One of the most frequent topics that comes up in my conversations with business owners and managers is the challenge of finding the right employee. Landing a great employee is tough, but for a lot of people I talk to they’re even struggling to find employees who will show up. Having had many conversations about this topic, I’d like to share a few of my thoughts on improving your hiring process.
Be Intentional in Your Hiring Process
This is so simple – but so important. Too often, the hiring process at most businesses is very reactionary. We are all busy, and unless we have an immediate need to hire someone, we rarely think about hiring. But having a good team in place is crucial for your business. Imagine if you were proactive about keeping an eye out for great employees. Put a process in place for constant recruiting and building lists of possible candidates. Then, when you have a position open, you have a short list of qualified people from which to start your search. Just like building a pipeline of clients, be intentional in your hiring process – and build a pipeline of potential employees.
Focus on what you can offer to the job applicant
In today’s tight job market, to get the best people you need to stand out from your competition (who are also trying to hire the best people). Beyond providing the basics – salary and competitive benefits – understand what is important to the type of people you’re looking to hire. And then, when you have someone you’re interested in, work to understand what they want beyond salary and benefits. Many people are choosing jobs for other reasons – flexibility, a sense of purpose or the ability to telecommute, for example. People thrive on being part of a great culture or a great team. And if you offer that to them, you’ll have the upper hand when they choose an employer. Ask yourself – “Why do my employees want to work with me?” If the answer is just pay and benefits, then they will likely leave when your competition offers them better pay and benefits. But if you offer them something more – intangible things that go beyond money – you are offering them more value. And employees tend to choose and stay with employers who value them.
Look for the best person for your company and the job
As a manager, I think this is the key – the difference between making a big hiring mistake or scoring a huge win for your organization. To be the best, you have to have the best team. It’s a mistake to quickly find a “body” to fill a position. Do they share the values of your organization? Are they the right fit? Will they give 100% in the position? Will they be loyal? Unless you have a bona fide emergency, it’s always a better idea to be thorough and take your time. Make sure you find the best person for the job. There’s an old adage that says successful people look to hire people better than themselves.
The hiring process can be long and frustrating. When you have an open position, everyone else has to work a little harder. So the temptation is to hire someone as quickly as possible. But hiring someone and then having to fire them will cost you a lot more time and money than taking your time and hiring the best person the first time around.
So as you work to ensure you have the best team in place, remember that the job market is tight right now. Companies are competing for the best people. Think about your hiring practices and how they stack up against your competition. And if you’d like to discuss hiring processes, or just swap some “hiring nightmare stories” (and there are a lot of them) stop by the office and let’s chat.