By Nicky Milligan, Managing Director of mcm creative group

Finding the right expert to fulfil a particular role in your organisation, and matching the right people to the right jobs more generally, can be a daunting task. A comprehensive people strategy, backed up by a well-structured recruiting and selection programme, is the best way to tackle this.

The key to successfully developing such a programme is to follow a proven recruiting process for the positions you need to fill. Resist the temptation to omit steps, because shortcutting the process can short-change your results. Here's what you'll need to do:

1. Develop accurate job descriptions
2. Compile a "success profile"
3. Draft the ad, describing the position and the key qualifications required
4. Develop a series of phone-screening questions
5. Review the resumes you receive and identify your best candidates
6. Screen candidates by phone
7. Select candidates for assessment - assess your potential candidates for their skills and attributes using a proven assessment tool
8. Schedule and conduct candidate interviews – shortlisting for final interviews
9. Construct a brief around a task to test the candidate’s expertise and get them to undertake this during the second interview
10. Run a background check on the individual to uncover any potential problems not revealed by previous testing and interviews
11. Make your offer!

Final thoughts: Pre-Recruiting Tips

Before you start the hiring process, determine your strategy relative to how people fit into your organisation. What is your process for making sure they'll be a good fit with your company's culture?

Decide whether your approach to the cultural question should include a second interview. Also, who else, if anyone, do you involve in the interviews to help make this selection and judge the candidate? Your goal is to have a plan that will help you determine whether you have found a qualified expert who will fit with colleagues and clients alike.

Finally, decide whether you're going to conduct pre-employment testing. How much is it worth for you to know an individual's strengths and weaknesses, not just as a hire/don't hire test, but as a coaching tool to help you determine their training needs and the best approach to maximise their productivity?

Pre-employment testing is often overlooked, when it can be a very valuable tool. For example, if you find an applicant who fits the job description and appears to be the person you want to hire, pre-employment testing can help you determine how to work with them more effectively and move them along in your organisation. That way you can start as you mean to go on.

If you want your business to attract and retain good clients, your comprehensive people strategy must include a recruiting and selection strategy that attracts and retains quality employees. Following a well-thought-out, structured process will help you best match the right people to the right jobs in your company.