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4 steps to fill that skills gap

It’s a situation you never want to be in: that sinking feeling that the person you’ve hired is just the wrong person for the job; the horrible realisation that you’ve just wasted valuable time and money and now need to go through the whole recruitment process again.

We know how important a well-planned recruitment strategy is to business success, so have come up with the following simple tips, which will help you hire the right candidate, first time.

1. Determine if there is a skills gap to fill

It sounds obvious, but you’ll be amazed how many people miss this step. Don’t suddenly wake up one day and decide you need a marketing manager. You need to understand your business and what you’re trying to achieve. To understand if you need to recruit, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the underlying motivation behind your recruitment strategy? If it’s business growth, then what’s better for your company – a marketing or sales person? Always make sure you grow in the right way.
  • Is it really a skills gap or is it something you simply want to do more of? If your burning desire for a marketing manager is just because you want to tweet more, then outsourcing would probably make more sense.
  • What’s the vital role this team member would perform within your organisation? If your answer is woolly, then they probably aren’t that vital.

2. Write the right job description

Once you’ve identified what role you want to fill, start work on the job description. If you don’t know where to start, use a similar one from the internet and then adapt it using the following pointers.

  • Have a clear idea of what type of person you’re looking for. If you want someone who is driven, determined to succeed and, more importantly, will do anything to help you succeed, then write with them in mind.
  • Sell the benefits of the job. Let them know what you have to offer them and why you’re so much better than the competition.
  • Be honest. If it’s a 9-5 role, don’t talk about offering flexible hours.


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3. Source candidates, the right way

Most people automatically think about using a recruitment agency, and while that’s an option, if you have the resources, think about handling the process yourself. There are plenty of websites where you can advertise jobs direct, not to mention social media, just remember these pointers:

  • Get your ad copy right, and no, this isn’t the job description. A job description informs candidates of what the job entails, while a job ad entices them to apply.
  • Be prepared to tweak your job ad. If you’re getting the wrong type of candidates, or even worse, no candidates, the chances are you’re advertising the wrong thing.
  • Look at how you manage the responses. Yes, it’s easy to get people to email their CV across, but why not get them to call you instead? Even better, get them to drop off their CV. You’ll immediately weed out those who aren’t that committed and have a much better idea if they are worth interviewing.

4. Hold interviews that count

The interview is your chance to really get to know the person and an opportunity to see if they’re a good fit for the job and your company.

It’s therefore really important that you put a proper interview structure in place. Key things to think about are:

  • Come up with a list of questions that are related to the job description. 5 questions are good, but 10 is even better as it will give you a more rounded view of the candidate
  • Stick to the questions! These are your benchmark for all candidates, so don’t be tempted to go off-piste.
  • Always have 2 people at the interview, even if one doesn’t say a word. Why? Because it will give you a different perspective about the candidate and the other person may pick up things you missed. We often take this role on for our clients, so if you need a number two, just let us know.
  • Don’t talk too much and don’t be too conversational. We know you’ll want to prove just how friendly and great your business is, but this isn’t the time to talk about bringing your dog to work on a Friday. Focus on the job in hand – make sure the person in front of you is right for the role and fits with your company’s culture.

Need help with your recruitment strategy?

Having a well-planned recruitment strategy in place is key to business success. If you’re not sure where to start, then get in touch. Over the years, we’ve worked with numerous clients around Tring, Aylesbury and High Wycombe, helping prepare job descriptions, source potential candidates and structure the interview process. And with over 16 years of experience in executive search and selection, we know how to attract the right person for the job.

So, if you would like some help growing a workforce that meets the specific demands of your organisation and you’re in the Tring, Aylesbury or High Wycombe area, just give us a call. We’d love to help.

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