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Recruiting for your startup - shortlisting and planning

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by Startacus Admin

In Part 1 of recruiting for your startup we discussed the logistics of employing a new staff member - for example working out where someone's going to sit and work. This might be all rather dull, but it is however an important cog in the recruitment process.

In the second part of recruiting for your startup we returned, with pointers on creating that all important job description for your startup role. So now onrecruiting for your startup to the job interviews right? Nope - wrong. It’s easy to get ahead of yourself and start interviewing for your startup role, but have you considered the shortlisting and interview process and the type of interviews you will undertake? Apologies if you thought that hiring staff was going to be a wham-bam process - it’s not! However, the points we’ve outlined below on the shortlisting and interview process will help you in your quest to not just recruit for your startup, but recruit professionally and successfully too...  

Shortlisting criteria

So this may seem rather obvious, but before you start shortlisting, you need to define what your shortlisting criteria is. It might be a good idea at this point to look over and remind yourself of the job description and the key skills and experiences that you asked your applicants to demonstrate on their CV. You should initially shortlist all your pplicants based on this criteria.

Getting variables

Apologies for an X Factor analogy, but when the judges are shortlisting contestants to get to Judges’ houses (the 1st proper interview so to speak) they also make an important decision not to just select a similar or the same types of applicants. Apart from the obvious tension and entertainment that this brings, the judges are doing this because they are keen to see how different types of candidates / applicants will perform at full interview. If you have lots of good applicants who are nevertheless quite similar, you may wish to consider applicants with differing backgrounds, skills, experiences and talents. And of course don't shortlist out a really fab applicant, just cause they are similar to another - after all you do need the best talent for your startup.Also, don’t forget (just like X Factor) a wild card entry can quickly become one of the favourites once the actual interview (or show) begins.

Arranging interviews

Again, rather obvious perhaps, but if you are meeting a number of candidates, you need to consider not just the process, but the logistics of arranging the interviews, how you are going to confirm all the details,how you are going to let unsuccessful applicants know and so on. The small detail, can be the difference between looking professional and acting like an amateur.  

1 interview 2 interviews or more?

This is not necessarily about the format of the interviews, this is just working out what the process will be - and it’s ideally something to do way before you are sitting in front of the first candidate at interview. One of the most common questions at first interview will be along the lines of "Is there a second interview" or "what happens next" so it makes sense if you've worked this part of the process out first! First impressions do indeed count, and not just from the perspective of the interviewer either!

Type of interview / format / questions to ask...

This is a post or three in itself, so this is perhaps for another time. However it’s safe to say there are loads of permutations of the types of interviews you can undertake and how certain types of interviews are relevant to the type of role you are recruiting for. Research this to your heart’s content! Whatever the role and the level of position, you may wish to get your candidates to demonstrate their capabilities either with a role play, a practical assignment or competency based questions. After all saying on paper that you can do something and actually doing it in the real world can be two different things entirely!

Getting another perspective

Again - sorry to continue the X Factor analogy, but if and when you ever watch the 'Judges’ Houses' element of the show, you will note that each judge brings a friend along to help critique the contestants’ performances - this is usually another singer or entertainer. They do this because simply, another pair of eyes and ears can often make a better judgement - after all you may have blinkers on, as to who your favourite is. In an interview, you should also have someone else present - to sound your opinions off and to get another perspective on your potential new recruits.

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Published on: 29th October 2013

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