Indiana Jones looking for the Ark of the Covenant. Frodo’s embarking on a quest to destroy the Ring. Both tasks daunting in their own right, but not nearly as daunting as finding the next great employee. How do you begin the quest? How do you even begin to think about it?! How do find that one candidate that fits with your organization? Do you understand what type of employee fits with your organization? These questions, and more, swirl in the minds of many business owners, and are completely ignored by most. Without a hiring process, finding the next great employee becomes a crap shoot, or just dumb luck.
The hiring process is something that happens in between the everyday business activities. By taking the time to map the process in advance, you set your business and candidates up for success. It is vitally important to have your strategy planned and your path to hiring set before you embark on the quest to find the next great employee.
- Before Hiring – Do you have a clear understanding of what you want your culture to be? Will it be fun and loose or more serious and professional? Have a clear understanding of how the candidate will fit into your specific environment and how they will be evaluated against the requirements of the position. Make a list of the top ten characteristics, based on the requirements and your culture, which would make the most valuable and effective employee in the position to which you are hiring. Just because a candidate meets the position requirements does not mean that they are a good fit with your company culture.
- During Hiring – When interviewing, ask open-ended questions that require candidates to think and elaborate on answers so they provide you insight into who they truly are, not what they believe you want to hear. Also, ask questions that require the candidate to describe how they have handled actual challenges and situations in their past. Your questions should be centered on the top ten characteristics and company culture you have identified. When asking questions, ignore the urge to answer for them. Wait for the candidate to present their abilities and experiences. Avoid the urge sell the business or position to the candidate.
- After Hiring – Having the resources and training in place for a new employee is critical to the short term integration and long term success of the candidate. Have at least their first day, first week, and first month well planned and orchestrated to set them up for success. The tools new employee uses and the support they receive will serve to reinforce the feeling that they made the right decision in joining your organization.
This is a tiny snapshot of strategies that need to be a part of every hiring process. The topic of hiring is one that needs to be placed higher on the priority lists of business leaders, because no matter how systemized or automated a business is, people that are engaged and empowered are needed to ensure a business’ long term success. Paying only passive attention to the hiring process can set your business up for failure, or at the very least, continued struggles, in the quest to finding the next great employee. Heed the words of retired CEO Larry Bossidy, “I am convinced that nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day you bet on people, not strategies.”
As your business advances deeper into this new year, do you have the critical hiring systems and practices in place to build your team with the right people?