The hardest thing to guarantee is hiring the right person for your team. It’s the biggest fear most of you have. But, with our guide to hiring employees you will discover exactly what steps to take so hiring the best talent comes as close to a guarantee as it can.
Why Learning How to Hire Employees Is Worth It
Making the wrong hire is an expensive mistake. It can cause your business to come crumbling down if they really screw things up.
The easiest way to keep that from happening is to avoid making costly mistakes from the outset.
We are going to walk you through eight steps that help you make the hires you need to make your business hum. Following our steps will automatically help you look for signs that will save you from a headache later.
When you learn how to hire properly, you keep intact the hard work you spent starting your business from scratch. You build an environment you love managing everyday and you learn how to surround yourself with people that will honor your business with the same respect you do.
In the end, you learn how to find people who can do the work, do it well, and do it with the right attitude.
The Investment Needed to Hire High-Quality Employees
When you hire your first employee or your twentieth, you need to put in the necessary work to make sure you’re doing it right.
One of the first things is to understand you need more help. This can be hard to admit at first, especially if you are a serial DIY kind of entrepreneur.
But the key to growth is collaboration and knowing when you need help.
The fact that you have made it this far says a lot about your work ethic and that you’re ready to put in the time, money, and effort it takes to snag a top-notch new hire.
The actual investment is going to vary from one organization to another. We don’t know the intimate details of how many people you need to hire and for what roles.
But we can tell you that, often, you will need software to help you get this done. It’s important to learn what software works best for your team or operation.
We have you covered there. Check out our great articles on the best applicant tracking software or the best recruiting software, for example. They’ll give you a good idea of what options are out there and help you identify the right software you should purchase to help with your hiring. It’s all there.
It’s crucial to get this choice right, as you’re going to need a platform to organize and manage your candidates’ information, resumes, and other pertinent items that helps remove unqualified applicants.
If you’re already set on software to help your recruitment or have a recruiter doing the heavy lifting for you, then the step-by-step guide that follows is where you will begin instead.
8 Easy Steps to Hiring Employees
Once you have the tools in place, then it’s time to follow these steps to making good hires.
Step 1 – Know Who You’re Looking For
Too many business owners—and, heck, people in general—don’t know what they want. There’s little room for uncertainty in business, or when hiring a new employee.
You have an open position at your company. Now it’s time to make sure you know the kind of candidate you want to fill it.
Start with looking at similar job descriptions out there on job boards. Make sure you have a baseline of what skills and experience need to be present in the person you’ll hire.
You also want to compare salaries or hourly rates to make sure your position is competitive. Come up with a number you can be confident is more than adequate for your role.
Get these basics down and then think about what extra qualities and intangibles you want from your perfect hire. Altogether, you’ll have a complete picture of who you’re looking for.
Step 2 – Use a Real Job Title
You won’t get the right attention with a Buzzfeed-sounding job posting headline. Most applicants you’re looking for are not going to search for something like “rockstar developer wanted”.
You need to use keywords that talented candidates are actually searching for.
It might sound obvious to you, but trying to be clever will not get your job filled. Being clear will.
Step 3 – Craft a Killer Job Description
Don’t be confused here. We aren’t recommending you be outlandish and include silly unclear jargon or buzzwords.
That being said, your job description doesn’t have to be boring.
You can have humor in it, if that is the environment of your workplace. It just needs to be clear on what your expectations are.
Too many descriptions are written in vague, sterile, legalese-like wording. Saying things without saying anything, in a way.
But, if your description is clear about what your organization’s about and reflects your culture, you can get who you want.
You also get the person on the other side, reading your job description, to say to themselves, “Yeah, I can definitely do that,” or “This sounds perfect for me.”
Use appropriate keywords like we said in step two, as well. Just don’t stuff your job description with too many keywords—that never works or sounds like a real person wrote it.
Step 4 – Resume Research
Now that your killer job listing has hit the job boards and is gaining some traction, you’re going to start reviewing resumes.
The easiest way to decide which ones go in the yes or no columns is to look for the story each resume tells you.
