The importance of investing time in the right recruitment process

As a technology company, you might think we recruit based on people’s qualifications, but you’d be wrong. I’m often met with surprise when I tell people we look for attitude over skillset; however, it’s a formula that works for us and keeps us growing year on year.

If you look at great businesses – as Jim Collins did for his book ‘Good to Great’ – one of the things that becomes clear is how the most successful companies with the happiest employees have a strong culture, built on a set of core values that govern how they operate.

Core values underpin everything your company does; whether you sell software or underwear, they’re just as important. At UKFast, we have five and they are: passionate, professional, supportive, innovative and dynamic. These are the things our in-house recruitment team look for on assessment days.

We also use psychometric tests to help us find out whether someone’s own values are aligned with our own and if they are, it doesn’t matter if they haven’t been to university or clocked up hours of experience in the industry. If they’re great people, it’s better to have them on board and then invest in their training and development than choose someone with great qualifications and an incompatible attitude.

Every time we recruit outside of our core values, if we stumble upon a technical genius or someone who appears to have all the skills we require, we get caught out.

This is one of the things Collins talks about in ‘Good to Great’. Great businesses prioritise getting the right people on the bus before choosing a direction to set off in. Once you have the right people in your midst, you can train them and take the time to teach them the right skills.

We’ve invested in a training and development department at UKFast, which is headed up by two former teachers. Thanks to the work they’ve done, we’re now an LPI Approved Training Partner and able to provide accredited Linux training and exams.

We also provide apprenticeships, helping young people study for industry qualifications such as Microsoft Technical Associate (MTA). Longstanding employees don’t miss out either, and we’re constantly trying to help people develop, progress and achieve any accreditation they need in order to do so.

Richard Branson once said: “Anyone who has followed the Virgin story knows that our company culture has driven our success.” This is why recruitment is important: with each new person you take on, you either strengthen or dilute your culture, and culture is integral to success.

Each employee is an important cog in the running of your company; making sure each one fits together is the best way to keep things running smoothly.

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