Hiring quickly can be a costly mistake. Finding the right people takes time but the right people will result in much more success. If you have read Jim Collin’s book “Good to Great” you know about how companies become great companies. Collins surveyed companies and found that their greatness was not due to a special sauce or a great product but rather because of the people in the organization. It all starts with high quality, high performing employees. Collins refers to this as getting the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.
Many companies find that selecting and hiring of the right employee is a daunting task. Some people just hire anyone who applies or, at best, may ask a few quick questions before making an offer.
Before accepting an application or advertising you should have a clear description of duties for the prospective new hire. Know exactly what you need. What are the duties required? What behaviors are required such as ability to work well with others? What are the physical requirements such as lifting or working in the outdoors, or traveling? What is the desired experience level? And what reasoning ability is required?
Now that you have spelled out what you require, you should also spell out why a person would want to work for your company. List all of the benefits and opportunities that you offer. You may think that you are a small business and don’t have much to offer. Consider these things: flexible schedules, broader job responsibilities, a family feel, an entrepreneurial culture or the chance to learn new skills as the company grows. Obviously, structuring a competitive compensation package is critical.
Prior to interviewing candidates develop a strategy. Write down some questions. Use open ended questions that get the candidate to talk and become more relaxed with you. You want to try to understand how the candidate will behave as an employee. The best way to predict that is to find out how he or she handled situations in the past. Asking “behavior based” questions will help you predict how a candidate will act as your employee. For example, if you want to learn about how well he or she would work with others you might ask this question. “Tell me about a time when you were asked to work with a group of people on a project. How did you contribute to the end result? How did the group work as a team?” Your candidate will need to think and give a descriptive answer about his or her ability to contribute to a team.
Assessment tools are excellent and I highly recommend them. Assessment tools such as “DISC” and “Values” are used in selection to learn about a candidate’s behavioral style and motivational style.
Here is the bottom line. Your employees are your greatest asset. Select the best and then engage them and motivate them to do their best.
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