What every entrepreneur needs to know to recruit their ‘A’ team


Laura Hartley, Founder & Director of LHR Recruitment and Retention, shared with us her Top Tips for recruiting your ‘A’ team:

Be proactive

Think ahead of time what your team might look like in 3, 6, 9, and 12 months time.  Are there any team members who have been with you for a few years and may be thinking about seeking a new experience elsewhere?  Do you need to bring in new team members to manage your growth?  What roles need to be created?  Start to “woo” potential candidates - keep a look out for talented individuals working for your competitors or other companies around you.  

Establish your business culture 

To target the most suitable potential employees, you  need to identify the qualities and personal characteristics that will serve the best interests of your organisation and team culture and  help you to meet your goals. Is your team aware and onboard with the business values? Have you a clear company culture and are your team members consistent with the shared values, attitudes, beliefs and behaviours. 

Pay attention to your branding 

Make sure you’re not being the ‘best kept secret’ in your industry.  You not only need to be visible to attract customers but also to attract great talent to come and join your team.  Make sure you’re posting on your website and on social media about your activity and achievements and showcase why you’re such a great company to work for.

Come up with a smart recruitment strategy 

How much time do you need to find your ideal candidates? While some global corporations might need several months to find the appropriate employee, smaller organisations will probably need less time but it of course depends on the role and industry sector.   Be sure to clearly state the skills and qualifications you are looking for and provide the expected  salary offer. To speed up the recruitment while increasing the chances of finding the most suitable candidates, you can also search for and directly reach out to potential employees on websites such as LinkedIn, before putting up the official role advertisement. 

Prepare the job advert and  job description 

Often these two terms are used interchangeably, however they are different and each one has its own place in the hiring process. A good job advert is an external document aimed at the candidates - it should be compelling, exciting and persuade candidates to take action, ie to apply! When writing a job advert, you need to convey what makes your business so special, why should they want to come work with you.  The job description, on the other hand, is an internal document.  It should provide structure to the employee’s role, and lay out their purpose, duties and responsibilities. A common mistake a lot of recruiters make is to either narrow down or expand the required skills section to the point where it either does not speak to the target group or discourages the right people from applying. It is therefore a good practice to keep a benchmark of the core required skills while presenting the extra ones as desired. 

Get the most out of each interview

Once you choose the best candidates based on their CVs and cover letters, you want to use the interview time efficiently. Be curious and ask lots of questions to gain more insight into someone’s personality, skills and values. And when they do answer, make sure you’re present, stop talking and start listening. 

There are three types of interview questions to help you to assess the skills and competencies of the candidate: competency questions, open questions and closed questions. 

Competency questions relate to the candidate’s experience and will help you assess their skills in a wide range of work-related contexts and real-life situations, whilst  open questions will prompt them to talk about their achievements, plans, and how they overcame specific difficulties, giving you a sense of their reflective thinking skills. Closed questions, to which a candidate replies with ‘yes’ or ‘no’, are fine for confirming things that are essential for the role such as: “Do you have a driving licence?”. Be careful not to use leading questions which can guide the interviewee to reply with the response they think you want to hear, for instance: “You can start next week?”

In a nutshell, your team members are an investment in your business.  So approach the recruitment process with the time and energy it deserves and you’ll soon be attracting top talent and growing your very own ‘A’ team. 

For more information: LHR Recruitment and Retention

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