Just as in your love life, you may have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find the right prince for you. The same is true in business; you may have to try out a few employees before you find the right fit for your organization.
After running a successful business for more than 25 years, I can relate to the struggles of finding the right person for each open position. In the process I’ve learned a few tricks.
I’d like to share my top 10 hiring tips:
Detailed job description
Most importantly, have a well-written, detailed job posting outlining exact requirement— the skills, the demands, the work load, the expectations of the position, etc. Make sure that you include not only the “fun” or “exciting” tasks, but also the sometimes harder-to-swallow tasks. Will they be dealing with customers complaints, working after hours, or on-call as needed? Be sure the applicant can meet all of your basic requirements and goes into the position with eyes wide open or you may find yourself searching for a new employee after a few weeks.
You have to be honest with yourself and the interviewee. Ask for others on your team or even outside of your business to help you assess candidates and what you really need. Make sure you interview a candidate more than once; if the position is phone-heavy, implement a phone interview. If they’re going to be working in the field, take them out on a work interview to see how they perform.
Not only are the technical skills important, but also know what personality will thrive in the open position. So often, we try to make the person in need of a job fit the position. As a business professional, you must stop thinking that way. You have to find the best match, even if that means waiting a week or two or more.
We’re all in business to be successful. This means finding the best person for the open position is imperative. It will save you time, money, stress and sometimes even your company’s reputation. Several bad hires can be more costly than holding out for the right person. It’s better to spend money on the right candidate from the beginning than hiring someone with less experience or less qualified because they’ll work for less money. You often lose more money while training a new individual than you would have spent hiring the right person.
Do they play nice in the sandbox?
If the position requires they work with several other individuals in your organization, make sure they can get along and work together. If they will be working alongside your customer base, ensure they’ll be able to represent the company well. Some individuals don’t take direction well; some have a hard time working with members of the opposite sex. And some have a hard time working with the same sex because they feel a sense of competition (maybe they’re shy). Finding someone that is easy to work with is key to your businesses success.
Some skills are not transferable
Just because your friend answered the phone for a doctor’s office doesn’t mean he or she is really qualified to work in an insurance claims office as a customer service representative. Think of how different the environments are — maybe it’s the demand of the calls, the need to multitask differently or the speed at which the calls are coming.
Know their weaknesses
All applicants have strengths and weaknesses. As I mentioned before, go into an interview with your eyes wide open. Can your company work with the individual’s weaknesses? It may be something easy to overcome, or it could be detrimental to your organization.
Establish a trial period
Try a temp agency first. Some hires feel right, some interviews are strong, but two weeks later, you wonder what happened to the person you interviewed. By using a temp agency, they can take on the burden of up-front hiring costs and HR paperwork that takes more time away from your business. If the temp agency sends someone that isn’t a strong fit, personalities clash or the work ethic is off, you can stop working with them fast and painlessly.
Do your due diligence
Protect your company’s assets, and have background checks done on every single candidate — even if you’ve known them for 30 years. You have to know you can trust them. Especially in my industry, we are in and out of people’s homes on a daily basis. I need to know my employees have done nothing in their past that would give me cause for concern now.
When interviewing candidates under 25 years old, it’s important to recognize they were raised in a technology-heavy generation. They may be more comfortable communicating via text or social media than face-to-face. They probably enjoy and thrive in group environments more than your older employees do. Don’t write them off too quick; they may need a little more help understanding their role in the company, but they can bring a lot to the table if you give them a voice.