Finding the right recruit talks to company directors about how to minimise the hassle of hiring staff.

Two-thirds of entrepreneurs will hire more employees for their business this year, according to a study by Investec Bank. But despite what should be an employer’s market for jobs, it can be as difficult as ever to find the right person.

Many directors have their reservations about using third parties, but Robert Rutherford, CEO of IT services provider QuoStar Solutions, maintains that agents or headhunters can be worth the high fees of 20 per cent or more of the job’s annual salary – provided you know how to deal with them. ‘You certainly need to work with more than one agency,’ he advises. ‘If you give the job to just one, they can get lazy and they might not actively go headhunting for you but rather just filter CVs in front of the computer.’ To avoid time wasters, Rutherford conducts phone interviews first to make sure that candidates have the technical skills they claim.

See also: Zoom tips and techniques when doing video job interviews

Andy Gilbert, CEO of communication solutions company Node4 Data Centre Solutions, hasn’t had great experiences with agents. ‘They’re only concerned about their fee,’ he says. ‘They give you this great story about all the work they’ve put in with the candidate but you end up with someone sat in front of you who says he got a phone call from some guy and they chatted for ten minutes.’

Recruiting Internal talent

Instead, Gilbert tries to recruit and progress employees internally where possible. ‘We’re constantly encouraging staff to go in the direction that they feel suits them, and if that means moving to a different department in the business then we’ll try and accommodate that.’

Some employers swear by psychometric testing as a way to separate the wheat from the chaff. Katy Baxter, managing director of financial services business Baxter & Lindley, uses a system that breaks down problem-solving skills into four categories, giving a score for each. ‘It’s helped me to build my team so I know the right people to slot into the right positions,’ she says.

Read: What to know when recruiting your first employee

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