Finding the right staff for business success | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Finding the right staff for business success

27 June, 2021

The great American business magnate, industrial designer, and investor Steve Jobs said, “It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do”. Every businessman knows that people are the biggest asset in an organisation. Their individual conduct, commitment, and loyalty make way for the success or failure of a business. This is the reason for companies to pay maximum attention to hire the best and attempt to retain good employees. 

Hiring for employment not only is a tedious process but also one of the deciding factors of business success. As Steve Jobs says, recruiting smart people with imagination who can tell the organisation what to do to grow can influence the entire process in a business.

At its core, recruiting seems like a simple concept where candidates are identified and sent through an interview process and finally hire them. However, factually, effective recruiting is art on one hand and science on the other. Recruitment requires the implementation of repeatable processes that leads to consistent results and also requires creative thinking to find the most ideal candidate.  

Not an easy task

In my career spanning nearly forty years in over twenty different organisations, I have interviewed hundreds of candidates for various jobs and I have experienced both successes and failures in those recruitments. Usually, in recruitment, within a very short time, the recruiter has to make a judgment about another human being, considering multiple factors. This is not an easy task under any circumstance. 

During my tenure of service in the private sector, I have come across a variety of applicants with diverse ambitions, needs, aspirations. Over the years, I have interviewed over-reacting candidates, overconfident candidates, desperate people, and aggressive candidates. There are many other types of candidates with varied personal characteristics. Recruiting the deal candidate by analysing these personal traits in a jiffy is not a simple task by any means. 

Due to the ongoing gruesome pandemic, recruitment has become a buyer’s market the world over. The inflow of applications has tremendously increased during the past year due to job losses experienced due to Covid-19. This dearth of supply over demand has posed an unanticipated challenge to recruiters. 

When many people apply for one job, the selection process becomes more complex for the hiring managers. In this scenario, the sorting out is more time-consuming, selecting applications to proceed further becomes mind-numbing and engagement in the process becomes more tiring. 

Recruiters often are put through loads of information at the initial stage of the hiring process. They have to analyse job applications, cover letters, credentials, and authentication of previous experiences. During this prolonged experience, one of the trickiest tasks is to determine whether the information provided by the candidates is genuine and factual. Historically, job applicants are not always honest or truthful as they have the opportunity to present themselves as they want to be seen by the recruiter.  Starting from educational qualifications, a candidate can churn out false or misleading information on work experience, extra activities, previous salary details, or even skills in their respective resumes. Reading through many applications to determine the authenticity of all these criteria can be exhausting.  Hence, better-organised companies send the selected candidates through a more organised screening process through skill tests and sample work assignments to get a sense of the true capability of the candidate.  

Bullet points

However, skills, experience, or education are not the only criteria for a good candidate. Metrics of experience, subject knowledge, or job-related qualifications are the bullet points that usually attract the employer or the hiring manager. Suitability to the organisation’s culture, team spirit and cohesiveness, willingness to learn, and more importantly the commitment to the job task are also enormously vital characteristics of a successful candidate. 

The employment application of the candidate and perhaps the cover letter are the two documents any employer receives at the start. A recruiter usually gets two types of applications. The first and the most attention-grabbing is the person with an impeccable record with good recommendations and a flawless resume. The second is an average person who has general education, mixed skills, and average experience.  Whom will you recruit?   

The first mental reaction is to settle on the perfect candidate on paper. I repeat, on ‘paper’ because the paper can be deceiving when it comes to human behaviour which is a more important attribute in a candidate. There can be a better chance with the person who had to battle against odds to become successful may be a better choice than the person who had been ‘engineered’ throughout life towards success. Therefore, expanding the definition of the applicant is vitally important when identifying the right person for the job.  

The two commonest aspects the employers consider when recruiting are the competency and the character of the candidate. Whilst both aspects are equally important to an employee, measuring these personal features is not easy. Job smartness is not exactly useful if the employee is not fitting into the organisation as a team member.  In fact, unfitting employees can create havoc by failing to bond with others in the organisation that can create a chain reaction of animosity. The competency can easily be identified (although the proof of application takes time) but the character of a person cannot be fathomed that easily.    


Recruiting employees for startups or small business owners is an extremely important move. Even if the new business owner himself is experienced as an employee, deciding on new employees for his own business can be a make-or-break move. If such an entrepreneur employs a wrong candidate and his or her presence is short, the new business loses money from the capital by way of salaries. Therefore, invariably, new entrepreneurs have to be very cautious in hiring new employees.    

During my career, time and again I have come across candidates who have presented phony details about important personal information. Therefore, my advice to any employer is to be thorough in background checks of any candidate before the final decision. As described earlier, job seekers tend to produce fake information to get the job.

In my opinion, a reference from the last employer is a must for a candidate. Certainly, a disgruntled former employer can willfully offer a malicious opinion on a candidate. Nevertheless, the view of the previous employer can be extremely useful. It is up to the recruiter to weigh and verify such claims before making a decision. Personal and professional references are important to decide on employment although the professional view from a referee is more credible. Usually, personal references are pre-arranged and almost 100% of their estimation of an applicant is positive and favourable whilst a professional referee is more rational with their opinions.      Finally, learning how to hire efficient and loyal staff members is far beyond the mere comparison of candidates. The hiring process in any size of a business entails preparation and precision in analysis in personal behaviour and job-related skills. Recruiting is not only allowing someone to succeed but also allowing them to be an integral part of the business in the long run. Therefore, taking time for recruitment is well worth it for the recruiter to find the right candidate.