Who should be responsible for recruitment in my business?

At what stage should one person oversee recruitment? My business partner and I have taken on several members of staff and we are struggling to find the time to both sift through and interview new people. Should just one of us handle this?

The answer depends on the company. There’s no cookie cutter solution, I’m afraid.


The short answer is split the responsibility and have one partner take the roles best suited to their experience and the other take the roles they know best. Now that you have some employees in place you have set the tempo and you can aim to at least match that standard.


The danger is the “upright and breathing syndrome” – which means if they can stand and breathe, they are okay. You think: “Let’s just get them in and worry about the skills and other stuff later”.


Well, that never works! Unless you have a standard you will waste a lot of time turning over staff or worse still, not turning over poor performers.


The issue is that you have to trust your partner, your office manager or your senior employee to understand what is required and then find suitable candidates.


To save a lot of time outlining clearly what you require first is essential. Sometimes by reacting you will make the wrong decision.


Why not have a resource meeting every month. It can take 30 minutes and can save you hours. You should look at things such as:


  •  Assess what work load you need to cover in the period ahead.
  • Assess available resources.
  • Determine capacity.
  • Define the gap.
  • Seek appropriate resources.

By doing so you are more likely to utilise the resources you have more effectively. Also, you can divvy up the roles to be filled by which partner and then outline the skills gap.


By setting an application form out for the role you wish to fill, you can filter out the unsuitable candidates at application stage.


The more room you leave for uncertainty the more time it takes to sort. In the early days of creating my business I had a revelation: “Martin you cannot do everything. Learn to delegate and find support to do the things that you should not be wasting time on”.


So I allowed myself to give permission for trusted associates to find new associates.


Of course, I wanted to meet them, but that is very different to sifting, sorting, assessing and selecting.


No associate of mine would want to be responsible for bringing in someone who does not fit into our team.


If you have an ethos and a set of ethics and a clear direction then finding suitable people is reasonably straightforward. If you are not sure, then the standard will be variable.


Of course, you can always outsource the responsibility and go to an organisation that can use an applicant tracking system that automatically filters the applications and provides you with a short list.


The value here is obtained by first setting the right profile for each role and writing questions in each application form, which enables auto filtering.


To summarise:


  • Recruiting the right folk is essential.
  • Once the standard is set let go and allow others to help.
  • Go with your strengths.
  • Assess your resource needs often.
  • Give permission to trusted associates to assist.
  • Be paranoid about role clarity within a defined business ethos.
  • If all else fails call in the experts, but make sure they are practitioners not consultants!


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