Recruitment boss on the pitfalls of hiring staff in the New Year

The start of 2017 will have brought a host of New Year’s resolutions, with work appearing high up on many people’s lists, writes Lucy Cashmore, operations director at Star Employment Services.

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Lucy Cashmore from Star Employment Services offers tips on hiring the right candidate

Like cutting down on alcohol or introducing a new fitness regime, January is a time when minds turn to finding a new job or even changing career.

Any business recruiting can generally expect a large response as people seek out somewhere new to work.

However, this surge in interest poses a challenge for recruiters as there will often be dozens of applications sent in when there is only one job on offer.

Given that many employers in the engineering industry report a skills shortage, how do employers overcome this challenge and land the right candidate?

For me, there has to be a balance between utilising skilled staff and training new workers to become established in the industry.

Apprenticeships are certainly one option. They are a means for someone to gain experience on the job next to an experienced worker while also working towards a qualification within the chosen skill set.

Also, working on short term contracts via agencies is a way for people to gain experience that can be easily transferable across other businesses.

Gone are the days when temporary work should be classed as employment for people that cannot get a permanent position.

Instead they are a way of showing flexibility and reliability. Employees can work over a shorter period to prove their worth for a permanent position.

For recruiters facing a flurry of January applications, it is worth considering the following:

  • Why is the candidate looking to leave their current role? You need to be sure the person is serious about moving and are not just suffering from short term January blues.
  • Are they looking for your job or just any job? Recruiters can gauge a candidate’s commitment by establishing how much research they have put into their potential new employer.
  • What aspirations do they have and why have they applied for this position? This may seem a standard question but we are often surprised by how many people put themselves forward just to see how far they can get.

All of these questions could appear obvious but that is the point.

If someone gives you a standard answer to these questions then, regardless of whether it is January or not, you should ask yourself whether they are just paying lip service.

It is far better to be thorough than to appoint a New Year candidate whose commitment is gone before the clocks go forward.

  • Star Employment Services is part of the Midland News Association, publisher of the Express & Star/Shropshire Star. Call 01902 319333 or go to www.staremploymentservices.co.uk
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