Hiring new employees is probably the hardest thing any small business will ever do. Attracting the right employees and retaining them is as important if not more than attracting and retaining customers. These employees not only will be interacting with you and the rest of your staff, they will also be interacting with your customers and other stakeholders, so finding the right fit at all levels of jobs in your company is crucial. Yet, the act of hiring new employees is many times and after though and just something that is done when you absolutely need help. Here are a few tips:
- Set-up a hiring new employees process for your company – Like any task in your company, hiring needs to be a process, that you create maintain and improve. It’s just like the order entry process, the product creation process etc. it needs to be though our, reviewed with others who will be involved. Also look for some experts in this field to help you as I’m guessing you are like most and have never been trained to hire someone, you just use the techniques people used on you when you were being hired in the past? Finally in that hiring process, have a systematic scoring system you can use. This way the search is data driven, not gut and feel driven, as that rarely works out.
- Think of your job posting as a sales ad to attract good people, not an ugly job posting to deter bad people. – Most all of us think about writing a job description with the thought in mind that people applying need us more than we need them. The problem with this thought process is we are going to only attract people who are probably looking for a job for a reason. When we write a job description we are typically writing the minimum requirements to do the job, and we are probably going to find people who only have those minimum required skills or are willing to lie about their skills to get the job. Because of that we end up fishing in the wrong job pool – The 10% of candidate who are aggressively seeking work because they are unemployed – for a reason in most cases. 70% of Candidates are open to the possibility of a new job with the right opportunity and this is where top talent can be found, but only if you’re working to attract those folks. Use the interview process to weed out the people who don’t fit, not the job description. If you have a systematic hiring process you can easily weed the wrong candidates out quickly after you get in touch with them, not before you even have a chance.
- Improve your interviewing skills (or get a professional) – One of the reason that most of us are horrible at really finding out what the candidate will be like once they are part of your company is that most of us have been on that side of the table and as humans we want to connect with people. But remember we are only perfect 2 times in our lives. When we are born and when we write our résumé. The second issue is that we don’t really know who we are looking for because we don’t clearly define the roll before hiring people and have no way to measure success with some sort of roadmap with measurable goals. Beyond that many small businesses haven’t clearly stated what the company vision and strategy is so how can we know who fits into OUR company. You must define success very clearly in the hiring process otherwise you are setting up the candidate for failure. And believe me that interview process is not only the time to learn about each other, but it is also the time to start setting clear goals. In interviews we typically lob up meatball questions, such as “For this position, we are really looking for someone who can multi-task, is that you?”. What person that needs a job is going to say, no. If that is our question, you must them probe deeper and ask for specific examples of how they will multi-task and make them give examples of how they have done that in the past. With that being said, we are too focused on what they did in the past at other companies and not focused enough on what they will do in the future at your company, so when asking for the examples, also ask how they would use their past experiences in your company. Just because they were successful in the past with a similar role doesn’t mean they will be successful in your company with your culture and your resources. Lastly, you must set aside first impressions and truly dig into what the candidate will be like in your environment
Check out a podcast we did on this subject back in May 2015