What real evidence for their past achievements fit what you’re looking for? Do they have decent longevity at their previous jobs, or are there gaps you can’t figure out?
Even simple things like spelling or grammar mistakes can be a sign they don’t pay enough attention to details.
Look for a clear progression in their career, but it doesn’t have to be a traditional straight line. Just make sure, from what you see in their CV, that you can feel confident they are ready to move to the next level in your hiring process.
Step 5 – Two-Step Authenticated Interviewing
That’s a mouthful to say, we know.
Simply, this means that when you find candidates that meet your criteria, you’ll approach interviewing with a two-pronged approach.
Start with a phone interview. This can be 30 or 40 minutes. You are looking for a fit with your workplace culture and whether they can provide satisfactory answers for questions you ask about their resume and experience.
Even at our own company, the interview process starts with a video call to get to know an applicant first.
There is something about speaking with a person over a voice or video call that helps you and your team start to form an opinion about a potential new hire.
If after that, you like what you hear and see, you can move to the next step. That’s a second interview, done in-person if safety precautions permit.
During the second interview, it’s time to ask even more strategic questions that will uncover their skills, enthusiasm for the role, and other non-verbal cues that will reveal if they are a good fit.
Make sure to avoid questions that will violate the Equal Employment Opportunity guidelines. You want to avoid topics that include age, race, marital status, religion and others that can be viewed as discriminatory.
Step 6 – Are They Who They Say They Are?
Once you’ve homed in on a qualified, high-quality candidate, it’s time to verify their identity. There are tons of background check procedures you can follow.
But the old and trusted way of doing things is still useful. Make phone calls to references and previous employers. Ask them questions about what it’s like to work with the candidate and listen for specifics they can give you, not just vague answers
Also, run a criminal background check. Or, employ a company to handle background checks for you.
If you’re hiring an accountant or a senior manager, dig deeper and make sure everything checks out.
Step 7 – Keep Your Candidates Organized
There is nothing more frustrating than losing information about a perfect potential hire in the shuffle of recruiting. That’s why we highly recommended finding good applicant tracking software at the outset.
Software helps you keep track of your most promising, most appealing candidates and move through the hiring process with little to no confusion.
If you are doing things on paper or in spreadsheets, it’s in your best interest to modernize your methods today..
Step 8 – Select Your Ideal New Addition
You’ve done all the work to narrow down a field of candidates to your dream hire. Don’t settle for someone who is close enough. You are really looking for gold here; your business deserves it.
It’s expensive to hire and train people. Your time isn’t cheap so, if you’re going to do this, do it right.
Don’t get tired of the grind and frustrated, then just select a “close enough” candidate. Too many other recruiters and businesses do that. Be different.
Remember what you learned about who you interviewed. What were the skills, experience and personality you remember about them? Were their references solid? Most importantly, will they fit into the company culture and team dynamic?
If you say yes to those questions and can answer why, rest easy knowing that you have yourself a winner.
Then, just seal the deal and close your open loops. Write up a formal offer letter, solidify a start date, and make sure they get all the new hire paperwork necessary for the position.
Remember, without a signed acceptance letter, you still don’t officially have a new employee yet.
Also, once you’ve found your ideal hire, make sure to tell the candidates that didn’t make the cut as soon as possible. Never leave them wondering and waiting. Send an email or make a phone call—either way, just let people know.
After getting a signed offer letter, it’s time to set into motion the onboarding and training process. Make sure they have all they need in order to do the job you want them to do in the best possible way.
If you don’t have this process perfectly refined and mastered, focus on making onboarding as smooth and as seamless as possible.
As usual, we recommend looking into tools which make this easier. We have articles on the best onboarding software and the best employee training software to help guide your search there. Also, you can utilize our guide for employee training.
From here, all you have to do now is monitor your employees’ success. Coach them if you are in close enough contact where you can see their work in progress. Or, just have regular meetings to make sure things are going smoothly.
Also, you can learn from new hires how to improve your hiring process. Schedule a one-on-one with them, or have your manager do it, to examine the entire hiring process from their perspective. There is no better person to get feedback from than the person who just went through it.
Take what you learn, and improve upon the areas they found lacking or confusing.