Don’t cut corners on recruitment

3 May 2010

If you’re setting up a business, one of the areas you should never scrimp on is hiring the right people, according to Maurice Mortell, chief executive of Data Electronics.

Rushing the recruitment process can mean you waste months of development time when you realise a person doesn’t get what you’re trying to do or doesn’t fit in with your culture.

Match employees with your company culture and values

“The people structure is very important from the outset. You need to understand what you’re trying to achieve and get the right people to match that. Spend time waiting on the right person for a position,” he says.

“The tendency is to bring in operations staff or salespeople, for example, to get things off the ground quickly, and not spending enough time going through the hiring process properly.”

Evaluate what you want to achieve beforehand

“We made that mistake years ago at Data Electronics,” explains Mortell. “After a few months you realise people don’t fit in particular roles. We analysed it afterwards and saw we had been filling gaps, rather than sitting down and really trying to understand what we were trying to achieve by bringing particular people in.”

Data Electronics has since changed its whole recruitment process in terms of the vetting procedure, interview process, type of questions asked at interview and what works and doesn’t work culturally.

“It’s very important you get your people right. Apart from the automated part of what we do, the delivery of our service involves a huge interaction with people and this ties in massively with customer retention.”

A learning curve about different skill sets people to the table

“We learned as we went along about what we needed in terms of people – for example, an operations person may have a high skill set in a certain area but mightn’t have a services ethos or empathy as an individual, which is important. We try to establish all these things at interview stage,” explains Mortell.

Contributed by Maurice Mortell, Data Electronics

Photo: Maurice Mortell, chief executive of Data Electronics

For advice and information on starting a business, go to