Fundamentals of Recruiting

Finding the right staff member to join your team can be a huge challenge – especially in these times of low unemployment. As such, understanding the fundamentals of recruiting is important for all managers.

I believe that there’s a job in this world for everyone; the challenge is finding the right person for your specific job. The media inundates us with information about labour shortages, the importance of the “right hire”, and the consequences that a bad hire can have on your business, culture and budget. Additionally, employers are having to accommodate a recruiting world that is increasingly dependent on digital technology and abounds with ‘buzz’ words. It can all become a bit over-whelming.

However, despite these challenges, the fundamentals of recruiting are fairly basic and any hiring decision essentially comes down to determining the following:

  • Does the candidate have the skills and competencies necessary for the job at hand?
  • Will they fit in with your culture?
  • Will they add value to your team?
  • Do they share your company’s values?
  • And, importantly, do they have the right attitude?


Sounds straightforward doesn’t it? However, it’s not so simple if you’re unsure where to start. So, start with the fundamentals you know and you’ll likely find that you’re better positioned to recruit than you give yourself credit for. These recruiting fundamentals include:

1.  Preparing a job description and posting: Confirm the responsibilities, accountabilities and tasks associated to the position, and determine the associated skills, education and experience that you feel are important. Develop a posting that promotes the opportunity and your organization.

2.  Posting the opportunity: Circulate the posting online and through social or print media. Tell your friends or business colleagues about your needs and make it easy for people to apply.

3.  Screening résumés: Whether you’re recruiting for a data entry clerk, a financial analyst or a Chief Executive Officer, talk to candidates as part of the résumé screening process - yes, by phone - and listen to what they have to say as this is how best to get a meaningful first impression of applicants.

4.  Interviewing: Be well-prepared for interviews so you know what you are going to ask and can make it a positive experience for candidates. (News of a poor candidate experience travels faster and farther these days.) Consider inviting another appropriate representative of your organization to participate in the interview process. Try to conduct interviews in-person, even if the first interview has to be supplemented by technology.  Your instincts kick-in when you meet in-person, and by seeing the nuances of body language you can better gauge how a candidate will interact with other members of your team.

5.  Checking references: References will give you peace of mind and confirm candidate competencies. Don’t miss this important step.

Above all, listen to your instincts which, in my humble opinion, is a fundamental part of recruiting; if it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. It’s better to listen to that niggle now rather than to have it surface months after you hire at which point it becomes a whole other HR issue.


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