Covering bases: How to consistently hire the best and brightest

Covering Bases: hiring the right people

If your business is looking to succeed at any scale you will need to attract and then retain the the best employees. Employing the right people with the best available skill sets and motivations are what will drive your business forward.

If you want to make sure you hire the best people, you need to take time to think through and plan out how to approach the hiring process. That is exactly what we’re going to discuss today, so read on to find out more.

UNDERSTAND WHO YOU ARE TRYING TO HIRE

This is obviously the most important aspect of the hiring process. One that is often overlooked, especially at larger organisations where the managers will often only interview one-two people with a flaky job description. They then formulate who they are attempting to hire, based around the applicants. This is a classic mistake to make. At smaller enterprises it can also be costly.

Instead, write a detailed job description. Understand the role specification, the key performance indicators and the desired outcome. Actually, start with the desired outcome. That can be defined as the motivation for hiring them. For example, with a sales role its easy state the desired outcome. You want the person to hit a sale target, generate new business and/or effectively manage customers. For other roles its also clear. If it is not, then ask yourself at this stage whether the hire is actually necessary. You owe that to yourself, your company, the team and to the future employee.

Once you have the role, specifications and tasks outlined then advertise the role. LinkedIn, job search engines and local boards will suffice. Do not waste time advertising offline. The return on investment and transparency of the adverts results are just not there.

DEEP QUESTIONS

When your business is in the process of hiring a new person, asking the right questions is vital. Try to ask searching questions that really test them and make them think, Questions where there is no definitive right or wrong answer. For example, ask a potential COO what their management style is. If they respond as saying its “adaptive” or words to that description its likely they have done a million interviews before or done an MBA and believe this is the correct answer. Sometimes it is! However, it also tells you something about the candidate.

Plan these questions ahead of time depending on what the role is you’re looking to fill. What do you really want to find out about them?

How are you going to get to the answers that’ll help you judge whether they’re a good fit or not?

LOOK FOR SIGNS OF GROWTH

You should always look for signs that the people you’re thinking of hiring are ready to grow or that they’re already on a path of growth and improvement. When people are ready to move on up, you’ll be getting a person who’s on an upward trajectory and not someone who’s already jaded and on their career’s decline, which is probably not what you want.

GET HELP WITH HIRING

There are lots of companies out there that are focused on offering hiring services. They often specialise in particular sectors and help companies like yours find employees who are the right fit for them within a particular niche. For example, there are container unloader hire companies that do this hiring work for you and plenty of others operating in other niche areas.

BE OPEN TO NON-TRADITIONAL BACKGROUNDS AND WORK HISTORIES

You should always be willing to consider people who possibly don’t fit the ideal vision you had in your head. People are complex and people’s lives are unique. So if someone has taken an unconventional path in their career, that shouldn’t mean that you simply dismiss them. They could have all the skills and creativity you’re looking for so not considering them would be a missed opportunity.

MOTIVATION

Understand the motivations of the candidate. What drives them both professionally, and personally. Try to see past the headline quote and understand more about whether they work to live, or live to work. Motivation is often a good gauge as to proficiency and willingness to learn.

PSYCHOMETRIC TESTING

Business owners should not be scared of testing potential employees both in terms of character and in terms of aptitude for a particular position.

With character, the tests can help you decide whether the interviewee will be a good fit; and enable you to better prognosticate whether they will be happy working for the business.

With skill set and aptitude, the test should always be controlled. Many start-ups in the tech, management consulting and financial services sectors insist on potential employees sitting rudimentary tests as part of the hiring process. The tests narrow down what can often be a highly competitive field and are more often used with first job, or more junior positions. Roles where perhaps the candidate is unproven in the marketplace.

LEARN TO SPOT POTENTIAL

One of the most important parts of the hiring process is learning to spot people who have real potential and something to offer in their careers. Potential is not easy to spot, but you’ll get good at finding it if you put in the work and really think about your approach to hiring. With experience, you’ll come to know what real potential looks like.

Hiring the right people is one of the biggest challenges you face when you’re running a business and looking to grow it sustainably. Take the time to consider all your options and ensure you choose people based on what they’re able to offer and contribute to the business going forward.

Finally, it is always worth remembering that confidence does not always equal competence. Indeed, confidence can be merely a front. Most CEO’s and entrepreneurs within the digital ecosystem are introverts. Most sales directors and managers are extroverts.

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