18 July 2018

recruit the ideal candidate and feedback in business role model mentor How many times have you brought in someone new to your business and it hasn’t worked out?

In all honesty, I have made this mistake a few times along the way. Hiring someone new, often a big hitter, and knowing that they are going to have an extraordinary impact on the business, only for it not to work out. Why is that?

For many, it comes down to making the same old mistakes in the recruitment process. Can you really get to know someone the way that you currently recruit? With that in mind, here are the lessons that I have learned about recruitment along the way so far:

Beyond a CV

A CV is simply a list of what the person has done, not what they could do or bring to your business. It is absolutely impossible to judge whether someone is the perfect fit for your team simply by looking at a piece of paper. So why is that often the first hurdle we all put in place? If a CV doesn’t look good enough, we dismiss the candidate. Within that ‘no’ pile could be your next superstar!

Being a superstar does not rely on being able to represent yourself well on a piece of paper. Business is about so much more than that, so your recruitment process should be too.

Beneath the surface

For many years we have included psychometric testing within our recruitment process. It’s an extraordinarily valuable tool to really get to know someone. Often the value comes in discussing the results of the test afterwards – does the candidate think it’s an accurate representation of themselves, for example.

The tests also give us an idea of how well a person would fit into a role – if someone has an incredibly low admin gene, the last thing they need is to be put into a role filled with paperwork and spreadsheets! Equally someone who is a real introvert and likes working alone could never be a fit for a sales role.

It’s all about finding the right balance for the team and really getting to know the candidate combining the test with their views.

One-to-one interview

How many times have you been hired, or have you hired based on one face-to-face interview? How can you possibly get to know someone based on a quick chat in a sterile environment where you’re both a bit uncomfortable and under pressure? There’s no way!

Instead, get out! Take potential recruits and newcomers out of the office. Have lunch together, go for a walk. As I am sure you’ve read, we have a centre at the foot of Mount Snowdon in Wales where we take new recruits to really get the know them. When people are out of their comfort zones climbing a mountain or building and rowing a raft, you get to know the real personalities. There’s no room to hide on the mountainside! This is often where we discover who the future leaders of the UKFast team are. More often than not these are the people at the back supporting those who are struggling, rather than those charging ahead to win the race.

Attitude first, skills second

The final point is by far the most important. You can always teach skills, you cannot teach attitude. Attitude is ingrained, it’s how you’re brought up, it’s part of you. If you have the skillset we’re looking for but don’t align with our core values, you are very unlikely to get the job. That may sound harsh, but if you’re not aligned with the culture you’re never going to enjoy working here.

Having this approach helps us to recruit people who will love working as part of the UKFast team and who will thrive in the environment. It’s about finding the perfect match for both of you.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list and we learn new recruitment lessons all the time, so I’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on finding the perfect recruit. Where have you gone wrong? Where did you get it right?

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