Hiring at anytime is key to business success, but hiring in 2020 in a time of an uncertain future, can be tricky to say the least. It does highlight (for us anyway), that attitude will always trump experience, because the right people are always a company’s most important asset. If you get the process wrong, not only can it be expensive to your business, but it can also be damaging to your company reputation. But hiring is a tough business so, how can you manage the process to set you and your business up for hiring success? We have put together some key points to help you through the process.
Think to the Future - Have a clear vision of the role you are hiring for and the expectations and responsibilities required of the person who will fill the role
“If we weren’t still hiring great people, it would be easy to fall behind and become a mediocre company”, Bill Gates
This may sound simple, but so many businesses go into the hiring process without a full job description or considering what the expectations of the role might be. This includes looking at current structures and responsibilities and being sure that everyone else is in alignment with the role i.e. checking that there is no overlap in responsibilities. Having a complete Job Description available for candidates is a must as this will ensure precious interview time is not wasted. It will also give candidates an opportunity to assess how they fit requirements and can best present themselves to you. Job Descriptions should represent the actual position the person is applying for, not a quick cut and paste of various positions from the internet. If the Job Description isn’t a realistic reflection of the position you are recruiting for, not only will you hire the wrong person, but you will hire someone whose expectations of the role will not fit with yours.
Internal vs. External Candidates
“If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”, Red Adair
It is great to have candidates within your organisation that could step up into a position. If you have a strong succession planning programme within your business, there will be people chomping at the bit for the opportunity. These people are invaluable as they know your business inside out. There are times however, that these people are not quite ready for the step up. If you are not going with an internal candidate, it is important that you go through carefully with those that applied as to why they were unsuccessful and that you work with these people on a clear pathway to reach their professional goals.
External candidates can bring new life and fresh ideas into a business. They can also cause a lot of damage (scary thought) if you don’t make your decision wisely! Going back to clear expectations of the role, you need to be looking at potential hires in terms of cultural fit to your business and the direction you would like them to lead the business in, change managers vs. change makers and the leadership skills required.
Regardless of an internal or external placement, should the hire be incorrect you need to have the leadership skills to correct the error quickly to ensure your business can continue to move forward. This is a tough decision, but highlights the importance of hiring.
Be prepared for the interview
“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 on strategy”, Lawrence Bossidy
There are few things in business more important than hiring the right people and in my experience, candidates spend a long time researching and analysing the role, job description and company they are applying to. Make sure you give them the respect of reading their CV’s thoroughly, check out the companies they have worked for (to give you an idea of how they will fit into your company) and prepare your interview questions accordingly, making the short time you have with the candidates more valuable for you and your business. Being prepared for the interview also extends to following up the process in the timeframes laid out to the candidate. Prepare for the process of recruitment from the placement of the advert to the signing of the contract.
Do not be afraid or Intimidated by Talent – Embrace It!
“Never hire someone who knows less than you do about what he’s hired to do”, Malcolm Forbes
Why would you not want someone in your business who is talented enough to make you a lot of money and make your company successful? (I personally would be all for that!!) So why second guess these people? They are sitting in front of you, and obviously want the job -or they wouldn’t have applied, right?! They will be invaluable in taking your business forward, again it’s not just about hiring for now, it’s about hiring for the future.
We often get asked about the role of recruiters and personality testing. A good recruiter is worth every cent and more, but it’s important that you have a relationship with them. Human resource is not a transactional process it’s about getting the right fit for the company and the candidate and having a relationship with your recruiter will ensure that you get the right people every time. Personality testing is interesting, I know people who swear by it but I think if you prepare your interview for the person you are interviewing, you are clear on the expectations of the role then you should get the answers you want in your interviewing process. If not, either proceed with personality testing or improve your interview skills.
You can always train people on the specific skills required to do the job but you can't train people on attitude and passion – hire character, train skill.
The job of recruiting a new candidate does not just end by signing the offer letter. The real effort actually begins after that.