Why is employee recruitment important
Recruiting: This is what founders have to do with recruiting
Also important for founders: recruiting and employer branding
When recruiting is spoken of in the corporate environment, it refers to recruitment. Recruiting usually takes place after it has been established in the company that there is a certain need for staff. Usually the HR department of a company is then given the task of looking for and hiring new staff. If HR software has been implemented, HR management can independently determine where which specialist skills are missing and how these can be supplemented. In addition, the program helps to optimize job advertisements and to publish them on all relevant channels.
In large companies there is usually a specially set up human resources department that deals with the recruiting of new employees. Entrepreneurs and small start-ups are usually left to fend for themselves. You will be shown below how to successfully recruit. It explains the differences between internal and external recruitment and which channels are available for recruiting. But also the most common mistakes when looking for personnel and suitable measures to present yourself as an attractive employer, the so-called employer branding, are topics related to recruiting.
Determine personnel requirements for recruiting
In order to find out how high the company's staffing requirements are, the currently available capacity must be compared with the capacity requirements. In short: If a founder has more work than the time and energy to do this work, he needs support from employees.
In large companies, the key figure method, a formula for determining personnel requirements, is simply used for this. The production quantity is multiplied by the production time and divided by the average monthly working time of an employee. You should always include a surcharge for absences due to vacation or sick days.
- Example: A start-up plans to produce 500 units per month. 8 hours of production time are estimated per unit. The average monthly working time per employee is 173 hours. A surcharge of 13% is set for unforeseeable failures.
- Personnel requirements = (500 * 8) / 173 = 23.12 employees
Surcharge 13% = 23.12 / 100 * 13 = 3 employees
Total requirement = 23.12 + 3 = 26.12 employees
The determined personnel requirement is the same as the target stock. This is compared with the actual stock. If you have a lower actual stock of, for example, only 19 employees, 7 new employees would have to be hired in order to be able to meet the goal of producing 500 units per month.
Further methods of determining the personnel requirements for recruiting are the estimation procedure, in which operational experts and managers are interviewed, or the position plan method, which determines personnel requirements using an organizational chart. All of these methods work well for small businesses and businesses as well. For predominantly medium-sized and large companies, the statistical forecasting method is also suitable, taking into account other components such as trends, business cycle or season.
In addition to the quantitative personnel requirement, there is also the qualitative component of an employee, his qualification. Because it is not enough just to increase the number of employees you want, their skills must also be defined in advance. In addition, the point in time from which a new employee is required must be specified. Finally, it can also happen that you can cope with the capacities in the summer, but expect increased inquiries during the Christmas business and thus require additional staff from the winter months. Finally, the spatial dimension also plays a role, i.e. in which department and at which location are new employees needed?
Recruiting within your own company
If there is a new position to be filled and some employees have already been brought on board, the first look is understandably through the company's own staff. After all, your own employees have already been trained and are therefore skilled. But one should not underestimate that their commitment to a new position also leaves an empty chair. This then has to be filled again so that no work is left there. There are three strategic approaches for internal recruiting.
Variant # 1: Personnel development
With internal recruiting through personnel development, employees are specifically prepared for further tasks in the company. In workshops and with the help of further training measures, the employees learn what it takes to be able to take on the new activities. If, for example, you are planning to involve employees more closely in communication with international partners, it is advisable to organize an English language course for the employees you are considering in advance. A hair salon that wants to offer new hair coloring techniques could also train employees instead of hiring a new outside person.
Variation # 2: transfer
The transfer as internal recruiting aims to equip employees with a new qualification if necessary and then to transfer them to another position where this qualification is required. For example, if you have several bakery branches, in one of which all employees can handle the newly introduced cash register system well, and another in which the workforce has difficulties with the new system, the transfer of an employee from the strong team to the weak team can be involved help to bring all employees to the same level.
Variant # 3: Internal job advertisement
If you set up an internal job advertisement, you give all your employees the same chance to apply for the vacant position. This internal recruiting takes place via the intranet, internal company newsletter, via the company magazine or in the traditional way on the bulletin board. If no suitable candidate could be found, the employer can take the step to external recruiting, as he is not obliged to fill the vacant position internally.
