OPINION: How to hire the best staff for your business

Jat Mann looks back on some of PC Pal’s many weird and wonderful job applicants, before offering up some of his best tips for appointing the right kind of employees…
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Jat Mann looks back on some of PC Pal’s many weird and wonderful job applicants, before offering up some of his best tips for appointing the right kind of employees…

Having interviewed many candidates over the years, I can honestly say that I have met people from nearly every walk of life.

I can recall interviewing one chap for an IT engineer role who sounded very plausible on the phone, positive and full of energy.

When he came in for a face-face interview, I was a little surprised to see his face was covered in piercings with a few discreet tattoos, although he was smartly dressed in appearance.

You might think that I was put off by his appearance but I actually offered him the role. However, it turned out his partner wasn’t keen on him working after 4pm everyday or starting before 10am, so he had to regrettably decline the position. As you can imagine, I was stunned.

I also remember interviewing another chap who covered his face and mouth with his hand for most of the interview and spoke very quietly, whilst others have failed to remove their overcoat and scarf through the entire interview (in a warm office environment) and some have even taken phone calls in the middle of a conversation.

Now, many of you no doubt have your own stories to tell (which I am always happy to hear), but I have a few tips to pass on to make the process run a little smoother.

Firstly, write out a description of the type of personnel you are looking for, in terms of skills and personal characteristics. Secondly, ensure you include plenty of information in the job advertisement for applicants, adding a link to your website for more details on the role. Thirdly, add a few wild cards for those that don’t quite fit the idea candidate profile, but you have a hunch they might make a good team member. Give the candidates a call on the phone for an initial chat to whittle down the shortlist.

During the face-to-face interview process, test the candidate’s knowledge that they have stated in the application form, by asking them what they would do in various scenarios or tasks. Finally, have at least a six-month probation period and formally sit down at the end of it to discuss the outcome.

Don’t be afraid to let someone go quickly if it’s not working out. It’s a tough thing to do, but worth it in the end.

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