One of our part-time canine members of staff has recently left to pursue a new career with her original breeder. Poppy does not seem to like being an “only dog” when she is at home; a reduced appetite and general air of ennui suggest that she misses her colleague (despite the occasional bullying that was the reason for Snippets’ departure), so Lou is now looking for a suitable candidate to fill the vacancy.
As anyone who has ever recruited staff will know, this is a time fraught with questions and decisions. Before even beginning the search, it’s essential to consider the precise nature of the position and ask yourself what is important to you about the ideal candidate; what values and attributes should they possess in order that they will be the right one for the post? Is the position one that involves any reception duties, for example, and if so does this include any requirements of an auditory or vocal nature? Will they be expected to undertake any secretarial duties such as paper shredding or mail collection? Is the role of personal trainer an important part of the job, or just someone to assist with the steeper hills? Does existing training for the position matter, or are you happy to undertake their CPD (Continuing Puppy Development)? Would an older candidate with more experience be more suitable? Are you looking for the curious, innovative type, or someone who has a strong interest in sofa-based inner contemplation?
Would you prefer someone with a marked disinclination for going out in the wet and a deep and abiding fascination for researching how long they can stay in bed? Are any gardening duties required, such as clearing fallen apples and plums, digging the borders or scratching moss from the lawn? Is the occasional pilfering of supplies of, say, coal, going to be a problem? And, of course, there are the needs of any existing staff members to consider; what are they looking for in a colleague? Are there any roles they would enjoy sharing, or perhaps passing on to a new member of staff? Do you have someone who is already in a managerial position who might resent you employing someone of a higher grade, or are they the laid-back and gregarious type with little interest in heirarchy who just loves networking and making new friends? Are you going to include them in the interview process?
Looking through the various recruitment (ie adoption) agency websites is a good place to start your actual search and, as with any CV, you have to read between the lines and match as many of your required values and attributes as possible… Eventually, Lou has drawn up a shortlist of candidates for her vacancy and interviewing has begun…
Yesterday’s interviewee seemed very promising indeed on paper; we arranged an appointment at his foster home and took Poppy to meet him. Unfortunately, however, Poppy’s values concerning, for example, the purpose of her tail, were in direct variance to our candidate’s sustained suggestions, so that a radical and, I might add, vociferous difference of opinion occurred. Poppy said no – and we listened.
- Don’t ignore your instincts, however attractive the candidate appears to be
- Listen to input from your other staff members and be prepared to change your criteria for their benefit, and the benefit of the whole team, if necessary
- Learn from each applicant, allowing the picture of your ideal candidate to evolve
- When Poppy says no – Poppy means no.