Learning To Recruit

My manager has asked me to recruit another employee for our department and I have no background in hiring. We don’t have a Human Resources Department so I’m on my own. Do you have any ideas for me – I really want to find the right person for her.

Your manager has paid you a significant compliment by assigning this important responsibility to you. Although you may be a bit apprehensive, if you follow a few relatively simple guidelines, you’ll almost certainly do a great job!

I presume the workload in the office has increased to such a level that your boss has agreed to add an additional employee. Your first action should be to determine exactly what type of person you need. What qualifications and experience will be essential for the position?

While you have been delegated the task of hiring this person, you should not expect to work in isolation; in fact, you could be criticized for not broadening the process to include a number of colleagues – including your manager.

You’ll need to spend some time with her to ascertain what she would like in a new hire. She may give you subtle signs to guide you. As well, if the final decision is hers – and you need to determine this – you won’t be able to take total responsibility for any decision that is made.

Nonetheless, you are the “point person” so your recommendation will be considered very seriously by your boss and perhaps others in the management group.

A job description will be critical. I’m assuming your company uses them, but if they are operating more informally, I’d still recommend you prepare a one or two page description of the position’s objectives and functions. Get your boss to “sign off” on this document if at all possible.

Now that you know who you are looking for you can begin the search process which can be quite lengthy, as you’ll discover. What means will you use to communicate your message to prospective candidates?

There are many online career sites that you’ll need to investigate. Most newspapers also have a section dedicated to job postings. You should place a notice on your own company website which may attract applicants specifically interested in your product or service.

You’ll need to make two short lists: the first will be developed from the submitted applications and the second will be made following the interviews (of four to five candidates depending on the number of applicants). A final offer should be made to the selected candidate by you or your boss.

Recruiting is surprisingly time-consuming but also very rewarding. Take this opportunity to prove you have the capacity to succeed. Be fully consultative, however, and engage as many co-workers as possible to find the best candidate.