An Essential Guide on How to Hire the Right People for Your Business
People are the backbone of every organization. The right employee can make your work life a dream, just as the wrong hire can turn it into a nightmare.
While instinct may work to an extent in the early days, growing businesses need processes to safeguard themselves against poor decisions. A bad hire could cost you about 30% of the person’s first-year earnings – no matter how long they stay.
Put simply, who you hire matters, and the right hiring process can help you secure the best candidates who will positively influence your company’s culture.
To help you with that, we’ve put together this practical guide on how to hire the right people for your business. Let’s get started.
Why is it important to hire the right people?
Even though we may not necessarily think of people as financial assets, organizations rely on profits to succeed. Everything in business comes down to dollars – whether it appears that way or not.
Consider your best employees. They make your workday run smoothly. They pick up tasks quickly and enhance the work environment. Good employees enable your business to operate more efficiently which leads to greater profitability.
The right people can save you time on training. They share your vision and make incredible advocates. They boost morale, maximize productivity, and help you retain a culture that keeps other team members engaged.
Good people save and make you money while making work more fun for others.
How to streamline your hiring process
Hiring processes start well before you actually go to market for a new hire. Here are 7 critical steps to help you attract the best candidates and make the best hiring decisions.
1. Build your employer brand
Every company on the planet wants to hire the best candidates. Attraction strategies are just as important as thorough hiring processes if you want to win over the best.
Whether you’re hiring now or not, it’s a good idea to start building your employer brand. This needs to be looked at from two angles:
- You have to have positive employer stories in order to promote your employer brand. If you can’t think of anything, ask your staff why they like it there. Consider what your business offers people. What’s unique about your culture?
- You need to publicly communicate these perks and why people love to work with you.
The easiest way to start building your employer brand is to create a company page on LinkedIn and start posting engaging content. Share positive stories about what you do for your employees. Craft content that shows your business is an appealing place to work.
2. Analyze the position you’re hiring for
If you fail to have your own comprehensive picture of who would best fill this role, it’s going to be very hard to identify the right person. You need to think beyond the tasks and imagine who best fits this role. What kind of personality do they have?
Say it’s a sales role with a unique client base. Salespeople need to be confident and persuasive. But perhaps your client base is timid and doesn’t respond that well to big personalities. But you do. This is where you could make a decision based on what you like, rather than what you need.
To avoid losing sight of what’s really needed, write down what personality traits and characteristics best suit this position. This time spent could save you a lot of time avoiding re-hiring down the track.
3. Write effective job descriptions
As with your employer branding, you need to think of what you bring to the table. What would make someone want to work with you? If you don’t stand out, you won’t get the best applicants. Also, if your job description is not clearly written, you may have an overload of irrelevant applications to sort through.
So, try to make your job description look attractive and interesting. Read it back, over and over. Would you get excited reading about that role? If you wouldn’t, write it again.
Make sure you include the following:
- Write a description of what the role entails, including daily tasks, responsibilities, and their place within the team.
- Include a list of the specific skill set and experience required.
- Write a section that describes the ideal candidate.
- Describe how this role impacts your business; emphasize the importance of this position and how it’s crucial to your organization.
- Share a company overview, write about why people love to work with you and what benefits you offer to employees.
- Include clear directions on how to apply.
4. Leverage social media
You will want to post your job ad to the usual online job boards, but don’t forget to leverage social media. You should already have a LinkedIn page where you’ve been sharing positive brand stories. Announce your new job to that audience and encourage people to share or give referrals.
Facebook and Instagram could also be great channels, depending on the type of content you usually post. If you already share business updates and news, a job ad will go well on those platforms.
5. Pre-screen your applicants
When you find an interesting job applicant, you want to pre-screen them before moving to the in-person interview process.
Interviews are time-consuming. Phone interviews will help you save time and weed out any applicants that may inflate their skills on paper.
Pre-screening potential candidates with a phone interview will allow you to narrow them down. You only want to bring in the top three or five for the first in-person job interview.
6. Hire quickly and efficiently
Good job seekers are snapped up quickly. The best potential employees will be in high demand, with other small businesses or startups also looking to hire. If your onboarding process is slow, you could miss the right candidates and be left with the wrong person.
The juggle here is ensuring that you can hire people quickly while also making sure that your decision-making is effective.
