How to hire the right HR Manager for your business

Exclusive tips from Pallavi Chawla, Alliance Recruitment

As people are the biggest asset your business has, finding the right candidate to manage your HR is vital – so how should organisations go about hiring an HR Manager?

Most organisations will want to hire someone with qualifications and relevant experience at that level already, although you could consider a qualified candidate looking for their first promotion after several years working in a more junior HR role.

However, it is equally important to find someone who fits with the rest of the team and understands the companies business ethics and goals, because they will also help your organization define the future recruitment process.

Here are some tips to help you find the right candidate:


Keep the Job Description Short and Simple 

You want to attract the best pool of candidates available – so start by focusing the job description on the things that matter most.  Here’s my suggested checklist:

  • Cut unnecessary text and focus on what matters – this will reduce the amount of irrelevant CVs you receive.
  • Consider the duties you will expect your HR Manager to undertake and at what level, and make sure the job description reflects this
  • Highlight the important things, like experience, eligibility, contract, compensation etc.
  • Stress that you are looking for someone with relevant experience, unless you are open to developing someone into the role.
  • If you need specific skills in performance management, training in HR software or experience in automation or so on, you should highlight this.
  • Explain why you are hiring and the benefits of working for your company

Getting the job description right will make the recruitment process more effective, ideally attracting a good pool of suitable candidates with relevant experience.  Discouraging unsuitable applicants early on by being clear and specific saves time, energy and money.


Questions You Should Ask in the Interview

An interview should not be monotonous or overly formal. It should be serious, but a pleasant experience and should give the candidates a feel for the company culture.  Some light-hearted questions and a little humour will give the impression of an exciting, engaging organisation.

It goes without saying that you need to discuss the candidates’ history and assess their level of human resources experience – but what else?

I recommend employers ask the following questions:

  • You should ask questions related to HR policies and management to judge the candidates’ knowledge and experience – decide beforehand which questions you will ask and make sure you know the correct answers – even if you don’t let on!
  • Throw some creative but unusual questions to judge the candidates’ level of intelligence and discover more about their personality.
  • Ask a mix of questions using WHAT and IF, and make them relevant to your industry.
  • Ask the candidate about performance management and explore whether their ideas are compatible with yours, as this is an area of increasing discussion.  Do they believe in annual appraisals or ongoing assessments and feedback?  If they don’t believe in appraisals, how would they look to improve staff performance and productivity?
  • Avoid asking irrelevant questions, stuttering and hesitation – be clear and concise, which creates an air of confidence in both yourself and the company.
  • Be open to ideas and suggestions, but remember that if appointed they will need to work alongside you.


Check References

I cannot stress enough the need to check references.

If using an agency recruiter, most agencies will have already done this prior to sending over a candidate for interview – they will be only too happy to send them across, if they didn’t already.

However, if you are not using an agency and are recruiting in-house, it can be tempting to skip the last stage and go straight to a formal offer based on interview performance.  My advice is DON’T! Ever!

There is a saying among recruiters, hire hastily, repent at leisure.  Take time to complete the process – if the person is really right for your business, they will wait while you do your homework – and you will feel confident, when you receive a glowing reference back, that your ‘gut feeling’ at interview was right.  If the reference is not good, or you don’t receive one, it gives you an opportunity to reflect on your decision – and make doubly sure you choose wisely.


About the Author:

Pallavi Chawla is the Hiring Director of global recruitment agency Alliance Recruitment.

Author: Editorial Team

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