10 Do’s and Don’ts of the Hiring Process
At Elite, one of our focal points is helping business owners build the best team to grow their companies. With each of our customers, we review, revise, and perfect their hiring process until they feel confident they’re getting the best candidate to fill each role.
And here’s why:
This is only what people would admit in a CareerBuilder survey. Every time I ask a group of entrepreneurs how much their worst hiring mistake cost them, I almost always get 6-figure answers… up to $500,000! The more disheartening responses I’ve received are, “It almost cost me my business,” and, even more sobering, “It cost me 5 years of my life!”
Ultimately, a bad hire negatively affects your entire company. Even those who don’t directly work with the person. And the costs could be more than monetary. (But we’ll get to that in a second.)
For now, let’s see if we can help you improve your hiring process with our list of 10 Do’s and Don’t of the Hiring Process:
- Do Hire To Your Values
- Do Reference Company Values On Job Listings
- Do Hire for Diversity
- Do Seriously Consider Referrals
- Don’t Hire Based on Recommendations Alone
- Don’t Trust Your Gut
- Do Invite Other Employees To Join the Interview
- Do Create a Solid Induction Process
- Don’t Excuse Poor or Misguided Behavior
- Don’t Let Hiring Bog You Down
Let’s break these down a little more, shall we?
Do Hire To Your Values
Your company’s culture is one of the greatest assets you have. When you have clearly identified what you want to achieve, know how you want to get there, and you have a team dedicated to reaching that goal, growth is practically guaranteed.
The problem with most growing companies, is that the need to hire quickly supersedes the desire to hire the right person. And while that may work in the very short term, ultimately, you’ll find you’ve wasted both time and money by not taking more time and finding the right person.
Here’s another post where you can dig even further into the pains of not hiring to your values.
Do Reference Company Values On Job Listings
No one will ever love your company as much as you do. But if you find someone who shares your company values, you will find they are motivated and driven to help your business succeed. Which is why company values should be one of the first things listed in any job post.
Let your candidates weed themselves out. With your values posted front and center, you’re more likely to find candidates who actually fit your criteria.
Do Hire for Diversity
Hiring to values does not mean you find the same type of person for every position in your business. Healthy conflict is beneficial to your growth. With differing points of view you can find better, more effective ways to serve your customers, run your systems, and improve your offering.
Years ago, while I was working at KEAP, the company needed to hire a second copywriter. While our first copywriter was doing a great job (her content was all over the internet…and many of our customers would follow, even plagiarize her work) we needed someone to help with the workload.
After whittling candidates down to two, the final applicants were brought in for one last interview. It was during this interview that one candidate told our existing copywriter, “I love everything you write. I study your copy and do my best to mimic your style. Everything I know about creating content I learned from you.”
Unfortunately, those words cost her the position. You see, we weren’t looking for more of the same. We needed someone who could offer a different perspective. Someone who was strong in areas the first copywriter was weak. Someone who challenged the level of content being produced. Someone with a different skill set who still matched the company’s values.
Do Seriously Consider Referrals
Did you know that up to 85% of positions filled are done so through networking?
And it makes sense, right? What better guarantee do you have for cultural fit than someone who comes highly recommended? In fact, one study revealed that up to 70% of available positions are never even posted on job sites.
When you’ve got a spot to fill, let your current employees know. They may point you in the direction of a perfect candidate.
Don’t Hire Without Checking References
A good interview – or series of interviews – can never tell you enough about an applicant. Everyone is on their best behavior when they’re looking to get hired. “Bad” employees aren’t going to tell you they were fired from their last job because they’re lazy or short tempered.
That’s what references are for.
When you connect with your candidate’s references, be specific in your questions. Ask the person to give examples of when the candidate came up with ideas to help their team. Or projects they were part of that produced exciting results.
Don’t Rely On Your Gut
Research shows that when we interview candidates for a job, we instinctively choose people we like. People we think we’d get along well with. People we are comfortable talking to. People like us.
Which isn’t a bad thing, right? But in our effort to protect our own comfort, we may reject the more qualified candidate. Or we choose someone who is under-qualified for the position.
While your instinct might be handy in seeing any red flags, really think through your decisions. Are you letting personal, emotional feelings drive your actions? Are you willing to try someone with a different background, experience, or perspective?
I like entrepreneurs who go with their gut when needing to make an important decision where information is lacking. Hiring is NOT one of these situations. Gather the data, test the candidate, assess for values fit so you can absolutely be sure before extending an offer.
Do Invite Other Employees To Join the Interview
Who is better at identifying a good fit for your company than those who are a good fit for your company? Who says managers have to make all of the decisions? In a survey done by Career Builder, 1 in 5 people admitted they don’t have the skills to interview and hire people effectively. Let your current employees offer their insights.
Years ago, KEAP (Infusionsoft back then) hired a new Creative Manager. His resume was solid. His work experience spoke volumes. And the Marketing Director hired this guy without any input from his team.
Within days, the marketing team was in upheaval. While half of the team was swayed by “the new guys” experience, edginess, and desire to push the envelope, the other half felt the company’s brand was at stake.
Key members of the marketing team threatened to leave. Such a loss would have cost the company tens of thousands of dollars in lost productivity and lost talent. Of course, it all became a moot point when the new hire began demanding more money and more control. He was fired within 3 month’s time. But the entire incident could have likely been avoided if existing team members had been invited to join the interviews.
Do Create a Solid Induction Process
As a business, you should have a well-established company culture. One that becomes so comfortable to you and your employees that sometimes you forget others may not immediately know and understand it.
Lay it out for the new employee. Help them to see your Purpose, Vision, and Mission. If you need some ideas for how to get your team (even new employees) committed to your values, this post can help.
Don’t Excuse or Ignore Incompatible Behavior
Having a solid induction process helps set the right expectations. But be sure to check in on your new hire regularly. Check in on them after a month. Ask their supervisor how they’re doing. And redirect behaviors that don’t match your company values.
Your employee doesn’t know what they don’t know. If you see behaviors that are inconsistent with your expectations, tell them. There’s a good chance your employee will easily and readily change to work within the framework you’ve established. But the longer you go without saying anything, the harder it’s going to be for them to break bad habits.
Don’t Let Hiring Bog You Down
Our last suggestion is that you keep a positive attitude about the hiring process. If you have experience with bad hires, then you may be wary of going through the whole thing again. But if you know how to find the right person, hiring a new team member can be very exciting.
After all, new hires mean you’re growing. It means you’re ready to let someone else take on responsibilities you and your team have been shouldering. (Probably for far too long.) It means added strength and opportunity for your company.
If you don’t see it that way, then yes, it will be an added burden for you. But it doesn’t have to be.
You know, ten suggestions is a lot. And no one expects you to implement them all at once. Rather, find the suggestion that spoke most to you and start there.
You’ll find that hiring new employees can be exciting. And very rewarding. For that long-term, sustainable growth, it’s definitely worth it to get this right.
If you need help getting your hiring process (and other processes) dialed in, be sure to reach out to us for a free consultation.