shutterstock_306069551Currently Workwise has been running a series of training workshops in Manjimup with the next one to be run by Karina regarding recruitment and how it relates to ‘The Sound of Music’ (Editor’s note, see below for reference).

As we are talking all things recruitment we thought we should spend some time in this article talking about the importance of this process. This is mainly because it is an area that – in general terms – is very badly performed by many SME Employers.

In the first instance many employers still have a very ‘blinkered’ process in place that concentrates on the ‘Job’ vacancy they want to fill. This means that they spend most of their time concentrating on qualifications, experience and capacity to undertake the ‘mechanics’ of the position. All too often they completely overlook the ‘soft’ skills, ie attitude, aptitude and personality. Ironically all too often it is these areas where the ‘new’ employee can cause an employer grief.

Employer’s in general need to take a much wider view of the ‘role’ that an employee plays. This involves asking questions about how a new employee will fit into a current team dynamic. Some of these might include:

  • What the new employee’s level of ‘emotional intelligence’ is.
  • Whether they are a problem solver or just a problem creator.
  • If their personality is one that actively contributes to their successful integration with other staff or actively works against it.

In many cases an employer does not have an issue with the employee’s capacity to do the job but has major issues with poor attitude, employee’s who constantly seem to be at loggerheads with other staff members and others who are just ‘difficult to work with’.

Increasingly appraisal systems are looking at so called ‘soft skills’ in order to evaluate an employee’s worth in these areas, this can include things like:

  • Positive attitude to change
  • Receptiveness to new ideas
  • Willingness to offer suggestions for improvement
  • The ability to work out minor issues with fellow workers and
  • A demeanour and outlook which contributes to a positive and pleasant place to work.

The question is, how do you make good recruitment & selection decisions around the so-called ‘soft skills’.  There are tools to help you with this.  Which tools are utilized depends on your own determination to have an open mind.  If you are not concerned about the ‘soft skills’ and you employ only for the technical ability of a potential employee then your energies and efforts in utilizing the tools being referred to here would be wasted.

If however your workplace is or has become dysfunctional and you want to keep the doors open with happy customers coming back then you’d have to ask yourself if you can afford to keep doing things the same way you have been doing them in the past.  Reviewing your recruitment, on-boarding and retention strategies is the best place to start – after all, it IS the starting point of any employer/employee relationship.  Think Julie Andrews, Sound of Music, Rodgers and Hammerstein and ‘start at the very beginning – it is a very good place to start!’