When looking to grow a business, many people hire for quantity, not quality. They like to think that more people = more sales/business. Using this approach can result in high turnover, a decrease in your company’s reputation and a waste of time, resources and money. Although everyone wants to see immediate growth, it usually doesn’t happen overnight. It can take several months or even years!
When it comes to hiring strategies, here are some tips to consider:
1. Always be interviewing
The worst time to hire is when you have an immediate need. The hiring process takes time. It can take a week, a month, three months or even longer. By taking a proactive approach, it ensures that you’ll have a pipeline of candidates to call on when you have a need.
2. Slow to hire, quick to fire
Many hiring managers I speak with are quick to hire and slow to fire. That’s the wrong approach! You need to hire slow and fire fast. If you have a bad hire, that person will impact your other employee’s productivity and moral. When I talk with hiring managers, I recommend they introduce the candidate to a few of their key staff members or potential future colleagues. If your trusted employee’s don’t think the person is a good fit, it’s likely they aren’t a good fit for your company.
3. Soft skills vs. Hard skills
Soft skills are personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. This can be good manners, optimism, common sense, a sense of humor, adaptability, empathy and/or the ability to collaborate and negotiate. Hard skills are specific, teachable abilities that can be defined and measured such as typing, writing, math and reading skills. Hard skills will get a candidate an interview but they’ll need soft skills to get and keep the job.
4. Unconventional interview questions
Ask a question that doesn’t pertain to the specific job and gauge the candidate’s response. If the person gets defensive or questions why you’re asking such a question, it’s a red flag. Candidates that are willing to answer are showing that they’re flexible and have an ability to think on their feet. The question is meant to catch the candidate off guard. This works as a preview of how they may act when something unexpected happens.
5. Have someone interrupt the interview
When I interview a candidate, I’ll often have someone come in and interrupt the interview to ask me a question. At this point, I introduce the candidate to the other person and watch the interaction. Does the candidate stand up and shake their hand or do they remain seated and look frustrated? First impressions matter and this interruption technique shows me how the candidate is going to interact with people.
Any employee can become a star performer. You need to look for traits in the candidate that can make the person a top performer over time. Don’t just focus on skills and education. Find out what drives and motivates the person. Their skills may not be developed yet, but with a little coaching and managing, they can be developed.