5 Golden Rules of Hiring People for Your Small Business
Your company has now been in existence for a year and it is time for a small expansion. The problem is that you have always worked for other people and never had to hire anyone. Or it has been some time since you hired someone for a job and you are not sure how labor laws have changed. Follow these simple rules, and you won't go wrong:
Nowadays it is unacceptable - and illegal - to place ads like "Female, 18-25 years, wanted as a saleswoman". Must be single and willing to work long hours". Although there is something like a Genuine Occupational Requirement (GOR) in the UK, this is an exception and you should seek legal advice to determine whether your particular job has a GOR.
The main criteria for GORs are disability, gender and religious beliefs. However, as a general rule, job advertisements may not discriminate on the basis of age, disability, gender reassignment, race, religion/belief, gender or sexual orientation. Even if you think that the person does not suit you well, for example because you run a company with a "Laddish" culture and the applicant has made it clear that he or she is gay, this is not a sufficient reason to reject his or her application and the penalties can be severe if the applicant successfully challenges your decision under the Equal Opportunities Act 2010.
The advertisement cited above also requires the successful applicant to "work long hours". Under the Working Time Directive, employees may not be forced to work an average of 48 hours per week. There are exceptions to this - police, armed forces etc. - but most ordinary jobs, including medical staff, are covered by the directive.
In the current economic climate and in the midst of a culture of "success at any price", it is estimated that one in three candidates has a career in the field of business. The temptation to do so is great, but the risks are considerable. In 2010, a British woman was sent to prison for six months for lying on her CV, claiming to have two high school graduates and then forging a letter of recommendation. She was eventually convicted under the Fraud Act 2006, making her the first woman to go to prison for falsifying a resume. Of course, this is an extreme case, but more and more employers do not check the employment history of applicants, which can have a significant impact on your business and potentially cause legal problems.
A survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) found that every year, a quarter of employers withdraw job offers after discovering that someone has lied or misrepresented their application. The Institute warned that lying on a resume is an illegal and punishable offense.
The rule is simple: Do not be afraid to interview the candidate on his or her resume. If the answers seem incongruent, check the resume before offering a second interview or a second job.
Always accept references, even after the successful candidate has started working.
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There is little point in wasting your or the candidate's time by inviting him or her to an interview for a job that does not offer the kind of salary he or she is looking for or that does not have enough seniority. Therefore, it makes sense to call them first to find out if the job meets your or their minimum requirements. During the interview there is always a delicate moment when the candidate wants to ask about the salary but was advised against it. An informal interview beforehand will avoid this and make a job interview much more pleasant.
When interviewing an applicant, remember that the interview room is one of the most stressful places.
that anyone will ever experience. Consider this in the criteria of the competence-based survey and try to identify the person behind the nerves. Will he or she fit into your organization? Does he or she have skills and experience that need to be identified? Treat self-help books on body language with skepticism - this is not an exact science, and you can take a negative attitude towards a good - albeit nervous - candidate. Also be careful before psychometric tests. These are merely an inaccurate snapshot and can easily be distorted by the cunning candidate.
Even a formal interview can be talkative and designed to make the candidate feel comfortable and therefore more accommodating with his answers. Do not be afraid to further explore the candidate's answers just because you have introduced a competency-based interview policy.
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While it is of course important that applicants submit an application based on their skills and experience, it is equally important for you as an employer to be realistic about your expectations of the job holder and the position itself. Someone with years of experience and a broad qualification base will not be satisfied with a junior position, so be open about your requirements. Is the position currently a junior position, but has the potential to expand for the right candidate? Do you offer further training or other services, e.g. in the health care sector? All this should be clearly communicated.
Make sure that the position has a printed job and person specification. Point out that the job holder may have other duties related to his work, but do not expect a department head to be satisfied with the regular cleaning of the toilets.
Most importantly, your recruitment process should be documented and rehearsed and not be left to inexperienced employees, including managers. Your staff is a valuable asset, and your company deserves to have the very best - and most suitable - employees for its needs.