Variant # 4: Employee recommendation
Some companies introduce an employee-recommend-employee program to simplify recruiting or to increase the chances of success. The concept is based on the trust that employees, like a restaurant recommendation, would not make indiscriminate recommendations. Rather, they already know what requirements the company has and who among friends, relatives or acquaintances could be considered. The Internet auction house eBay, for example, pays the employed tipster a commission if an employee recommendation is successfully placed.
Advantages and disadvantages of internal recruiting
The advantages of internal recruiting are the low recruiting costs while at the same time opening up career opportunities for employees. The development of employee motivation, the strengthening of employee loyalty to the company, the ability to react at short notice, the shorter training period, the creation of new entry opportunities for job starters through promotions and the improvement of the company image are big pluses in internal recruiting.
The disadvantages include the smaller choice, the risk of creating rivalries among colleagues and the promotion of operational blindness. Overall, internal recruiting is not a permanent alternative to external recruiting, since internal transfer or promotion often entails external recruiting of new employees anyway.
Recruiting outside the company
External recruitment means the search for employees outside of one's own company. This step occurs either as a result of a failed attempt to fill a vacancy internally, or because internal recruiting was successful and the transfer or promotion has left an empty job. A third reason why external recruiting comes into play can be because the start-up is only just building a team. External recruiting is directly opposed to internal recruiting, but it is also divided into two different variants, namely passive and active external recruiting.
Passive recruiting: when applicants come by themselves
With passive recruitment, companies have a little less effort, as they can select potential candidates from a pool of speculative applications that have already been received. This existing group of applicants is based on the employer branding that was also carried out in advance. That means that a company has such a good reputation that people apply because they want to work there, preferably immediately. But they are also willing to wait for the company to contact them later if, for example, new staffing requirements arise in a few months.
The company's reputation is so good in the long term that the employer does not always have to start external recruiting from scratch in the event of a staffing requirement, but has long been past the announcement of the vacant position and can invite you directly to the job interview. Companies with strong employer branding always have a large selection of highly motivated applicants. Employer branding is therefore a rather long-term and sustainable strategy for recruiting. Examples of companies with strong employer brands are Lufthansa, McKinsey and Google.
Active recruiting: opportunities as far as the eye can see
The possibilities of active external recruitment are large and multifaceted. Recruiting can be carried out here using many different media, channels and intermediaries. Recruiting has other nicknames such as online, mobile or electronic to thank for the wide range of media available. You can choose from various job exchanges, recruiting exchanges, assessment centers, social media channels, mobile apps, interactive web platforms, advertisements in television and radio, university networks, recruitment agencies, the employer service of the Federal Employment Agency, contact fairs and recruiting events. Last but not least, there is also the option of commissioning the head hunter with the search for skilled workers.
In this way, many potential applicants can be reached nationwide and even beyond state borders. However, the large selection does not make the decision any easier. Instead, the costs are even higher if you allow several applicants to arrive. At the same time, you could use it to send demotivating signals to internal employees who may have seen themselves in the new position.
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The next step in recruiting: the job description
Before even starting the job posting, founders have to prepare a job description. In it, entrepreneurs define which tasks, powers and competencies each individual employee in the company has. Because everyone knows and fully fulfills their area of responsibility, many common work processes can be better structured and optimized in the long term.
With the job description, founders specify how a (new) employee can fit into the entire company, where they are in the value chain and how they can influence the entire process. For an optimal job description it should contain a few important elements. This primarily includes the daily, weekly, monthly and needs-based tasks as well as the associated decision-making powers. But also core competencies, such as qualifications and characteristics of the job holder, should be mentioned and match the tasks and powers.
After all, every position has to be organizationally involved. This means that the place is designated and classified in an organram. The rank of the position must also be named and assigned to a salary group. In addition, it is important to regulate the relationships between the respective position and the other positions and departments. The tasks, powers, competencies and the organizational integration should be described briefly and clearly. We use a checklist to explain what other content should be included in a job description.
