3 June 2015

Last week, UKFast was mentioned in a great article on recruitment, published on The Guardian website. Focussed on the theme of ‘finding the right people’, it included lots of tips and advice from business owners and entrepreneurs; overall, a very useful resource for growing SMEs.

Finding the right people doesn't have to be an uphill struggle

Finding the right people doesn’t have to be an uphill struggle

Yet there was one thing that caught my attention in a less positive light, and that was the image of Alan Sugar and his ‘assistants’. The caption underneath it read: “Some interview panels are more intimidating than others” and I think the implied comment here is that there are far better ways to recruit people than scaring the living daylights out of them. Personally, I couldn’t agree more.

I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s worth reiterating: being bullish and scary is not a good way of finding great people – quite the opposite, in fact. His presence on programmes like The Apprentice is concerning, as it gives the impression that this is how business actually works. Surely, this is a bad example to fellow entrepreneurs of how to behave in business.

In my experience, finding great people is more to do with listening. Rather than pointing a finger in someone’s face, it is far more effective to step back and observe. This isn’t to say you should distance yourself from people, as it’s always a good idea to really get to know people outside of the familiar work environment, but when you take over the conversation or intimidate people, there’s a risk they will shrink back into their shell, and you could end up missing out on a superstar.

Not only that, but the best candidate for the job isn’t always the loudest or the most aggressive. I would argue it’s usually the quieter ones who aren’t simply waiting for their chance to speak, but actually listening to and acknowledging those around them who make the best team mates. And ultimately, strengthening the team is exactly what finding the right people is all about.

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