When running a business, hiring a new employee is both incredibly exciting and very stressful. You are pressured to choose the correct person and there are so many legal formalities and documents that are required. Believe it or not, the legal side is quite simple. You can look at the steps directly on the IRS’s website. So, I am dedicating this blog to illuminate the harder part: What do you need to do to find good employees ensuring that you compile a great team?
Your goal is to find an employee who will enhance your team and stay with your company long term. (Onboarding and training are expensive, so you do not want to lose them right away.) To do so, look for a candidate that has the right combination of the following: right for the company, will work well with the manager, and the right fit for the job. Oftentimes, small businesses will only focus on finding the best person for the job. This is a big mistake. For example, if you are trying to fill a sales role and you hire a person with great sales experience but they do not resonate with your mission statement, your sales will suffer. There is no amount of money that can make them care about your company. So let us break this down piece by piece.
The Right Company
The first step is finding the right person for the right company. Gone are the days of simply clocking in and out of a nine to five job. People are genuinely looking for a place they can call home, feel engaged, and to be a part of a family. They want to find a company they can get passionate about. Thus, it is critical for you to know your mission statement, your core values, and your company culture. A company’s mission statement identifies:
the reason that your company exists
what is it that your company is here on this planet to do
As I stated above with the example of a salesperson, money cannot force a person. to care about your company. If they do not fully believe in your mission statement, align with your core values, and/or fit into your company culture, they are not a good fit! So it is vital that during the interview, you ask questions that will determine whether or not this person is the right fit for your company.
The Right Manager
You may find an ideal candidate for the company and the job, but if they cannot work well with their manager, they will not excel! Consequently, prior to hiring, identify the person that will manage this position and look at both their strengths and weaknesses. If, for example, the manager has poor communication skills and likes to work with individuals who require little explanation, then hiring an individual who needs clarification before they start working on a project and requires constant guidance will not be a good fit.
If you are the one in charge of managing the new role, you need to objectively identify your own strengths and weaknesses. Managing a team member goes far beyond telling them what to do and requiring them to hit deadlines.
Pro tip: I often speak about the DISC Profile. This is a very helpful tool when needing to identify personality types and communication styles. If you are not using a tool like this, I suggest looking into one!
The Right Job:
Finally, it is time to find the ideal candidate for the job. Here are three tips as you search for the perfect candidate for your new position.
Stop trying to find someone who is fully trained! Skills are teachable and as long as the individual is an ideal fit for the company and the manager, they will be malleable. So instead, focus on their character traits. For example, when I’m hiring for a sales position, sales experience has never been the defining factor. Instead, I look to determine if they are outgoing, engaging, fun, enjoy hanging out with people, and they also have that edge that will allow them to be comfortable closing the deal. This is a great salesperson! They can always learn the fine points of a skill if they enjoy the job.
Stop trying to find someone who can do four jobs.
Many small business owners spend hours trying to find someone that can fill multiple roles. A prime example of this is trying to find a personal assistant who can also run social media and clean the office. An effective social media manager is extremely creative, and realistically, have you really ever met an artist that is super clean? So trying to find a creative who is also organized and extraordinarily clean, is going to be difficult. You’re likely to find someone who does a half-way decent job at both roles, but doesn’t excel in either. Again, focus on their character traits that are a good match for the specific skill sets.
Focused on uncovering their energy advantage. By that, look to uncover what they love and thrive at doing, then you can help them become an expert. But even someone with all the right character traits who hates having to actually ask for the close will struggle to excel in sales.
Ultimately, you need to identify who you want and have a screening process. Do not spend hours looking for the right person for the job! First look for the person that is the right fit for the company, then focus on whether or not they are the right match for the manager, and then finally whether or not they are a good fit for the job. Again, focus on their character traits and whether or not they can learn a skillset as opposed to whether or not they already know exactly what to do! Yes, this may require you to interview more people and train longer once you do hire, but the likelihood of finding a person that will excel in their role and stay long term will drastically increase. Spending the time to do this in advance and not on the fly during the actual interview process will transform the team you put together.
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