Breaking up is never easy, employees have an expiry date (usually people start getting tired and bored after 2 years). To make matters worse, we grow dependent on the employee and, getting accustomed to a new employee is not easy.

DO NOT PANIC! Start recruiting immediately, this is the best time to rethink the role. Whether you need it, whether you need to have additional skills or whether you need to split the role into two positions.

The Key success factor in any recruitment and selection is the PROCESS. Invest in a good process or hire a credible company to manage the process. Keep in mind, “Cheap is Expensive”.

Read the 12 basic steps Alternate Doors recommends as the optimal recruitment process.

#1—Identifying the hiring need

You must know the complete job description as the previous employee left it, NOT the description when they took the job. Chances are they took on new/additional responsibilities while in the position. Now the job when they left, is different to the job they started when they arrived.


Once you’ve identified exactly what you need (both in terms of hard skills and soft skills), put a plan together to find what you need. Make sure that you get the “buy in” of everybody involved, on the hiring process, steps that will be taken and communication channels to be used. One misstep could mess everything up.

#3—Searching and Shortlisting  

This is a case where you need to be a “hunter” and not a “gatherer.” Too many companies think that superstar candidates rain down from the sky like manna. They do not! Smart companies go as far as hiring “headhunters like Alternate Doors– known for their ability to hunt! Hiring authorities and even companies with internal recruiters often fail to match expertise and connections of a recruiter who “works in the trenches” day in- day out.

#4—Identifying viable candidates

Anybody can find candidates. Question is, are they qualified candidates? Those high-level A-players that your competition would kill for? Searching for them, finding them, and identifying the right fit will be more difficult, if the first three steps in the process have not been well undertaken.

#5—recruiting of A-level candidates

Top candidates are not just interested in a great new job. They’re interested in a great new job – with a great new employer. If they like the job, but not the employer, they are not going to take the job. Once viable candidates have been identified, they must be sold on the opportunity, and the organization.

 #6—(Telephone) screening

The first screening stage of the process is the telephone interview. Ideally, you would have a list of 10 to 15 very strong candidates, all of whom are interested in the position. The phone screening serves to whittle that list down, so you can move to the next stage.

#7—(Assessment Tests)

Next is a review of the candidate’s skills through practical and written tests.

Practical tests measure skills level, for example an accountant can be given a payroll to generate, and a software developer can be given a small sample to code. Additionally, personality tests are done to understanding the candidate’s competencies and whether they match what you are looking for.

#8—(Face-to-face) interviewing 

Plan to interview at most 4- 5 candidates. The interview stage cannot stretch out too long. Candidates involved will lose interest.

Communicate to candidates where they are in the process and what they should expect in the near term. This is particularly important with prime candidates, since they are more than likely interviewing with more than one organization.

The interviewee should have a meeting with the senior management to understand the job environment better and whether he thinks he would like to join it. Feedback from each senior manager about their impression of the candidate should be taken into account.

#9— Background and Reference Checks

Fraud cases regarding the previous job experience, profile, designation, package and more, are on the rise. So, referral and background check should be carried out thoroughly.

The list of reference contacts provided by the candidate should be cross checked. Some checks to consider include; Identity, Education, Past employment verification, National Criminal Database Search and Court Cases, Credit Check, Professional Membership/License.

#10—Offer of employment

This is one of the most delicate stages of the process. A hiring manager should never assume that a candidate is going to accept an offer. However, if they’ve done all of the proper work beforehand and they’ve double and triple-checked everything, then the candidate is likely to accept. Here is an important note: if an organization is working with a recruitment consultant, the organization’s hiring manager should let the search consultant extend the offer.

The final decision should be based on the feedback of senior management, own judgment of the candidate and matching of desired specifications with those of candidate’s. All applicants should be ranked in an unbiased manner. Discussions and the reasons for decisions made should be recorded. If candidates request, constructive feedback to unsuccessful applicants should also be provided.

#11—Hiring of the candidate

Why are the offer step and the hire step not combined into one? Not every offer of employment is accepted. If the #1 candidate rejects the offer, then the company might extend the offer to their #2 candidate and so on. Once a candidate accepts the offer of employment, that’s when the hiring can be made official.

#12—Onboarding and induction of the candidate

A comprehensive onboarding and induction process is perhaps the most crucial step in the process. Onboarding refers to more than just new employee paperwork and knowing where the bathrooms are. It is about continuing to make the candidate/new employee feel wanted before they officially join the organization. Many a company have failed to do that, only to see their new employee never show up for their first day of work.

In conclusion, using a well thought out, structured recruitment process helps save time, money and the organizational heartache of the break-up. The quality of the process, significantly increases the chances of producing a prime shortlist of viable candidates, and therefore a prime new employee. Happy Hiring!!!


By Juliet Gateri

Founder & Recruitment Expert – Alternate Doors Consulting.