Our top tips when it comes to hiring anyone to do anything.
1. Your Advert – your advert has got to sell your position. Always include as much information as possible and an image. The more relevant the images the better, e.g. a garden if you need a gardener or a photo of your family if you need childcare. Make sure all contact details are clear and include a deadline for applications if necessary.
2. Review their covering letter. It doesn’t have to be formal but should involve some information about themselves and why they should be considered for the position.
3. Check their CV. Look out for things such as spelling, the use of capitals, general late out, appropriateness to your position, frequency of position changes, any gaps in their employment history, qualifications (if relevant) and driving status.
4. Respond to each applicant with a generic response such as “Thank you for your application in response to our advertised position. We are currently reviewing all applications and will be in touch within 7 days to let you know if you’ve made it through.” This gives you enough time to review all applications and to compare them.
5. Once all applications have been reviewed and your deadline has passed, get back to each applicant individually informing them of whether of not they have made it through. We would recommend keeping a short list of 3 names perhaps and then an extension list of a further two that you may contact if you need. It is best to be organised about this and to keep your options open. However, we would say if you only like one applicant then only take them forward.
6. Arrange an interview with each applicant. Try to interview the applicants as close together as possible to make your comparison easier but ensure there is no overlap of arrivals! Depending on the position will depend on where you want to interview. For positions within a private household interviewing in the home is best but for other positions it can be best to hire a meeting room(link to near desk) for a couple of hours or to meet in a coffee shop. Just ensure you choose somewhere that you feel comfortable.
7. Once you have interviewed your shortlist you need to check their references, ensure they have given you the correct contact details for three referees, we suggest having two that are professional and one that is personal as this gives you a fairly clear idea of the candidate. Just ensure that no referees are related and that they are not their best friend. This can be tricky but ask questions such as how do you know this referee? Where did you meet them? Under what circumstance? etc.
8. Once you have interviewed and compared your applicants decide if any are worth taking further and if so choose your favourite and arrange for a trial/introductory day. Do all of this prior to offering them the position, just in case you decide that actually they don’t work in your environment.
9. If you are happy with a candidate after a trial/introductory day then offer them a position! Ensure that you have written out a clear contract including your expectations, the salary, whether you're their employee or if they're self-employed (you can still have a contract if they are self-employed that outlines your expectations), holiday pay, notice on leaving etc.
Hopefully that is of some help to you, hiring does not need to be daunting and time consuming, you just need to have made a clear plan and set deadlines.
Finally don’t hire someone if they’re not right or your gut instinct about them is off. It is much worse to hire someone bad than to not have anyone at all.