Whether it is your first employee or your hundredth, hiring a new team member is bound to be a decision that creates angst and frustration. Regardless of whether you’re hiring a floor trainer, a front desk attendant, or a position in management, people are the sum of their experience and that experience will inevitably impact their performance in any position.
Bottom line, your goal should be to hire the most qualified team members that will add value to your business and are vested in your vision; not just someone to “get the job done.” This begins from the top of your hiring process, from the questions you ask to the nuances you’re looking for beyond what may be listed on a resume.
Here is a checklist to consider when hiring…even before looking at the candidate’s resume:
1. Hire slow, fire quickly. Take your time to find the right person; and more importantly, do not hesitate to fire. Holding on to someone who doesn’t belong can wreak havoc on your business and cost more financially, energetically and can be poisonous to your company culture.
2. Know what you want and know what you don’t want in a staff member.
3. A resume reveals very little about a person’s experience, work ethic and potential success in your company. “Good” resumes are a dime-a-dozen. Never hire based solely on a resume. Were they professional when they contacted you? Did they present themselves in a way you would feel comfortable with you clients interacting? Did they follow-up with you?
4. Do your due diligence. Never hire out of necessity or with a sense of emergency. Call referrals and past clients; though there are parameters of what you can and can’t ask based on labor law guidelines, you can gather more from what is unsaid than what may be said.
5. Don’t try to make orange juice out of an apple. Never try to mold someone into something you need them to be; capitalize on their strengths. This becomes a trap especially when companies feel urgency to fill a position.
6. Observe. Before you offer the candidate a position, see how they interact with your other staff when they arrived at an interview. Take them for coffee or lunch and watch how they treat the server; how they treat others in service positions is revealing.
7. Interview on impact skills. Ask questions that are situational (particularly based on the position for which you’re hiring). How would they manage a confrontational client? What would they do if their car broke down on the way to work? How would they manage a challenging situation with a coworker? The intangible skills like self-awareness, stress management, and social awareness are what you need to be looking for beyond just their education and work experience.
8. Keep your mind open – don’t compare the “new candidate” to your other “star employees.” It may limit possibilities for someone who doesn’t necessarily fit your current employee mold, but could actually add significant value to your team culture.
9. Share the company culture, mission and vision in all parts of the interview and hiring process. A candidate’s response and energy to you sharing the vision and mission of your company will give you insight into the how vested a candidate would be as a team member.
10. Listen to your gut. Listen to what your gut instinct is about a candidate. What is your first impression? Your clients will likely have a similar reaction.
You will inevitably experience hiring the wrong person at some point. Learn from these experiences and you will hone your hiring skills, get a better sense of what you are looking for and discover what type of employee aligns best with your business.