How To Hire The Right People For Your Business

Mar 27, 2017

When people talk about dating, they’ll usually mention some kind of spark or feeling of just knowing when someone is “right” for them.

Wouldn’t it be great if an employer could get those same intuitive feelings when they hire a new employee?

Aside from developing a business plan, hiring new employees is one of the most difficult things business can do.  That’s probably why retention is a problem for many companies.

It’s estimated that 73% of businesses will change their onboarding and hiring process to improve retention rates.  When you couple that with the stat that around one-third of new hires will quit their jobs within the first six months of employment, you can see why retention is such a big issue.


Why It’s Hard To Find A Good Hire

Some of those numbers may seem a bit high to you, but when you think about how many different things make a “good” new hire it makes sense.

You want someone that’s skilled enough to do the job, that’s a given.  But most places aren’t just trying to hire someone that can tick off a few requirement boxes.

You need someone that can work well with others and understands the value of teamwork.  A new hire that can’t work together with people in their department, or refuses to share credit or work, isn’t going to last long.

You also need someone that fits into your company culture.  Someone that’s used to working a corporate job with a rigid 9-5 schedule wouldn’t thrive in an “anything goes” relaxed start-up environment.

When so many different things need to come together to make a stellar hire, you can see why things can start to get a little tricky.


Hiring Don’ts

It truly can be hard to find good talent, but sometimes we’re the ones that are making things difficult.

Before we dive into tactics you can use find the best employees for your business, let’s spend some time focusing on what you shouldn’t be doing.


Don’t Write “Fun” Job Descriptions 

If you’re hiring someone to do sales, they’re going to be searching for job postings with a certain title.  “Sales Consultant”, “Sales Manager”, or maybe even “Sales Lead” would be the top research results.

It’s doubtful that they’re going to be looking for jobs with “Sales Ninja” or “Money Slayer” in the title.

They’re going to want to know what they’re expected to do on a day-to-day basis.  Outlining their expected duties is encouraged, but writing that they need to be a “sales rockstar with a positive attitude” doesn’t tell them much about the job.

Some companies have gotten into the habit of writing fun or quirky job descriptions.  They may be entertaining, but they don’t help find great talent.

When you’re writing your job descriptions take a no-nonsense approach.  If you’re straight forward with what you need, you’ll find the right candidates.


Don’t Let It All Fall On HR

Human resources is supposed to be an integral part of your hiring process, but they shouldn’t be the only part.

Companies that rely on HR for 100% of their hiring needs are going to have trouble finding the best candidates.

HR knows a lot about your company and culture, but they won’t have insight into the actual job they’re trying to hire for.  That’s why department heads and even regular employees should be a part of the hiring process.

Don’t just have managers poke their heads into interviews to say “hi” at the end. Have them look through applications and pick out a few they think would be a great fit.

Also be sure to get your regular employee’s input into what they think would make a strong job candidate. They’re the ones that truly understand what it takes to do the job and what the new employee’s day-to-day routine will look like.


Don’t be distracted during interviews

We know that there’s a lot going on during the day, the office can’t shut down just because you’re doing interviews.  Being busy is expected, but being distracted during an interview doesn’t help anyone involved.

If you’re constantly glancing at your phone or checking e-mails during an interview, the person you’re interviewing isn’t going to think that you’re interested in getting to know them.

And they’d be right to think that.

Distracted interviewing isn’t just rude, it’s also extremely off-putting.  After all, how interested in them could you be if you’re replying to low priority emails or answering texts?

You’re also only half paying attention.  You could be missing out on a great anecdote about their current job that proves they’d be an excellent fit.  You could also be missing out on signs that they aren’t right for your company

Put your devices down during interviews and let employees know that you shouldn’t be disturbed.  Give the person you’re interviewing your undivided attention so you can truly get to know them.


Don’t Have Unrealistic Expectations 

There’s nothing wrong with aiming high when you’re trying to fill a position.  You’re going to want the best of the best, so it’s only natural to have high expectations.

The problems start to happen when your start aiming a bit too high.

An entry level marketing employee most likely isn’t going to have 2-3 years of social media experience with a company.  A development manager may know a few coding languages, but they aren’t going to specialize in everything under the sun.

When you set these sky-high expectations you could be missing out on perfectly good candidates because they don’t meet your lofty ideals. 

It’s also important to remember that the rare candidate that could meet these expectations is going to expect something in return for their hard work.  

If you want a sales manager with a proven history of closing deals and a wide network of contacts, they’re going to want a high salary and stellar benefits.

If you set reasonable expectations you won’t have a problem finding a new employee that’s a great fit.


Hiring Do’s

Finding the perfect new hire isn’t just a series of things you shouldn’t do.  There are plenty of things you can start doing now to ensure that you bring on the best employee.


Do Be Flexible 

Your dream new hire may be currently stuck at a job with a rigid schedule.  They could be living in a different province, but they’re willing to relocate for the right company.

If you want to find a great new hire, you need to be as flexible as possible when you’re looking.  

Offer off-hour interviews, or even a Skype or phone interview for people that can’t make it to the office during traditional hours.  

If you’re comfortable with it, consider doing some off-site interviews.   A coffee-shop can be a relaxing environment and “neutral ground” for you and the person you’re interviewing.


Do Look Beyond The Resume

The candidate you’re interviewing has two graduate degrees and spent years in college.  They also have tons of experience at different companies.

They may look like the perfect candidate on paper, but that doesn’t mean they’re the perfect new hire for your company.

A lot of new business owners can be dazzled by good resumes.  Multiple degrees may mean that they’re knowledgeable in theory, but lack real world experience in their field.

A long list of important titles could be a sign that they have trouble keeping a job and frequently find themselves at odds with their superiors.  

When you’re hiring try to go beyond the resume.  Ask them topical questions about their experience and work philosophy.  


Do Know Your Company’s Personality 

If your company was a person, what kind of personality would it have?

Is your company an older industry expert that likes to keep things formal?  Would your company be a young go-getter that has tons of ideas?

You should know the answer to that question before you try to bring on a new hire. 

Your company’s personality defines your business’ mission, work expectations, and general environment.  You need to make sure that the next person you bring on fits it.


Do Think About Soft Skills

The person you hire needs to have certain essential skills to do their job, but some employers can forget about other traits and skills that are important.

Soft skills are personal qualities, attitudes, and habits a person can have that make them a good employee and easy to work with. They aren’t skills you’d put in a job description, but they’re still important to have.

Is this potential hire a good communicator?  Can they work well with others?  Do they have a positive attitude?

These are all important things to consider when you’re bringing on a new hire. Don’t just focus on core skills, think about the big picture when you’re interviewing.


Wrapping Up

There’s no perfect formula for hiring the right person every time you need a new employee.  It’s important to remember that a mix of things goes into finding a good employee. But by using some of these recommended best practices, over time you’ll be able to refine your own hiring process to help find the best matches for you company.

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