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How to recruit the best staff

A turning point for your business

Good staff are an essential component for any business. If your business has grown to the point where you’re looking to hire your first employee, or to expand the staff base you already have, getting the right people on board and then managing them effectively is critical to business success.

It’s also exciting, because whether you’re hiring your first employee or your 50th, it means that your business is at a turning point in its growth.

How to recruit right

There are a number of methods when it comes to finding the right person for your team. Some of the options you could consider are:

  • Advertising in newspapers, trade journals, and online job sites. CanadaJobs, LinkedIn, Facebook Jobs and Job Bank are great places to start if you want to recruit online.
  • Employment agency – these people are HR experts, but of course they’ll charge you for their services. However it’s often money well spent as they handle all the time-consuming tasks and they’ll also help ensure your job description is attractive and accurate.

It’s important to make sure the job description you’ve drawn up clearly outlines the position, what it’s goals are, and your expectations. You want the description to be attractive to potential applicants – remember, you’re selling yourself and your business.

  • Too often, businesses spend longer on getting rid of an employee rather than on hiring. It should be the other way around, so it’s important to take your time. Get applicants to complete part of the job they’ll be doing, so you can see if they’re competent and if they’ll fit into the team.  Even if it is a test format, this will assist in ensuring you have someone with the skillset.
  •  Offering a referral program in your own organization so that your employees are compensated for referring quality candidates to the available roles.


Once you’ve created a shortlist of applicants (if you’re going with an agency, they’ll have done this for you and provided their own notes on the shortlisted people), it’s time to talk to them face to face. When you’re interviewing them, keep the following in mind:

  • Be consistent – ask all applicants the same key questions and keep notes on their responses.
  • Skills and experience – while they’ll have listed these on their resume, it’s important to go into detail so you know they don’t just look good on paper.
  • Give them kudos if they’ve clearly done their homework on your business and ask you relevant questions about your business goals. Be wary of applicants who are more interested in pay, leave and perks.
  • Consider carefully whether they’ll fit into your existing team. There’s nothing worse than upsetting a successful dynamic by inserting the wrong person into the mix.

When you’ve narrowed down your shortlist, it’s important to conduct background checks on the finalists. Contact the reference people they’ve listed. Often it’s better to phone them, as they’re more likely to be candid about the applicant than if you send an email or you’re just reading a written reference.  Keep in mind that social media sources can tell you a lot a person, so it’s important to look online as well for “character” references.

Help & resources

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Disclaimer Please note that this is a guide only and should neither replace competent advice, nor be taken, or relied upon, as financial or professional advice. Seek professional advice before making any decision that could affect your business.