When you’re in a position of power at work, whether it’s running your own shop or you are in a managerial role at a company, one of the toughest tasks you’ll face is a hiring employee. You have to consider numerous factors like can they do they job, will they fit in with the current team and can you find common ground on salary.
There’s also the added pressure of finding someone who’ll stick around. You can’t have a, “well if this person doesn’t work out, it’s back to the drawing board,” mentality because it takes time and money to search for talent, conduct the interview and then train someone. If you can help it, the hiring process is not one that you want to go through every few months for the same position.
There are no guarantees that the person you’ll hire will be an outstanding, long-lasting employee, but there are ways to increase the odds of bringing a solid hire on board. Here are five ways to make your hiring decisions a little bit easier.
#1. Develop consistent hiring criteria.
Creating and following a standard set of “ground rules” can be a great aid as you evaluate candidates. The criteria you want applicants to meet is up to you, but having that check list in place should not only help you quickly narrow down your list of prospects, but it will also help you avoid traps like hiring someone who reminds you of yourself, despite the fact he or she doesn’t have the skill set needed to do the job.
Some items to consider for your hiring criteria would be leadership skills, years of experience and how they handle adversity.
#2. Decide what skills you’re willing to teach and which ones you’re not.
Along the same lines of hiring criteria, think about which skills you want your new hires to have in their back pocket on day one versus which ones you can afford for them to learn on the job. If your mentality is, “we want someone with good people skills, we can teach them how to sell,” make part of the interview coffee or lunch with the candidate to see how they work in a group setting. If it’s a particular work skill you want a hire to have on their first day like coding, sales or graphic design, include a test during the interview.
#3. Do your homework.
You’ll get plenty of insight on your candidates from the interview, but you can supplement the information by talking to his or her references. This check is important because you could find out something else about the interviewee that he or she might leave out about himself or herself during the interview (or you might forget to ask about). Plus, if you let the interviewee know you will be contacting their references, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting more honest answers.
#4. Test them.
Don't be afraid to administer skills and/or personality assessments to make sure you are finding the right fit. Testing your candidates can be a great way to peak inside the minds of your potential hires and find hidden qualities you may have missed - both good and bad.
#5. Interview multiple candidates.
When you’re desperate to fill a role, it can be tempting to hire the first person you interview, especially if he or she seems like a perfect fit. It’s in your best interest though to see at least two more candidates. The more interviews you conduct, the more people you’ll have to choose from for the role and to compare that first candidate to. Rushing to hire someone could have you end up going through the same process again if that impressive first candidate doesn’t work out.
#6. Give your candidate a chance to ask questions, too.
You’ll be doing the lion’s share of the asking of course, but don’t forget to ask the interviewee if he or she has any questions as well. It’s polite first of all, but you’ll get an idea of what about the job is important to the candidate and he or she will know if the job is a good fit based on the answers you give.
Hiring the right people isn’t easy, but if you go into the process knowing what you want, do your research and ask the right questions, your hiring hits will almost certainly outweigh the misses.