Hire Great People: 10 Crucial Tips
Making a stellar hire can have a positive effect on the future of your business for years to come. In today’s competitive job market, it’s worth making the effort to find and hire great people. These 10 quick tips can give you an extra edge when it comes to the selection process.
1. Take Time to Listen
Always take time to listen to job candidates while they speak. Don’t do most of the talking, even if you’re excited about your own company. Remember the old proverb that it’s impossible to listen with your mouth open. When you listen, really listen. Don’t just ïreloadï mentally for your next statement.
2. Aim for Diversity
Make the extra effort to find high-potential people who may not fit your typical description. Use a wide variety of contacts and connections to locate a broad range of applicants. Your perfect candidate might be in a place you don’t expect.
3. Keep Potential New Hires in Mind
It’s easier to hire great people when you already know great people. Even when you’re not actively searching for a new person, keep a list ï at least a mental list ï of potential hires who would be a good fit for your business. Cultivate relationships with those people. When you need to make a new hire, you’ll already have a pool of first-rate talent. Take the first steps before the process even starts.
4. Test Candidates in Real World Situations
Don’t just ask questions when you interview a candidate. An interview should be about testing complex skills under pressure. Ask potential hires to do real world tasks in the workplace environment. These tests can separate the amateurs from the professionals. It may take longer than a conventional Q-and-A interview, but it’s well worth the effort if you want to hire great people.
5. Think in Terms of the Whole Unit
No individual new hire is an island. When you hire people, you’re bringing them into an existing team. Think of the hiring process as something that affects the whole company and the extended group of people on the job. It’s often best to evaluate strengths and weaknesses in terms of the whole team. What’s missing from your team What do you need to cultivate How can you build on existing strengths
6. Don’t Flinch at Negative Information
The hiring process can sometimes turn up negative information. Don’t automatically cringe and close the file if you hear that someone got in trouble at a previous job. This kind of information sometimes reveals a creative thinker who can get outside the box and do valuable new things. Remember that the greatest geniuses in history often found themselves in trouble with more conventional employers. That may be just the type of person you need for your growing business.
7. Look for a Good Sense of Humor
If you want to hire great people, remember to look for potential employees with a sense of humor. They don’t have to be laugh-minute comedians, but they should be able to take themselves lightly and see the humor even in stressful situations.
8. Look for Intelligence, Not Just Experience
It’s often best to hire an intelligent and flexible person who might not have extensive experience in your exact field of work. Although strong training is always a good thing, it’s easier to teach a smart new hire than it is to work with a well-trained but dull employee. Look for raw potential as well as experience.
9. Talk With Colleagues
You can find out many important things about a potential hire by taking a few minutes to chat on the phone with the person’s former colleagues. How does the person work as part of a team What are his or her work habits like Is there anything you might not be hearing in the sanitized environment of a job interview Do some extra digging to get to the truth. You’ll thank yourself later on.
10. Don’t Hire a Clone
Even the most well-meaning bosses are often guilty of hiring clones. They choose candidates who are very much like themselves, with the same background, the same personality type, the same educational history and maybe even the same sense of style. Diversifying the workplace is a great way to make your business more resilient and better prepared for the future. You shouldn’t be cloning yourself (or your own college experience, or your own taste in dress shirts) when you hire great people.
To learn more about great interview strategies for small business owners and recruiters, check out our other articles and tools on Mighty Recruiter.