Hiring the best person for the job

The labour market is currently a seller's market

The people you employ can make or break your business. Here's how to ensure you're attracting and selecting the best candidates.

There's no foolproof method of recruiting, but if you invest the necessary time and effort into the process then you will more often than not hire people who are assets to your organisation.

1. Writing the job ad

The labour market is currently a seller's market and you're looking to convince those sellers it's a smart move to sell to you. Don't gild the lily when it comes to the demands of the job, but focus on what you have to offer employees when it comes to remuneration, training programs, opportunities for advancement and a friendly workplace culture.

2. Placing the job ad

SEEK has become the default option, but there are many other online job boards, including ones that specialise in a particular industry. Keep in mind that many people search the paper rather going online when job hunting. You may also wish to ask existing employees to refer someone, put a ‘staff wanted' sign up or get in touch with the local TAFE to see if they can connect you with jobseekers.

3. Interviewing

If you've done a good job advertising the position, you should receive plenty of applications, typically consisting of a CV and cover letter. Do your first cull, eliminating those who are obviously unsuited to the role. If there are still lots of candidates remaining, do brief telephone interviews to determine who to get in for a face-to-face meeting.

When interviewing applicants in person, have a list of open-ended questions prepared. Remember that the purpose of the interview is twofold: first, to determine whether the person has the skills to do the job and second, whether their personality will be a good fit with your organisation.

4. Reference checking

Many a disastrous hiring decision could have been averted had the employer checked references. Make sure to pay attention to what the referee doesn't say about the candidate as well as what they do say.

A final tip – don't leave interviewees hanging. Make a job offer quickly to avoid the person you want being snapped up by someone else, and have the courtesy to inform the unsuccessful candidates they've missed out this time.