Determining Need

The first question to ask is, “Why recruit?”.  Why do you need to bring in an employee?  Is it to help your business grow?  Is it to give you more time to focus on things you don’t have enough time for at the moment?  Is it to take more control of tasks that you’ve previously outsourced?  Make sure you are absolutely clear on why you need the employee, don’t fall into the trap of hiring someone you don’t really need or hiring someone to do one job when you really need them to do something else.

Remember, before taking on a new employee it is important that you are absolutely certain that you need to take a new employee on.  An internal restructure might be more beneficial to the company and existing employees.

Other questions to ask include:

  • What work isn’t being done now that needs to be done?
  • Can an existing employee do this work?
  • What work is being held up because of a lack of personnel?
  • What skills are missing from the company?
  • Can we train an existing employee to have these skills?
  • What experience is missing from the company?
  • How might a new employee negatively impact the company?
  • How might a new employee positively impact the company?
  • Is there an ongoing need or is the need short term or intermittent?
  • Could you outsource the work more efficiently than taking on a new employee?

Once you are sure you really do need to hire a new employee it’s time to determine the requirements of the new position.

Determining Requirements

Using the answers to the questions asked when determining need you can start to put together your requirements for the new position.

Start by deciding what the company’s greatest need is out of; Skills, Experience, Personality or Urgency, then rank the others in order of importance.

If it is more urgent that you get a new employee to start than their skills. experience or personality then your recruitment strategies are going to very different than if their skills are your highest priority.  You can find an unskilled person much more quickly and easily than a highly skilled person so you need to balance your expectations around time scale and, potentially, cost depending on your need.

If your need is short term or intermittent then it is likely that you will be looking for a either a temporary or contract worker.  It is important that you get the advice of a professional HR or Recruitment consultant as there are significant legal differences between the two (such as IR35 and Agency Worker Regulations), taking the wrong route could cost you more than you need to pay.  A freelancer may even be a good way to start if you’re not certain how much work there will be.

It’s also important that you know what you want to be achieved by hiring the new employee; increase productivity, expand product or service range, reduce workload on an individual or team, complete a project, improve operational efficiency etc.  This will not only help you with the job specification but also with the interview questions and measuring the success of your hire.

At the end of this stage you should have answers to the following:

  • Which is most important for the business, Skills, Experience, Personality or Urgency of hiring a new employee?
  • What skills does the new employee need?
  • What experience must the new employee have?
  • What type of personality is most suitable for this position?
  • How soon does the new employee have to start?
  • How long do I need a new employee to be doing this job?
  • What do I need a new employee to do?
  • What would I like the new employee to do?
  • Is there a particular way I need the new employee to do these things?
  • What do I need a new employee to achieve for the company?