As soon as you have identified the need to hire, know that you need to move fast. Once you start talking to qualified candidates, time is of the essence.
7. Make continuous improvements
Whether it’s you, your recruiters, or your human resources department, it’s vital to track your onboarding experiences – document what you’ve done.
Ask for and write down any feedback from job candidates. Ask your new hire what they liked and disliked about the process.
Building up your hiring insights will help you become a more attractive employer and find a formula for securing the best people.
Tips on how to hire the right people for your business
Besides streamlining your hiring process (as described above), keep the following tips in mind to ensure that you hire only the best for your business.
1. Prioritize culture fit
Your company’s culture may or may not have been specially crafted, but it will be one of the most powerful forces your business holds. Candidates who are a cultural fit for your organization will be able to integrate easily and quickly into your environment.
Your company’s culture is one of your biggest employer benefits. Finding people who will vibe in that environment is the simplest way to ensure they will enjoy working there.
2. Avoid unconscious bias while hiring
Unconscious bias is responsible for the overall lack of diversity that we’re all trying to remedy today. It’s the reason why taller men are more likely to earn more and why teams tend to build out as a reflection of the person who’s hiring.
Smart hiring managers would never onboard new hires on the basis of physical features, but the unconscious is a powerful persuader. Employees who experience unconscious bias feel isolated, alienated, disengaged, and this can result in losses of $450-550 billion each year.
To mitigate against this, you need to strengthen the checks that keep you conscious of your bias. The easiest way to do this is to ask a diverse range of staff members to participate in the interviews.
Take the time to check for your own biases. Everyone has them. Identifying them is a positive step that helps you spot and counter them.
3. Test skills and abilities
Before you hire a new employee, you want to check if they can actually do the job. If it is a technical role, get them to do an exercise with your technical staff to demonstrate their skills. If the role is customer-facing and problem-solving, tailor interview questions to glean insights from them.
You could run hypothetical scenarios or get them to fill in a personality test. There are plenty of hiring tools that can help you uncover skills and abilities. When you identify what’s required in the role, consider how you could test people for these skills.
4. Vet applicants appropriately
Never ever, ever hire someone without first completing reference checks. When you complete the reference checks, be thorough. Ask about their work ethic. Question how they got on with other staff. Learn why they left and if there were any issues at any time during their employment.
Reference check questions should be planned out ahead of time so that you don’t miss anything. Of course, no one is going to give you references that would say something bad. However, there is still a lot you could learn about someone’s pros and cons by asking the right questions.
It’s also worth looking them up on LinkedIn and checking if you have any mutual connections. If you do, reach out and see what their impression is. Did they hear anything positive or negative about them?
Out-of-the-box interview questions to uncover more about your candidates
Good candidates will be well prepared for interviews. They will expect you to ask them about their weaknesses, and they will have a good idea of how to turn it into a positive. You want to see what they say when they have to come up with an answer on the spot.
If you want to get a unique peek into their personality, you could ask:
“If you could be an animal, what kind of animal would you be?”
This may reveal that they love to lounge around like a cat or explore the world like a bird. The responses can give you great insight into who they might be in their life or what they might aspire to.
Another excellent question is:
“What’s the most common misperception people have about you?”
This is a great way to learn how they see themselves by highlighting how they are misunderstood by others. It will also show you how self-aware they are.
Try to come up with questions that are out-of-the-box. Instead of asking them what their skills are, ask them what their “natural skills are,” get to know what they think they were born with.
You can see on paper what they’ve cultivated. You want to learn what’s underneath.
What not to ask in an interview
There are some very obvious questions that every company needs to steer clear of. You should never ask anyone about their sexuality, their religion, their political affiliations, or their plans to have children or not.
In some cases, questions asked could appear to be discriminatory, whether you intend them to be or not. Check the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discrimination types to familiarize yourself with what’s not appropriate.
Also, be mindful that some questions asked with benign intent could be taken with offense. Talk to your HR team if you are in doubt.
Bring on the best
Spending time on your recruitment processes at the onset will save you significant amounts of time in the future. Whether you’re hiring full-time employees or contractors for a season, following the guidelines mentioned above will help you hire the best.
With the right people on board, you’ll have less employee attrition, greater productivity, and happier staff overall. While hiring the right people is crucial, choosing the right payment provider for your business is just as important.
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