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7 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Employee

7 Steps To Hiring the Perfect Employee

Author: Brian Bijdeveldt

Brian is a Melbourne based Business Coach and Consultant specializing in Marketing (both online and offline) for the small business entrepreneur. Using proven and practical strategies and techniques Brian empowers business owners to increase their sales, profits and cash. Visit Brian's Melbourne Business Coaching site or his Business Blog for free business tools and downloads

Employee recruitment and retention is one of the primary challenges facing employers today. One common mistake small businesses make when recruiting new staff is to not follow a defined process. In doing so they are, in effect, ensuring their recruitment efforts are going to be haphazard at best.

Hiring the wrong employee is expensive, disruptive to your existing employees, and time consuming. Hiring the right employee, on the other hand, pays you back in increased productivity, a successful employment relationship, and a positive impact on your total work environment. Effective recruitment results in an organization hiring employees who are skilled, experienced, and good fits with your corporate culture.

This guide for hiring employees will help you systematize your process for hiring employees, whether it's your first employee or one of many employees you are hiring. By having a defined process, it is easier to track the progress of recruitment throughout its various stages.


Defining the need for a new employee (either a new position created or replacement of vacating staff). Decide on lead times for filling the position/s. Have a discussion with the section manager, key employees and (if you have this position) your HR representative. Develop and prioritize the key requirements needed from the position and the special qualifications, traits, characteristics, and experience you seek in a candidate. These will assist you in writing the classified ad; framing interview questions; and screen resultant resumes for potential candidate interviews.

If it is a new position, research the market for a salary range that is appropriate. Add any benefits, bonuses, commissions etc that may be applicable. These can be used as "sweeteners".

Develop The Job Description

Based on the defined business skills gap and functions you want performed, document the Job Description. This is an important document used both internally and when communicating with external recruitment agencies.

  • What are the functions the new hire is going to perform?
  • What skills will they require?
  • What will be their responsibilities and who will they report to?

Define the hours they will work and the important tasks and outcomes expected of them. Agree the selection criteria to be satisfied. This will be critical when assessing applications and candidates.

Choose The Interviewers

Determine the interview panel or individuals that will be creating the candidate interview questions and test activities. There may be one or many people involved in the interview process. Clear communication of responsibilities for the coordination of the interview process for the business and the candidates is critical. The interviewer you select will have a large impact on the quality and appropriateness of the candidates chosen for the position.

Decide-Internal Or External Hire?

Brainstorm potential ways to locate a well-qualified pool of candidates for each position. Work out whether this position is going to be filled by a qualified internal candidate. If so, distribute an email to notify staff that you are hiring employees. Otherwise you can:

  • Use word-of-mouth to spread the information about the position availability in your business and to each employee's network of friends and associates.
  • Network and post jobs on online social media sites such as Twitter and LinkedIn.
  • Ask your employees to publicize the position through their online social media networks.
  • Place a classified advertisement in larger circulation newspapers.
  • Post the position on jobs and newspaper-related websites - include the company website.
  • Post the position on professional association websites.
  • Contact several university career centres.
  • Get in touch with Recruitment Agencies

Screen Candidates

  • Screen resumes and/or applications against the prioritized qualifications and criteria established.
  • For the candidates whose credentials look like a good fit with the position arrange a telephone interview as a first step.
  • Schedule qualified candidates for a first interview.
  • Tell the candidates the timeline you anticipate the interview process will take.
  • Ask the candidate to fill out your job application form.
  • Give the candidate a copy of the job description to review (if they haven't already seen it).

Hold interviews.

Make sure each interviewer is clear about their role in the interview process. (Culture fit, technical qualifications, customer responsiveness and knowledge are several of the screening responsibilities you may allocate to individual interviewers.) Interviewers should follow a structured approach and fill out the Job Candidate Evaluation Form post interview.

Conduct interviews during which the candidate is assessed and has the opportunity to learn about your organization and your needs.

  • Fill out the Job Candidate Evaluation Form for each candidate interviewed.
  • The interview panel meets to determine which (if any) candidates to invite back for a second interview. They compare their notes and the criteria checklist.
  • Determine the appropriate people to participate in the second round of interviews. This may include potential coworkers or even customers. Only include
  • people who will impact the hiring decision.
  • Schedule the next round of interviews.
  • Candidates participate in any testing you may require for the position.
  • Interviewers fill out the candidate rating form.

Select The New Employee

Reference and qualifications checks are conducted. It may be necessary to perform police checks (do they have a criminal record?). Through the entire interviewing process stay in touch with the most qualified candidates via phone and email. Assess feedback notes from interviewers as well as criteria scores in selecting the most suitable candidate.

  • If there aren't any suitable candidates start the process again.
  • Agree a package to offer the candidate
  • Prepare a written position offer letter that offers the position, states the salary, reporting relationship, and any other benefits the candidate has negotiated or the company has agreed.
  • Once the candidate signs the offer documentation to accept the job schedule the start date.