Are you recruiting the right people? Top recruitment tips for small business

Recruiting the right talent is an important part of business. Some of us will have experienced the negative effects of hiring an employee that is not suited to a particular business. An effective recruitment process will reduce employee turnover, increase productivity and in turn impact your customer experience and bottom line.

A simple 5 step approach to recruitment can give your small business the upper hand.

1. Job Design

By documenting a job specification you will establish the tasks of the role you are recruiting for, as well as the salary on offer and where this role fits in your company. You should outline the minimum requirements and skills needed to carry out the role. If you fail to create this document, you might end up with a low-quality pool of candidates and be unclear of what you are looking for.

2. Sourcing Applicants

Standard job sites and recruitment agencies, while effective, can be an expensive solution. Now that you have a documented job specification, why not look at advertising through your existing online or social media pages, ask your current employees for referrals or advertise through a college or university careers office to attract graduates.

3. Screening 

Your screening process provides a vital opportunity for you to de-select unsuitable applicants and focus on candidates that can bring value to your business. It is important that you screen heavily, either by using your own judgment or by enlisting the help of managers you trust. Delete applications that do not meet your minimum requirements. Simply having a 10 minute telephone screen with your short-list can identify those that you would like to meet.

4. Interview Process

You will want to assess the ability of your top applicants to handle the job in hand, as well as seeing if they will fit the culture of your business. Following a short telephone screen, why not invite your top 3 candidates for a face to face interview. Here you can talk through their track record to date and probe any areas of concern. Assess the candidates personality type and find out how they would handle certain scenarios by asking competency based questions. Remember that the candidate you are interviewing will be assessing the performance of your business and its culture just as much as you are assessing them; make sure to display the values that you would like to see as a candidate.

5. Employment Quality

All employers should familiarise themselves with the Employment Equality Acts, 1998 and 2008, as they are applicable during these recruitment stages. Employers may not discriminate in relation to the any of the nine protected grounds. View the SFA guidelines on recruitment and selection.

For further information on this topic, or for recruitment and selection advice for your business, contact Jonathan Callan, SFA Executive on 01 6051668 or

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