Choosing staff: finding the needle in the haystack
Several media and channels are available for recruiting. For each channel, it must be weighed up how great the chances are of finding suitable employees. Because founders are unlikely to hire a head hunter to look for an employee for a health food store, while employees with several years of professional experience cannot be found via a university mailing list. If founders opt for active external recruiting, they can advertise their position on their own website, job portals or in the newspaper. Here we explain what the different channels are all about.
Recruiting is the most important step in the entire recruiting process. This is where the decision is made as to whether new employees will soon provide relief or new effort because the founders have made the wrong decision. In order to get a better impression of the candidate, the selection should not only be based on the review of application documents, but should at least be supplemented by a personal interview.
In medium-sized and large companies, a so-called assessment center often decides which applicants are invited. This is a personnel selection process in which a committee selects the best candidate or candidates from all applicants after they have had to cope with various tasks. These tasks usually include a group of introductions, stress presentations, tasks under time pressure, group discussions, role plays, IQ tests, individual interviews and essays. A classic example of such an assessment center is Lufthansa's personnel selection process, which lasts several months.
Trial day and interview: assessment center for start-ups
However, entrepreneurs and start-ups are rarely able to generate so much time, costs and capacities. But they too can and should even take their chance if there is an opportunity to test the applicants' skills more closely. The classic job interview can be followed by a trial work or even a whole trial day. But even before the interview, a work sample can be requested so that applicants have to apply with them. All in all, such tests and work samples are of course not intended to make candidates jump through burning tires, but a scrutinizing look behind the facade of an applicant is worthwhile.
What many companies still do not seem to want to admit is that the process of personnel selection also contributes to employer branding. Because the potential employer is now also being put to the test. On the employer evaluation platform kununu.com, for example, not only can employees submit an evaluation, but applicants can also describe their experiences in the application process. This includes, for example, the response time, professionalism, transparency or handling. Those who do poorly here damage their own employer brand. According to this, founders should also treat those applicants with appreciation who are not eligible, and at least reject them. If you want, you can even explain why it was - even if this is of course also associated with additional work and can certainly no longer be guaranteed from a certain extent.
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Almost there: give contacts and guidelines
Once the right employee has been found, one of the tasks of the HR department is to accompany the recruitment process. If the founder is responsible for the recruiting himself, the next step is to draw up an employment contract. Here the activity, the start, the working and vacation days, the remuneration, the notice period and the confidentiality declaration are recorded in writing. But also other content, such as a non-competition clause and secondary employment, find their place here.Other elements that can be addressed in the employment contract are continued payment of income in the event of illness, the consequences in the event of a contractual penalty and from what date a certificate of incapacity for work must be available if employees are sick.
In addition to the necessary organizational tasks, onboarding also begins when the contract is signed. It is important to keep in touch from the application process through to the first day of work and to familiarize the newcomer with the tasks, the group of colleagues and the corporate culture through a structured induction plan.
Employment contract template
You can use the employment contract template if you want to hire employees. The employment contract without collective bargaining coverage contains indispensable as well as optional clauses.
In addition to the other formalities, such as the registration of new employees, founders now also have to ensure that new employees are quickly integrated into the company's work processes. Employees not only need a workstation with a computer, telephone and infrastructure, they also certainly need support in getting started with the corporate culture. During the familiarization period, which usually lasts several months, work steps may take a little longer and many questions need to be clarified. For repetitive tasks, you could have created a guide in advance, in which the work is explained step by step, passwords are collected or common sources of error are named. It is also very helpful for newcomers to know who is the first point of contact if questions arise. Last but not least, an employee interview should be held after at least one year in order to review the starting time and the previous cooperation and to find out what feedback the employee has for the founder. Listening here can be particularly valuable because any mistakes that may have been made can be avoided the next time.
Recruiting new employees also requires knowing what motivates them. Learn more about how employee motivation works.More about employee motivation
As editor-in-chief, René Klein has been responsible for the content of the portal and all publications by Für-Gründer.de for over 10 years. He is a regular interlocutor in other media and writes numerous external specialist articles on start-up topics. Before his time as editor-in-chief and co-founder of Für-Gründer.de, he advised listed companies in the field of financial market communication.
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