Are you hiring the best talent for the job or the one you like the most? Hiring the right person is a time-consuming task . It’s easy to daydream about hiring that ideal job candidate, but it’s often challenging to find that person – unless you apply some rules to your hiring process.
As a business owner or manager, you know that hiring the wrong person is the most costly mistake you can make . If we want our companies to grow, thrive, and succeed we absolutely must hire the right person for the job from the get-go.
“If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.” — Chinese Proverb Click To Tweet
The cost of onboarding an employee is about $240,000 in the US, and the true cost of a bad hire is at least 30% of that employee’s first-year earnings.
ImportantBecause the wrong person could put a significant dent in your revenue, it’s essential to make the right choice from the start.
Small businesses without billions in revenue really need to nail every hire. While a billionaire can take the hit of a bad employee and move on, the wrong hire at the wrong time can tank a promising startup . Founders, more than anyone, need to hire the right person on the first try.
WarningMost recruiters are aware of the red flags they should watch out for in candidates: showing up late, trash talking a past employer, excessively vague answers, etc. But we don’t seem to talk about “green flags” as much — indications that a candidate is perfect for the job .
One of the biggest issue is that there are a lot of things resumes can’t tell you about a candidate —like whether he’s the type of person you want to work with or whether he’ll fit in with your company’s style.
Honestly, I think resumes are a waste of time.
Wonder whether a candidate you have in the pipeline is the right fit? Here are some tips for finding the best talents for your business without relying solely on a piece of paper or virtual profile.
Check references as if your business depended on it. Ask candidates to provide references who have already agreed to talk about them in detail. When you contact the references, describe what your organization is like and the skills you’ve defined as absolutely crucial for the job.
ImportantBe SPECIFIC in what you need and what you want – It’s absolutely critical to define the job and to determine what type of person will be successful at this job before you do anything else. Consider making an avatar of your ideal candidate that you can compare applicants to and reference throughout the process.
“Dating and hiring have a lot in common.” — Scott Wintrip Click To Tweet
You want to make sure you’re using these contacts to their fullest potential to get the information you want. For example, you’ll ask references about the candidate’s work performance, but you also can ask how he or she interacted with the rest of the staff, and if he or she participated in any external activities, such as softball or volunteering.
Think of what matters to you and your company culture, and use that as a guide for questions. Use the past as a roadmap for the future !
ImportantIt’s not just about verifying past employment history—it’s about understanding how they work, and who they are as a coworker and an employee . This involves vetting their references and asking pertinent questions to get an idea of their capabilities and work ethic.
Fact-checkingTo get as holistic a sense as possible of your potential employee from their references, I recommend asking if you can see samples of previous work as part of your reference check.
Don’t Hyperfocus On Their Past
While it’s important to thoroughly screen potential candidates, there’s a difference between making sure you get a solid sense of the work style and capabilities of your candidate, and diving too deeply into the minutiae. You should have open-ended questions that are relevant to the position to see how they answer and work through the process, Hire people for their future potential, too—not just their past achievements.
Don’t Hire Alone
While you may think that you’ve found the world’s perfect employee, always get a second opinion from other people on your team before you offer them the job.
Prepare in advance with your teammates : Who will ask about different aspects of the candidate’s history, expertise and aspirations and how will you evaluate the answers? Specifically ask colleagues to look for the crucial matches of skill, experience and cultural fit. Their assessments will help balance and complement yours .
“You cannot teach employees to smile. They have to smile before you hire them.” – Arte Nathan Click To Tweet
Listening to other colleagues’ opinions can help to look at a candidate in different ways . They sometimes make you aware of things you are not aware of. Furthermore, allowing a candidate to meet his future team members and giving them an opportunity to interact with each other will give everyone the chance to find out whether the chemistry between them is good or bad.
Clearly, the standard interview process isn’t always the best way to uncover whether or not your potential candidate is the best fit for the role you need to fill. Realistically, you need to do a bit more to determine if a candidate will fit in with your other team members, and your workplace culture as a whole.
It allows key stakeholders the opportunity to give feedback on the candidate.
ImportantGet feedback from people who weren’t in the interview. This is a great way to involve the team in the hiring decision. But, it’s also important to get feedback from those who interacted with the candidate outside of the interview.
Pret-a-manger, the high-street sandwich and coffee business, has a very effective way in finding the right team members. The candidate will be invited to an “Experience Day” which allows both parties (the jobseeker and the company) to check each other out. At the end of this one-day event the whole team has a say in whether a candidate will be offered a job and taken aboard or not.
Feel The Passion
Don’t forget the “PASSION” factor! You can sense their enthusiasm . It’s not just about what a candidate says — it’s about how they say it.
ImportantThe right candidate should be just as interested in your company as your company is in them, and if you can see the enthusiasm in their body language and excitement in their voice, it’s a great sign.
