How do I know they can really do the job?

A clear recruitment procedure – which can be very practical and tailored to your small business – involving some standardised approaches can help you save time and headaches later on.

  1. Be clear about the skills and experience you really need this person to have
  2. Prepare two or three questions to find out more about their experience – and don’t be shy to probe for specific details. If the person talks about what the team achieved, or what “we did…”, ask them what their individual role was, and what the outcome was.
  3. Consider including a practical test as part of the recruitment process – for hands-on roles, this could include time doing an activity that is a standard part of the role. For management positions, you could ask the candidate to write a summary of how they might approach a typical scenario they will face in the role.
  4. When you’ve selected a potential candidate, be sure to contact their references. In many instances, it’s worth investing in a telephone call to speak to the right person. Be sure to check their relationship with the candidate and probe for any areas where the candidate might need development.

Going through these steps shouldn’t be onerous and will reduce the chances of taking on someone without the right skills. You can also decide to include a probation period in their employment contract. More information about probation periods is available online – for those within the national fair work system see the Fair Work Ombudsman and for those under the WA State System, see the information from the WA Government.

As with other parts of your business, up-front planning and a systematised approach can minimise potential problems down the track.

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