What to do when you need new staff ASAP

Need good staff quickly? Whether you have temporary or permanent needs, there are some key ways to find and hire great people – even at short notice.

Search and find

It’s an all-too-familiar scene – you’re about to launch a major project and your best employee has fallen sick. Or it could be that your key employees are deployed elsewhere at one of the busiest periods of the year. Whatever the scenario, you’re in a bind.

Resist the urge to react immediately, and instead think strategically. Take the time to list the specific skills and requirements of the new hire so you can carry out a targeted search.

Where do you start? Finding the right people is about looking in all the right places.

Consider temporary solutions

Staff shortages can be a short-term problem, particularly when one-off projects land. If this is the case, it’s worth considering the advantages of a temporary hire. Highly-specialised staff can be hired exclusively for a short project without the need to offer superannuation, holiday leave or other. It also gives you time to assess whether someone might be suitable for a more permanent role should the need arise.

An effective way to select the best candidate for a temporary hire is through working interviews. During a working interview (generally around one to two hours) you can assess a candidate’s work ethic, knowledge and cultural fit. If you’re happy they are right for the job, they can stay on the assignment. If not, you haven’t wasted too much time or unnecessary resources.

Referrals make good hires

You know the saying – like attracts like. Leveraging off your employees’ connections will save you in more ways than one.

In a 2013 white paper on employee referral programs, Oracle reveals that it only takes 10 referrals to lead to a hire. And, referrals account for “anywhere from 24 per cent to one-third of all hires in typical companies”.

So ask your staff to refer a friend, ensuring you communicate the prerequisites for the job.

When you need a professional

It pays to invest in a professional who is highly skilled at candidate searches, especially when the stakes are high. This will save you time and effort in interviewing and screening candidates yourself – because your recruitment agency is your best friend when it comes to strategic staffing.

In a Forbes survey of 2,700 employers, David K. Williams reveals 41 per cent of respondents estimated that a single bad hire cost them $25,000, with 25 per cent reporting it set them back by $50,000.

Spread the word socially

In the age of digital, searching via social networks is one of the fastest, far-reaching and most effective means of finding, screening and connecting with potential candidates.

LinkedIn has become the go-to online recruitment tool. According to Marketwired research, nine in 10 jobseekers have a social media profile with one in six workers successfully using social networks to get hired.

It pays to be prepared

Once you’ve successfully hired your new staff member, look towards putting together an action plan to help you get through your next urgent hire, for example:

  • Keep in touch with prospective candidates and keep CVs on file
  • Build a good relationship with a recruitment agency

Don’t rest on your laurels because you never know when the next staff shortage will occur.

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