As a small business owner, one of the most critical steps you’ll take in your business is hiring staff. With the right person in place, you’ll build more than your team, you’ll build your profitability! Research consistently shows that a positive culture and high employee engagement are directly correlated to higher company profits. So, on the flip side, making a poor hiring decision can negatively impact a highly successful team, bringing down employee morale along with sales and profits. How do you hire the right candidate for a role?
A detailed recruiting process is the key. Follow the eight steps below, which outline the aspects of the recruiting process that raise your potential of hiring the perfect person for the job.
1. Competencies and responsibilities of the role – The first step involves outlining exactly what the role involves, the skills/competencies needed for the job and the qualifications. Talk with the person that the new hire will report to (or define it yourself if you’re the manager) in order to fully understand their daily tasks and goals.
2. Clear Job description – Very often an old or generic job description is being used, and if it’s not accurate, the rest of the process is impacted. Outlining each component of the knowledge, skill and ability required to fulfill the position will help you build a strong task statement that is incorporated into the job description (see chart with examples below).
3. The Interview Team – Decide who will interview the candidate with you. If you don’t already have several team members, then call on the service of a business colleague or an advisor so you have several opinions of the candidate.
4. Compelling Job Ad – Weave the details from the job description into an ad that focuses on “selling” the role to candidates. That means highlighting the job and company advantages such as work environment, the team, culture and opportunity for advancement, along with the responsibilities and qualifications required.
5. Resume Review and Outreach – Within 1-2 weeks, review each resume against your checklist of competencies and contact the top candidates for a phone interview.
6. Interview – Start with a phone interview, then invite the best candidates to in-person interviews. Identify questions that will reveal competencies. Some of the best interview questions are behavioral-based because the candidate shares how they handled a situation in the past, the actions they took and the result. Past behaviors often indicate how they will approach and manage similar situations in the future. If several people interview the candidate, have each person focus on different competencies.
7. Debrief – Gather all interviewers into one meeting or conference call and allow each to provide their feedback with the focus on how the candidate stacked up against the identified competencies. Build a consensus on who was the strongest candidate and capture details on not only their strengths, but also the areas for development once they are hired.
8. Offer – Contact the chosen candidate and make the offer. Discuss the salary and benefits, confirm the person they report to and the start date. Have a salary range in mind so you can negotiate effectively. Then send the offer letter to the candidate for signature. Complete a background check before hiring.
When companies encounter hiring issues or bad hires, in most cases there are gaps in the interview process that are to blame. It takes time and effort to put the right process in place, but it’ll save a lot of headaches and stress in the future.
Once you’ve made great hiring decisions, make sure to treat your employees as valuable assets, which they are. They will, in turn, treat your customers with the same and your business will grow and retain valuable customers.
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