If you want to find a warm body to fill the job – you are not alone – that is what the result is with many companies who are not skilled in recruitment. Hiring people in this way is the laziest and also most expensive way. The real goal should be in finding people who fit with your culture, who understand and agree with your vision, potential employees who can make immediate and long term contributions. In my experience in HR, I have not seen very many hiring managers (if any) who consistently get this right.
Here are 4 very important things to consider if you are serious about getting that really good hire; the one other managers will be asking about in terms of how did you hire that person?
- Hiring Good People Takes Time – There are no Shortcuts
Everyone is quite busy it seems these days. For some reason many managers in companies we see tend to see recruitment as an extra or add-on job responsibility, when in fact the opposite should be true. Recruitment is a key component of any manager’s job. Planning out the proper time in your daily schedule for all steps in the hiring process is critical. Managers who don’t do this tend to rush the process because they see it as not a part of their normal day or they are staying late doing it, or reviewing resumes in front of the TV at night. A pre-planned allotment of time in your daily schedule is a MUST. The first week after posting a job, take 30-45 minutes each morning to download and pre-screen resumes and cover letters; and set aside potential candidates for follow-up. Then, at the end of the week, review your selections and short-list a group of candidates to phone screen. The phone screen must be scripted and you MUST take detailed notes on key questions, ie) salary expectations, distance from your company, reason for looking, key strengths, what attracted them to the job, how does the job fit with their long term goals, where are they in their job search, what are they ideally looking for in their next job, what do they enjoy most about their current or most recent job, availability, etc. Relying on your memory without notes is not recommended.
For candidates who pass the phone screen, take an hour at the end of the day to email or phone (preferably) and invite them to a face-to-face job interview. Let them know the times you have available. The length of an interview will vary in relation to the job you are hiring. This is normal. An initial 60 minute interview for most office jobs is the norm. This 60 minute period is extremely valuable time and you must be well organized in the interview itself. Sometimes in the case where there are several interviews to be done initially, maybe10-12, consider using Skype or the like to further screen (beyond the initial phone screening) before meeting face to face.
- Write a Better Job Posting
Simply stated – your job posting needs to stand out. Job seekers will read between the lines, they will quickly size up your company based on the way the posting is worded and formatted. Very rigid, textbook like postings mean something to the job seeker in terms of company culture. To the contrary, well worded, contemporary, well designed job postings speak to how you value people. (generally speaking)
First impressions are lasting and this is your first impression with a job seeker. Is your company real hip, innovative, and entrepreneurial? Perhaps your company relies on its household well- known name or reputation? The type of employee who will be a good fit in each of these two cultures will be different. If the posting is not accurate about your company’s culture and the job requirements, chances are you will not be attracting the right ‘FIT” employees. What would catch the attention of a potentially very good employee? What would inspire them, and what would they want to know about your company?
- Know What You are Looking for Culturally
In my HR experience, more employees are terminated for ‘fit’ than for anything else, even required job skills or competencies. ‘Fit’ is how the employee fits in with the way you do business, the ‘how’, not the ‘what’ you do.
Of course key job skills and experience are important and that is the easier thing to assess in the interview.
However, culture fit is especially important for small and medium-sized businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses need versatile people with a certain will to succeed and an ability to hit the ground running so to speak. Effects of a poor fit employee will result in lower organizational effectiveness, employee morale, and even creativity. As an example, hiring a person into a 5 person office from a very large company may be problematic and the opposite may be true, hiring small office employees into a very large company may also be problematic. These are generalizations, but are just some of the things companies look for when going after the right ‘fit’ employees.
Poor fit employees essentially are not giving you all they have to give in terms of effort, teamwork, responsibility and attaining required results. The best way to screen for cultural fit is to conduct behavioral-based interviews. Ask questions that uncover competencies that you can’t train for, like being conscientious, being a self-starter, having good judgment, or having high levels of integrity. www.twogreysuits.com explains behavioral interviewing in detail with many example questions you could ask.
- Check References
My clients can’t believe it when I send them my 12 page completed reference check. (one reference check) If you really know what you are doing here (just use the form on our website, 1 of 4 choices) you can often glean as much information in reference checks as you can in a face to face interview with the candidate. This is yet another example where there are no shortcuts, you MUST do reference and background checks if you are serious about hiring best fit candidates.