As a business owner, you have no doubt experienced this nightmare scenario; an empty chair. Either a team member has resigned or you have created a new position within the organisation that will help you grow and better serve your customers.
Here’s a thought, how many business owners do you know that have formally studied the art of recruiting talent?
The first intent of most entrepreneurs is usually to hire fast but which recruiting technique do you usually apply:
- Rushing to fill the post as quickly as possible. This might solve the “empty chair” predicament but you could spend the next five years regretting it
- Hiring that walk-on-water graduate that is ridiculously over-skilled for the position, but then has zero experience in the position
- Pause, plan, and follow a clear process to ensure you find the perfect person that is going to add significant value to your business
The last option sounds like the obvious choice right, but how often do business owners get this so very wrong?
Below are some key tips to help refine your hiring process:
KNOW WHO YOU ARE LOOKING FOR
Draft a clear job description so that you will know the right candidate when you meet them. Apart from the standard roles and responsibilities, define clear KPI’s by which the person’s progress will be monitored. Cross-check them against the (updated) company organisation chart to ensure no overlap/omissions
LOOK IN THE RIGHT PLACES
The right candidate is out there, but the best people are usually “Looking but not looking” –other words, they may leave their current job but only for a company that speaks more to their core values, goals or personal growth. Make sure your advertising and wording is compelling. Would it make friends/family of a candidate forward it on to them?
Your time is precious – don’t waste it on excessive one-to-one interviews. Using the telephone for pre-screening and first-stage interviews can leverage significant hours in your day. Save even more time by using group/panel interviews, meeting three to four candidates simultaneously.
Talk about the future, more than the now. Great people want to work for great companies – share your personal vision and your vision of how your business will look in 20 years’ time and the impact it will have.
Have you come up with a method to test the candidates’ skills prior to hiring? The purpose of this is to test if the candidate can deliver what their CV says they can.
Aside from skill-based testing, using psychometric tests like DISC profiling can be a great way to break a tie between your shortlisted candidates.
A basic that is too often overlooked. Are you also taking references from the employers not listed on the CV? If you do want to investigate extra references not listed, it’s always polite to ask permission first. If the candidate is not open to you contacting anyone else they have previously worked for, that might warrant further discussions. Don’t settle for one positive reference or give up on one negative. Digging a little (and checking social media channels) can uncover a lot of useful insight.
A great acid test is to invite your shortlisted employee to a team lunch or, better yet, an evening meal. At this level, it’s easy to witness social etiquette, drinking/language habits, and to meet the person’s partner. Incredible what you learn about people when loosened up, or from their significant other.
Do you set your team up for success or failure once they join? A proper induction plan (often check listed) and calendar of review sessions, will help you onboard any recruit faster – before you inflict him/her on your clients.
Drop us a line for a free guide to ActionCOACH’s “Four-Hour Recruitment Process”.
Trevor Clark, ActionCOACH Business Coach