Taking on new employees is a daunting process, especially for independent workspace operators with close-knit teams.
Yet it’s an essential part of business for every workspace operator, regardless of whether you’re taking on a permanent replacement or a temporary member of staff. With that in mind, Allwork spoke with Rachel Verghese, HR expert and founder of recruitment agency Chatterbox Talent Ltd, which specialises in recruiting for flexible workspace operators.
“Recruiting staff is tougher than it seems,” she said. “There are a number of challenges that business centres face, such as whether or not to recruit a temporary candidate or permanent member of staff; not knowing what salary is right for the role; not having enough time to go through applications, and of course the time it takes for the whole process to come together.”
“In addition, many business centres don’t know where or how to advertise vacancies and have no idea of the costs associated with advertising.”
Rachel outlined 5 best practices that workspace operators should follow when seeking to recruit a new member of staff:
1. Timing is everything:
“One of the biggest mistakes companies make throughout the recruiting process is rushing to recruit someone. On the flipside, I’ve seen others take too long and they’ve missed out on the best candidate as a result.”
According to Rachel, these scenarios are best avoided by working with an experienced recruiter and providing very specific information about the type of person required for the role, and what they will be doing.
“This will generate a good number of closely matched applications, therefore shortening the time it takes to recruit.”
2. Look for CV longevity:
There are a number of red flags to watch out for during the recruitment process, including “CVs that are full of gaps”. Also, look out for candidates with limited experience or frequent changes of employment.
“You do not want to train someone and then they leave; you should be looking for a candidate that has longevity within a company. Temping can provide valuable experience too, so look for any relevant experience in previous employment.”
3. Ask for identification:
According to Rachel, one of the most important HR requirements is identification. “Always request and take Proof of Identification, and check every candidate’s Right to Work documents, to ensure they are eligible to work within the country you are hiring for.” These are legal requirements and failure to comply could result in heavy penalties.
“References are always a must! I would advise taking two work references if possible.”
According to employment advisor ACAS, you may ask your candidate for permission to seek references from previous employers or managers, along with their contact details:
Any request should include relevant questions regarding the candidate’s ability to carry out the role applied for and it may be a good idea to enclose a job description for the referee. A simple form asking for confirmation of dates of employment, duties and any particular skills may be adequate.
5. Maintain contact:
“Keep in touch with your candidates and explain the process from application to end result,” Rachel advises. This is a simple yet invaluable part of the process, as it keeps your candidates well informed and may also prevent them from seeking or applying for other roles – thereby giving you the best choice of candidate.
Once you’ve recruited the perfect candidate, the work doesn’t stop there. In fact, it’s just beginning. In order to encourage loyalty amongst your staff and nurture workplace culture, Rachel advises:
“Always make your employees feel valued at every level. If you’re a large company, get to know names of all your employees – including temps and contractors. It’s the personal touch that makes people feel valued. Yearly annual appraisals and regular staff meetings are always a good way of staying in touch with your employees, which adds to their sense of inclusion and appreciation.”