you want them to take on and also what sort of person you want for the job. E.g. for an Accounts Assistant you might want a quiet and serious character but for a Receptionist you might want a bubbly and out-going person. For a Software Engineer you might want someone with a MSc in Computing and solid experience in Java programming. You have to decide all these things before you start your recruitment drive or you'll end up wasting valuable time sifting through 100s of CVs which don't even come close to the mark.

2) Know what package you can offer. If you have a specific salary range in mind even if it's quite a wide range, make sure potential candidates are aware of this. If you are offering 20,000-30,000 for a role, you won't want someone who's used to earning 50,000 applying for the role as you won't be able to afford them and again, you'll be wasting time possibly getting to interview stage and then being told that they won't work for less than 50k. You should have a minimum and maximum salary range in mind and know what level you are pitching at.

3) Plan the interview beforehand. Don't go into an interview blind be prepared. Have a standard list of questions prepared to ask your candidates so it's a fair elimination process and so you don't sit there twiddling your thumbs thinking of questions to ask them. Make sure your questions do not have anything discriminatory in them. E.g. in the UK you can't ask a person their age at interview or ask a candidate if they plan to have kids soon (this is something you'd associate more with a recently married woman). It always makes you look more professional if you explain the interview process briefly to the candidate, e.g. telling them how the interview will be structured, how long it will last and that they will have a chance to ask their own questions at the end of the interview. Ask questions related to the job specifically and if there is travel involved in the role, obviously ask if the candidate is able to stay away from home if travel outside of the home location is required. Make sure you ask open ended questions, i.e. questions that require a thought out answer as opposed to just "yes" or "no" answers.

4) Don't try to find a carbon copy of the person you are replacing. This is not possible. If Bob Jones from Finance is leaving after 10 years excellent service, you are never going to find someone who has exactly the same skills as him to take over his role. You will want someone who has the key skills he has, or maybe use this as an opportunity to revamp the job description and look for someone with some slightly different skills.

5) Make sure the interview environment is affable quiet, private and comfortable. Remember, they're not just trying to impress you, you also have to impress your potential employees! Most candidates will decline the offer of tea or coffee to drink during the interview but many will accept a glass of water. This helps their nerves and you should make arrangements for drinking water to be available during interviews.

On the whole, there is no perfect way to conduct a recruitment drive. Different people work in different ways and conduct interviews in the manner in which they feel most comfortable. The above tips are a guideline and once you've incorporated most of these into your recruitment practices you will find your comfort zone and see within a short space of time what works best for you.

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