Top 10 Hiring Tips

One of the most important processes for any management team to master is the art of strategic hiring.  Your human resources are your best assets and can also be your demise. Here are ten tips on how to pick the best possible candidate:

  1. Assess your current team-  A work team is like a small community. When thinking about adding another element to that community make sure to take stock of what you already have. Make sure that you know what assets you already have, and make sure that you are utilizing them to their full potential. Once you do this it should be clearer what you are in need of.  No community needs five comedy clubs and no hospitals, or vice-versa.  If you create a team of individuals that complement each other, instead of having to compete with each other for a living, then they can each place all of their focus can on providing great service and growing the business.
  2. Assess your HR policies- If you are in a company that has to use an HR department for hiring, make sure that their standards and your standards match up, and that they are tapping all relevant industry resources to find you the best person. Even if sometimes you and HR butt heads, everyone can agree the most damaging thing to a business is an unqualified or ineffective employee. Yet it is usually much MUCH harder to fire someone than to hire them.
  3. Do not hire a best friend!- Some people believe that you should hire someone you would like to have a beer with… I advise against that. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t like who you hire. I’m just saying that if you are trying to hire someone to make a friend, you will have difficulty managing them objectively, and that leads to major problems.
  4. Be honest about room to grow- Do not tell people there is room for advancement if there is not. Be completely clear about the chain of command within your organization  A new job is an important life choice, and it is better to have all parties start out with a clean and clear slate. This will lead to much less ill will down the road.
  5. Make your position desirable for more than just money-  An attractive starting salary is great in the beginning, but after the first six months it becomes the new normal… and sights start to be set higher. Any great employee you find will likely be upwardly mobile. This means they will strive hard for your success and their own, and make sure you are offering other benefits, such as training, networking, community outreach, and promotion opportunities.
  6. Be honest about your time requirements/restrictions-If you are looking for only part time be clear about that. And if you are looking for someone that you need over 60 hrs a week be clear about that. There is no benefit to hiring someone that can not meet your needs. There is always someone out there who can!
  7. Do a background check (I mean the references)- I am not suggesting doing financial background checks, or even criminal for that matter. I am suggesting that you take the time to fully check out your applicants’ references. It is true that people are not supposed to tell you if someone has been fired (which I find absurd) , but you can gain a lot of info by tone and pauses. And also if someone has listed all friends and no former bosses. If something feels wonky follow that instinct. It will save you loads of headaches later on.
  8. Never hire a band-aid- Make sure you are always hiring the best qualified person, even if that leaves you short staffed for a few more weeks than you would like. The wrong hire could hurt your business much worse than a smaller crew of solid employees.
  9. Make sure they are compatible with your clientele- You should know the core clientele of your business, and make sure your new hire is compatible with them. Some people look great on paper, but do not translate well into the actual work environment.  This is also what your 90 days are for. If someone just is not the right fit, cut your losses before this time is up.
  10. Create a questionnaire that includes scenarios of your business’ biggest challenges- Make sure you create some questions that are specific to your business and its unique challenges, and really listen to the answers you are getting. If these scenarios seem out of the person’s grasp, they may not be the best fit. However, if they come up with creative solutions that you may not have considered, that may be your best possible fit.
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