In today’s business climate, we professionals are working longer, juggling more tasks, and finding ourselves with more to do than there are hours in the day.
That’s why hiring often finds itself a relegated task — viewed as an unpleasant inconvenience. We understand that we need to hire in order to grow our business and that adding the right people to our teams will make our jobs easier. However, all that we’re focusing on is “today.” Tomorrow is simply left up to chance.
In the words of Confucius, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation, there is sure to be failure.”
Here are the nine basic steps of hiring you should focus on if you truly want to grow your team, brand and future.
1. Prioritize Your Needs
Focus on the positions that have the most impact on sales and your bottom line. By filling critical, high-value positions first, you’ll find that efficiency improves and your time frees up. You may even discover that you don’t need to fill a position you thought you once did because higher performing, higher priority positions fill a dual role.
2. Define The Role
Define the skills and traits that make a person in this role successful and write them down. You must understand how to identify these traits before you start looking. “I’ll know it when I see it” is not an accurate job description. By defining what a day in the life of a given position looks like, you can narrow your candidate pool efficiently or even expand it. You may find you don’t require some of the skills you thought you did.
3. Know The Pay Rate
There are three things that should determine the rate of pay:
• The value the position brings to your team
• The job market in your specific area for that specific job
• The level of expertise you are requiring for the job
You wouldn’t go hunting for a house or a new car without knowing your budget and what the market costs dictate, so don’t go employee hunting without the same information. All three pieces of information are equally important.
4. Be Flexible With Your Time
If you can only interview between 9:00 and 9:15 on the second Tuesday of each month, you are going to limit your candidate pool. Bear in mind that a candidate’s time is just as valuable as yours; if you don’t believe this, you shouldn’t be hiring.
High-value employees, especially those who are currently employed, have restrictions. Remember, you are recruiting them; give them reasons to join your team and make it easy for them to do so.
5. Have A Plan For Your Interview
You’ve written down what you are looking for, so have questions prepared to find out if the candidate meets those needs and to what degree. By now, you’ve reviewed the candidate’s resume and any background on them you could find, so don’t waste time on obvious questions. Drill down to the critical elements.
6. Provide Feedback
After the interview, tell the candidate what the next steps are and when they will occur. If you need something more from them, tell them about it and give them a deadline. Stick to your timeline, and treat all your applicants with respect and courtesy. Never forget that applicants (even those you don’t hire) are like potential customers and clients. By providing feedback and outlining the steps that follow, you enhance the professionalism of your company’s brand.
7. Make An Informed Decision
Know exactly why it is you don’t want to hire a candidate or why you want to move forward with them. If you are not certain about a candidate, ask them for a follow-up interview so you can focus on your specific concerns. If you can’t figure out what those concerns are, one of two things are at play:
• You haven’t truly defined the role.
• You haven’t asked the right questions.
In either case, have a plan before you bring them back. Seeing a candidate three or four times will not make then any better of a candidate. At this point, you are wasting your time and theirs.
8. Make A Formal Offer
This is actually the first step of the onboarding process. Have a template and use it. Be professional, be prepared to walk the candidate through the offer, and be ready to negotiate. The more you can create a positive, professional environment starting out, the more positive and productive the new hire is likely to be.
9. Have A Plan For Onboarding
Nothing leads to an employee’s failure faster than having them start without a plan in place. The new employee should feel welcomed, energized, and have all the tools they need on day one. They should understand the training program you have outlined for them, and it should be in writing. Employees who are onboarded in an organized, positive fashion have a significantly higher chance of success and tend to stay for longer tenures.
By Peter K. Murdock
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