Your business has grown to the point where your current team is no longer enough to manage all the work that needs to be done. Now it’s time to start hiring additional staff in order to reach your goals. But how can you be sure you employ the right candidates, and place them in the right positions?
Here are a few tips to help you navigate the flood of resumes and land up with a successful hire:
Hire for personality, not for skills
Whilst certain jobs (such as engineering, programming, or accounting) depend on certain skills or qualifications, many positions in a small business environment are much less skills-dependent than you may think. Almost any skill can be taught, but personality can’t .
Businesses run on their internal culture and yours is no exception. Culture depends on people’s personality and chemistry. Therefore, given two people with similar qualifications, you should always seek to hire the person who has the better personality and who better fits your company culture. Overall, you’ll find that the large majority of bad hires are bad because they did not have the right personality for the job.
Similarly, you should not hire resumes. It’s often smart to hire candidates who may not have direct experience but who have the right personality for do the job. For example, an organised, linear person can be an excellent choice for project management or a social, creative person for marketing, even if they have little experience in that precise position.
To boost productivity, training and development programs can teach staff new skills or provide updates on old ones. Similarly, employers can train new employees by pinpointing to the knowledge and skills they want their employees to have.
With the exception of certain technical positions, you’ll often find that you can train a person to do any job provided they are the right type of person to start with.
Fish where the fish are
Rather than depending on job search sites, try and figure out where the best candidates for your position would be spending their free time, either physically or on the Internet.
- For technical talent, consider going to a local computer meet up or ‘hackathon.’
- For sales talent, look at trade shows, where you can see how they deal with customers.
- If you need someone who has talent or experience in a niche, check meetup.com to see if there’s a meeting in that field happening in your area.
- Conferences can also be a wonderful place to attract talent — you can go there to pitch your business in a much more conversational fashion.
- Finally consider referrals. If you have a few highly talented staffers, already then ask them to refer someone to the position, perhaps with a cash bonus if you hire based on their information. Quality people tend to know other quality people.
Be open about the details
As a rule, people try to avoid talking about money, but you need to be open when it comes to salary questions. The last thing you want is to locate someone who’s an ideal fit for the job only to find you’ll have to pay an additional $10,000 to bring them on board.
Similarly, if you need a Confidentiality Agreement or a Non-Disclosure Agreement, you should make it clear at some point that they will be expected to keep things in confidence. In general, the terms ‘Confidentiality Agreement’ and ‘Non-Disclosure Agreement’ are used interchangeably in Australia, but if you require them for your business, it’s worth looking into the details.
Look for people who are better than you
Never hire numbskulls. A good manager always looks for people who are better than themselves — hiring these kinds of people is the best way to bring your business to the next level. Your company is only as good as your team, and a mediocre team means a mediocre business.
Take a thorough approach to the hiring process
Recruiting new talent is always a process; you should make a point of following all the steps. Do interviews, give people a preview of the job (let them sit with you or your staff to see what you actually do), and — very important — check their references.
The unfortunate reality is that people do lie on resumes and you should ask to speak with their previous manager. Do the reference checks yourself. It’s far better to find out about potential issues immediately than it is after they’ve cost you a bundle of money.
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