Monday February 23, 2015
Unless you’re just a one-person operation, ya gotta have employees. That can be scary. After all, you’re trusting your vision, your resources, your reputation, your customers, and your future to people who may or may not do as you would. The right hire can make your vision come true; the wrong one can turn it into a nightmare. Here are 7 steps to take to hire the best, and avoid the rest.
1. Develop Your Employment Brand. While your marketing brand defines your employment brand, your employment brand will attract the right people to deliver on your marketing brand. They overlap in a huge way. If your employment brand is too generic with nothing that sets you apart from every other organization that offers the same things (health insurance, holidays, paid time off), you’ll get resumes by generic applicants. An employment brand that is as unique and innovative as your marketing brand will set your employment opportunities apart for those who get your mission, see your vision, and live your values.
2. Advertise strategically. Too many companies place job ads that look more like tired job descriptions. Would you advertise your product or service that way? Make your job ads as compelling as your product or service advertisements. And just as you wouldn’t spend money on product advertisements in media outlets that are irrelevant to your potential customers, place your job ads in the right venues to get attention by the right kinds of people. That may or may not include internet job boards or print media. Where you put it, and how you say it, are key to attracting the best candidates who will fit your organization.
3. Sell Your Culture. Every company has a culture, either by intention or by default. It’s caused by everything you do, say, promote, or allow. Know your culture. Redefine it if necessary. Then use it to attract the kind of people who like that kind of culture. Use you mission, vision, values, intollerables, nuances, perks, and people to make it clear who will thrive in your organization. And who won’t.
4. Screen. If you’ve established bogus qualifications – like a degree for a position that doesn’t really need one, or an excessive number of years of experience – you’ll eliminate some great candidates. If you focus only on skills, you’ll eliminate some of the best. You should screen based on qualifications and skill. But more importantly, you should screen based on fit to your organization. Don’t waste candidates’ time – or yours – if they don’t demonstrate the passion, behaviors, preferences, or attitudes that mark your best team members; the ones you wish you could replicate.
5. Enlist Your Team. Your best employees don’t want to work with people who won’t pull their own weight, who are toxic to the environment, or who don’t fit. Whether you merely ask your Front Desk person to size up candidates based on how they treat him or her, or you create team interviews, your people will see things you don’t. Empower your team members, include them in the process, enlist their help, and engage them in helping find the next great employee. You’ve got to make the final call, but by including your team you will you make better decisions, you will get buy in into the decision and you will enhance morale by being inclusive.
6. The Interview. This is the point that the process flips. Now rather than you selling your opportunity, the applicant gets to sell him/herself to you and your team. You use interviewing skills all the time for real life decision making. When you make a major purchase or select a service provider, you have a lot of questions for the person selling the product or service. Use those same skills to find out more about the applicant. The best kind of interview will use yes/no questions and general inquiries for basics, but then move to questions that will tell you how the person has actually performed… and will perform for you.
7. Demonstration. Consider this part of the selection process the audition. Make applicants prove themselves. Use role play, demonstration, and tests, based on your real life scenarios of the kinds of crazy things employees in the position could encounter. Need a salesperson? Make them sell you something. Need a writer? Make applicants draft a letter on a sensitive subject. This is your chance not only to see what they can do, but how they would do it. This is where you get to see how they think, how they react, and what their real values are.
There’s a lot to each of these steps. Open Door HR Solutions helps organizations create an enviable employment brand, as well as tailored strategies to find and select the best employees. We also help organizations make needed changes when they’ve made a bad hire…