By Jude Obi Run your business How do you decide who to hire? 14 Aug 2018 Taking on new staff is one of the most important things to get right when you’re a manager or run a business. It’s essential for the long-term success of your company that you make the right hiring decisions and bring in someone who will suit your organisation. AAT took the opportunity to speak with 1000 employers to uncover the key things they look for when they are hiring, to ensure they get the right staff. Is the person a good fit? Firstly, we asked what the single most important factor is to employers when hiring a new employee. The top answer was how the person would fit into the company culture. This is of vital importance because people need to be the right fit in an organisation, get on with their colleagues, and be able to work well with them. If someone does not fit with the company culture this could lead to problems between members of staff and affect morale and performance. Can the person do the job? Second on the list is how much experience an individual has. When hiring, if someone has performed the same role, or a similar one in the past, it will make it more likely they will be able to carry out the job for you now and do the tasks you need. Almost half of the employers we spoke to (49%) told us they prefer to see this experience come from a relevant apprenticeship or previous position, compared to 24 per cent who told us they’d prefer to see a relevant degree. Of those who said they prefer to see experience from an apprenticeship or previous position, 71 per cent say they prefer it because it means that an individual has demonstrated their skills in a practical setting; they have experience of doing the job they are applying for, where they may not if they have just have a degree. Looking presentable in person and online Other factors the employers specified are that the candidate looks presentable; if a client arrives at an interview not looking their best, it may make you wonder about whether they will be presentable in the office, or when meeting with clients. Also, being punctual is important, as you want an employee who is going to be at work on time every day, and early signs of a lack of punctuality may make you worry that it could be an ongoing problem. Candidates will need to get their profile right on social media if they see your role as the one that they aspire to. 49 per cent of employers who we talked to said they have looked at a candidate’s social media profile to help judge whether they might be a good employee. Any questionable conduct can be an indication that an individual may not be someone you want to hire. Of those employers who said they had checked social media, more than two thirds said they had decided not to hire an applicant because of their online conduct. Have you made the right decision? Getting a recruitment decision wrong could mean you have to go through the hiring process again, which can be expensive and time consuming. However, recruiting a new member of staff can benefit you immensely and give you a valued now member of your team. Make sure you consider all the factors to ensure you get the right person for your organisation. Jude Obi is AAT's Assistant Media Relations Manager.