Hire’em, fire’em

Mitch Finlay
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Peter Bartram looks at the tricks to hiring the right staff

When TMA, a £1.2m-turnover marketing agency recruited a new finance manager, it learnt lessons about how to get it wrong – and how to get it right.

Jim Horsley, chairman of TMA, which is based near Henley-on-Thames, explains: ‘At first, we advertised locally because we thought there would be people in the area with the right skills.

‘But although the adverts produced some interesting candidates and TMA appointed a finance manager who’d had senior experience in a large company, he found it difficult to apply his skills in a smaller organisation and left,’ says Horsley.

For a second try, TMA approached recruitment agency, Hays to provide a list of suitable candidates. Horsley says: ‘We felt the agency would provide a better selection of candidates – and as it was a large recruitment player, we thought it would attract good quality people.’

TMA wanted to recruit a finance manager with good practical skills and knowledge of how a small company works.The company started with a list of a dozen potential candidates. ‘We looked at the CVs to see whether the skillsets matched the needs of the job rather than just at whether they were impressive CVs,’ says Horsley.

‘We were looking for somebody who had worked in a similar-sized organisation, who’d had responsibility and accountability for the finance function, and who’d had a depth of experience’.

TMA winnowed the initial applicants down to a short-list of four for interview. During the 45-minute interviews, Horsley and director Ian Shortman focused on probing questions about the skillsets and personality they wanted.

The final decision was made after a further in-depth review of the CVs, assessing the interviews, and taking up the candidates’ references.

TMA is delighted with its new finance manager, Joanne Massey. ‘She has great people skills and fits in well with our team,’ says Horsley…

Read the full feature in our November issue or by clicking here.

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