When you own a business, you often start out by yourself. You are a stand-alone owner/employee/coffee maker and you alone are the person in charge of running, well, everything! The time comes, though, when you expand your business and you want to move out of the spare room and into an office, opening up jobs in your company for others. Firstly, this is a terrifying thought for a newbie business owner. Bringing on new people means having to give a little piece of your company to them and trusting them with that piece. It means not micromanaging every single aspect of your business and trusting that the people you hire are going to do a good enough job for you. Secondly, hiring is a tough process. You may own your company and you may be hiring people to come and work for you, but it can be intimidating to have to do the process yourself. Writing down on paper the qualities that you need from another human being, and then lining them up to judge them – that’s intimidating!
Employers have a type of bias when it comes to bringing in new people to their company. You, as an entrepreneur, will want to hire someone who has a personality that gels with your own. That’s natural. The important thing to remember, though, is while personality does count for something, qualifications and experience count more. Where you can, you must remain as objective as possible in your hiring process, and this is potentially going to be your biggest challenge during the process itself. Eliminating the bias can prevent discrimination and also making the wrong choice. You could meet and want to bring on the most dynamic future employee who has the best charm and personality about them, but they may not be able to sell a bandage to someone with a gaping wound. You need to be clear about what you want from the people that you hire, and you need to make your hiring process as fool proof as possible.
People are a resource and the most important part of a company is the people that you hire. You need passionate, excited and motivated individuals on board with you to help you to take your company to the heights that you have always envisioned. How in depth you get with your particular process is going to depend on the nature of the work that you have on offer. You may have a role that requires a drug test before you hire someone, and everyone you decide to hire should always have a background check before their start date. You should clearly define your requirements for the role so that you can have a transparent hiring process all round. When you write down what you want from an employee, you need to decide on the qualities that you want to look for without discouraging people from applying for the job. It can be rather like hiring a needle in a haystack when it comes to finding the perfect employee to come on board with you. It can be so tempting to get on the phone and grab a recruitment agency to do the whole hiring process for you, but why pay for that type of service when you can do it yourself? So, how can you have a hiring process that will bring you the cream of the crop of applicants? Every single stage of hiring in a new employee is as important as the next one.
Plan Your Time Frame
You can’t hire anyone without the right plan. You need to set yourself a timeframe to hire someone. Let’s say that you’re bringing on someone to run your marketing team for you, this is a possible four or five people that you need to hire overall. You’re hiring a manager and you need to know how long you can wait for the candidate before things get a little desperate. The whole point of this process is to bring on someone to lighten your own workload. Obviously, you don’t want to stick to an exact day, but it would work very well if you brought someone on as soon as possible. Also, the interview process can be delayed due to background checks and drug testing taking some time. If you give yourself a personal deadline, such as the ideal job start date, you can feel a sense of urgency and encourage motivation. Hiring a new candidate can take up to eight weeks to complete, so don’t feel like the process is dragging on. A slower hiring process doesn’t always mean that you are going to attract the best candidates out there for the job you have available. Be very careful, as well, about how many stages you want. Assessment testing, telephone interviewing and panel interviews make for a busy process – don’t put people off with a huge list of hoops to jump through.
Advertise The Role
When you are putting a job advertisement together, you need to think about what you want from the job itself. Be clear about your requirements in the description itself and highlight the capabilities in the person that you require. You should also detail the salary in the description. Many people would think that this is distasteful, but it’s just a fact that people will check out the hours and salary of a role before putting their time in to apply. No one wants to put the effort into interviewing for a position only to find out that it’s not right money-wise.
Assess The Applications
The one thing that you need to do in the process is eliminate the applicants that aren’t right for your company. Sift through the applications and the resumes that you receive in response to your job advertisement and make three categories. You need to sort them out by: experience, qualifications and the ones that catch your eye. You can use your judgement here, but this shouldn’t be too difficult a process. Narrowing down your first stage to about twenty candidates is the first thing to do, and then from there you…
This can be as many stages as you need it to be, but interviewing your candidates is crucial. You need to speak to those twenty candidates and ask a specific list of questions on the phone to them first. The first interview on the phone should not – in any way – replicate any further interviews. It should be a quick ten-minute phone call to ascertain what the applicant is looking for in the role altogether. The next step; the face-to-face interview, should be the interview where you get more in depth. The telephone conversation that you have with each applicant should narrow you down to ten candidates and you can gauge a lot from a candidate just by speaking to them on the phone. From there, you can start scheduling meetings. You need to ensure that these interviews are convenient for you and your candidates. Hold the face-to-face part of the process in a neutral room and try not to intimidate the candidates you’ve met. Make sure that you keep your questions to the description of the job and you ask the same questions for every interviewee. This should narrow you down to three candidates after this. You can choose to go for it and choose the right person, or you could bring in the three finalists for…
Trial + Checks
A lot of companies offer unpaid trial days when they cannot decide on who to hire. Bring in your prospective candidates for a trial day each before you make any bold decisions. Give each candidate the same task for each day and you can assess how they work and how their minds solve a problem. Don’t be afraid to let them go and do the task without management, as you can see how they would act and react to situations. Once you’ve done these days, you can send off forms for references for the candidates that you think are promising. Ask about their work ethic and whether they had the right attitude in their job.
Lastly, you choose the one person that you want to bring on board to work with you. Write out a plan for benefits and the salary that you want to offer and list the perks of the role that you want to add on. Think about what you would want from the job and what you hope to achieve with your offer. Do you want someone to feel as if they’re appreciated and happy? You need to figure out your benefits based on the personality of your new hire and make them feel appreciated by the effort that you’ve gone to.
Your hiring process won’t always be the same as every other company out there, but it will be one that gets you what you want. If it doesn’t run the way that you want it to, then you need to change it up for next time and learn from the process.