5 Questions to ask before you recruit

One of the most important functions that a human resources manager fulfils is recruiting new employees to the company.
By: Jasmita at GetSmarter
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Effective People Management

Human resources

Cape Town - Western Cape - South Africa

Sept. 12, 2011 - PRLog -- One of the most important functions that a human resources manager fulfils is recruiting new employees to the company. As the business grows and changes, it starts to need more workers with a wider variety of skills. It is up to the HR manager, working closely with departmental management and company directors, to conceptualise these new roles and find the right people to fill them. However, before you start the expensive and time-consuming recruitment process, ask yourself the follow five questions.

1. Does this position really need to be filled?
Sometimes, during a particularly busy period or a moment of rapid growth, it may feel like the business needs a few extra staff members to help cope with the mounting workload. This may be the case, but make sure that you evaluate your current situation objectively before you embark on hiring. Is the workload going to keep growing in future? Is the growth ongoing or temporary? Could occasionally hiring a freelancer help you cope with busy periods instead? You must make sure that there is enough work to keep the new recruits busy in future.

2. Can the position be filled by an existing staff member?
If you are looking to fill a position that requires a high level of competency and deep knowledge of the business, consider promoting one of your existing staff to that position and hiring somebody to fill their place. It is much easier to find good recruits for lower-level jobs, and you will need to spend less time training and upskilling the new employee. This also means that you business will be less disrupted, since the more important tasks will get done by an experienced employee.

3. What are the exact job specifications?
Before you being evaluating candidates, you must have a very clear and defined idea of what exactly you are looking for. Before you create the job advert, compile a job description (which outlines the content of the job) and a job specification (which details the characteristics, skills and experience needed to perform the job). Use these two documents throughout your recruitment process to make sure your efforts remain on target.

4. Where can you advertise the opening?
The channels that you use to publicise the job opening will vary widely depending on the nature of your business and of the job you are hiring for. Consider adverting in newspapers, attending graduate recruitment events, contacting recruitment agencies and spreading the news by word of mouth. The more widely you advertise, the more candidates you are likely to attract – but make sure you don’t waste your money on media that are unlikely to reach your desired target audience. If you are looking for employees with many years of experience, don’t advertise in a university publication, for instance.

5. How much time and money are you prepared to spend on the recruitment process?
Recruiting can be expensive – not only do you have to pay for advertising, but you must also factor in the salary of your HR manager and any other special expenses, like flying promising candidates in for interviews or paying for the services of recruitment agencies.

The process also takes a lot of time; before you even start interviews, you and your HR manager will have invested many days into the process. Be very clear from the outset how much time and money you are prepared to invest in the process, and halt the process once you reach these limits. If you find you are having considerable difficulty finding an appropriate candidate, consider whether you are looking in the right place or for a reasonable skill set.

The part-time University of Cape Town Effective People Management short course is presented online throughout South Africa and starts on 26 September 2011. Visit www.getsmarter.co.za for more information.

This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

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