How to... hire the right people
July 21, 2014
A successful company is built through a good core staff of hardworking and talented individuals, working as a team to deliver results. It's a fine balance and one which can easily be disrupted if the wrong people are brought into the equation.
Just a single poor hire could cost your company an important business deal. That's why it's so vital to get the right people on board and dodge the bad eggs.
Here's how to pick the diamond in the rough instead of the fool's gold:
1. Evaluate your current staff
If you're looking to take on some new blood, the first step should always be to look inside the organisation and evaluate what you already have.
This will enable you to identify what (and who) is working, as well as the things that aren't working quite as you'd like them to be. Once this is established it will be much easier to draw up a list of criteria based on what's already succeeding in your business.
2. Target the best
A good job advertisement is absolutely crucial to attracting the best candidates. It's important to create a buzz with a well-written job description that portrays the role in a positive light.
The best ads are so much more than just dull lists of duties; they should highlight why the position is so important to the company and indicate the areas in which the successful candidate will be able to develop professionally.
3. Pay attention to the CV, but not too much
In a situation where you have lots of applicants, shortlisting on the basis of experience and qualifications is a necessity due to time constraints. But once you're down to the interview stage, the CV should become less important.
If you can spot tremendous potential in someone but they don't have a specific skill you need, it may be lucrative in the long run for you to invest in training them rather than going for someone who has the skill already but isn't likely to add much else to the business.
4. Be skeptical
One flaw interviewers often have is being too nice. It's natural to want to like the person who you have asked to come for an interview and lead them into giving you all the answers you want to hear, but it's important to resist that urge.
We're not saying you need to give your candidate the grilling of a lifetime and risk scaring them off, but a little skepticism in an interview is never a bad thing.
5. Focus on personality
It's a good idea to invite other members of your staff - especially those who will be managing or working closely with the new starter - into the interview.
The candidate may well have all the credentials but if they can't get on with the rest of the team then there's no hope of the hire being a success.
6. Be honest
Another area where a new hire can fall down is when there is a miscommunication in terms of expectations. It's of paramount importance to be clear about what you expect the candidate to achieve if you hire them.
You'd expect all your staff to be honest with you, so it's only fair that you tell any new starters the whole story before they sign on the dotted line.
7. Make a good offer
Nobody wants to pay over the odds for someone who they're not sure about, but if you're happy that the candidate sitting before you is the person who will add value to your business, then it could be worth spending a bit extra to get them to commit.
While it's important to have predefined limits so you don't blow the company wage structure, outstanding potential should be rewarded with performance-based increases and bonuses.