“People are not your most important asset. The right people are.” – Jim Collins Click To Tweet
In Work Rules! author Laszlo Bock explains the interview process at Google in great detail and how, too often, we interview for the wrong things — what candidates look like on paper instead of how they will fit into the company culture. We can do a better job of filling positions by looking for talents who not only have the chops to do the work, but have a true heart for the company’s mission .
You will want employees who care about their work, and will want to do it for a while.
If you want a stellar employee that produces great results and takes your company to new levels, then they are going to have to be committed to the company . In the interview process, you need to make sure that this person has a strong desire to be immersed in your company and not just looking for a paycheck.
If your company is focused on certain values, then make sure this person is in line with those values or your overall company purpose.
ImportantI would always choose the more passionate person if all the other requirements are equal . I am a strong believer that someone who is passionate does not need to be motivated and is a self starter and that can give a person a very powerful edge.
Bring Ideas To The Table
Talents also need to be forward-thinking and show what they could specifically bring to the role. For example, when you ask the person how would they handle something, the individual responds with a great idea that your organization hadn’t thought of before. This great idea is one that your company could implement right away, adding value from day one. That makes the person a great candidate because he/she is already in the mindset of contributing to the company.
Give Them Challenges
You should always do more than ask questions at the interview . But you will want to see how people perform on the job, rather than just have them tell you.
HacksFor example, if you’re hiring someone to answer phones, have candidates answer a mock phone call and see how they do. If you’re looking for developers, have them refactor some code.
“Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do.” – Malcolm Forbes Click To Tweet
If the job consists of conceptual, knowledge or managerial work, hold an in-depth discussion of a real work topic or situation with a group of team members or a couple of your advisors to see how the final candidates interact, share opinions and express disagreement in a potentially uncomfortable situation.
If the try-out requires the candidate to do research and preparation, pay him or her for the time or delivery as if you were hiring this person to do a small project; it’s a small expense to pay to weed out someone who talks a good game but can’t do the work.
ImportantThe idea of giving candidates a project to do or a problem to solve isn’t so much about seeing their end result. It’s a smart way to determine how they develop processes and how they go about finding solutions .
You have to give the candidate an opportunity to prove their value.
FactsEven though Musk strives to hire friendly people, he’s known for being an intimidating person to interview with. People say he’ll appear disinterested and ask short, pointed questions like “What makes you the right person to build my company? Why should I trust you?”. These are an opportunity for talents to pitch themselves and give an overarching statement on their ability to do the job.
Ensure that the hiring process isn’t difficult or boring. Try to engage the candidates and personalize the experience. Remember that this is their first impression of your company. Make the experience fun for the candidate! Engage. Talk. Laugh. You are much more likely to get accurate info about cultural fit and ability when the candidate is comfortable.
You must pay attention to the questions they ask . They often provide more insight than the actual interview. All great candidates should have questions about the job, your company, and the culture. This shows preparedness and engagement—always a good sign.
Another sign that the candidate you’ve found is the one is if the interview was painless for both of you — it felt like more of a conversation, not an interrogation.
Important Hire for personality, not for skill . Personalities are hard to change, but skills can be learned. If you hire the right personality for the job, it’s easy to teach them the skills they need to be successful.
“If you think it is expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire and amateur.” – Red Adair Click To Tweet
They have thoughtful questions prepared for you and seemed deeply interested in the company culture, learning about your experience working at the company, and you both seemed to click during the conversation .
If you’re looking forward to working with them before you’ve even hired them, this is a great sign that they will fit in.
ImportantWhen a candidate has a genuine, authentic desire to join your company, because their personal values align with your culture, the potential is limitless . Everything else can be taught.
Speak Less, Listen More
Answering questions well during an interview is a crucial part of the hiring process but listening to the jobseeker’s questions can also tell you a lot about the person. You have to assess your candidates by asking yourself: Did the person have any questions at all? If so, how many questions? How much research did a candidate make to come up with really smart questions?
Billionaires don’t have time to waste on bad hires . They want people who can come in and start making a difference on the first day. Only by weeding out the wrong fits and identifying the real innovators can you create stronger teams.
ImportantThe next time you’re looking to hire, think beyond the resume. Resumes are great for providing a list of (potentially exaggerated) skills, but building a successful team requires more than a list of traits on paper.
The best candidate should have the most necessary skills but also have the potential to grow and be a culture fit for your team .
“Do not hire anyone you would not want to run into in the hallway at three in the morning.” – Tina Fey Click To Tweet
ImportantOnce you find the ideal candidate, don’t let them get away! Offer them an offer they can’t refuse ! If you’ve taken the time to truly find the right candidate, this one should be a no-brainer!
The people you hire can make or break your company . Hire right the first time and everything else will fall into place. Now get out there and start hiring!
Are you ready to start the process of hiring your first talent? What sticking points are you running into?
Let me know how you’re handling the hiring process by sharing this article on Facebook or Twitter and adding a note about your experience.
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.
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