Seasoned leaders are more than aware of the fact that the success of their business is greatly determined by the people they hire. Haphazardly hiring the first applicants to walk through your door may seem like the easiest and fastest solution, but it can go bad just as quickly.
Hiring the wrong employees can decrease productivity and morale, ruin your reputation, and increase operational costs (turnover expenses). A thorough hiring process and effective management practices can help you get and keep the most efficient staff.
The Hiring Process
“People are a huge asset, and one of my main functions is to hire the right kind of people, form a business strategy, put in the place the right corporate governance structures, and then let the team do their work of growing the business.” – Shailesh Dash, founder, and CEO of Al Masah Capital said in an article for Entrepreneur. He, like other successful leaders, understand the need for a competent, capable, and reliable team.
Before you can lead a team, however, you have to build one. This means starting a hiring process. Here are some tips:
Create a Clear Description of the Job
There are thousands of candidates looking for gainful employment daily. To find the best people for the position, it is imperative that you have a well-drafted job description. The description should provide a title, a list of duties and responsibilities, previous professional and educational experience, and the required list of skills. It can also give a brief description of the company. A clear job description prevents under or overqualified applicants from applying.
Determine a Recruitment Process
The recruitment process should spell out for management and hiring staff on how new employees will be hired. Will you only post online? Do you intend to have skills tests? If so, how will they be taken(in person, online, mail delivery, etc.)? You’ll obviously have an interview, but will there just be one? Or, do you intend to have several interviews? Will they be conducted virtually, via phone, or in person? How will the decisions be made on who will be hired? Will you use a scoring system, will you allow supervisors to choose their own teams? Will all upper management have some say in it? Schedule a meeting with management and human resources to come up with a solid process.
After you’ve determined what your needs are, created a job description, and come up with a recruitment process, it’s time to jump into action. You can start by advertising your job opening. There are several ways you can advertise this, however, using more than one platform is best. This way, you reach a larger pool of applicants and have more options for who will join your team. You can post on your company website, social media, digital job sites, local newspapers, and on job boards at community centers.
Set up Testing
Skills and academic tests can be very instrumental in helping leaders to find the most talented bunch of candidates. These tests can be done online during the application process. There are a lot of tests you might consider. Some of the most common are personality tests, ethics tests, math or writing tests, typing speed tests, and skills test directly related to the position. Those who score the highest would prove the most likely to land an interview.
The applications and test results should start pouring in. Select a few candidates and begin scheduling interviews. During the interviews, you should ask questions that pertain to their personality, professional history, skillset, educational experience, and even their personal lives. The more in-depth your questions are, the more gauge you can get on whether they’d be a great pick.
After interviews, you should have a shortlist of candidates you’re interested in. Outside of the opinion of other managers, you can contact professional references to see what their previous employers, coworkers, teachers, and mentors think of their work ethic. This can help you to make a final decision.
Managing Your Staff
Just as important as hiring great staff is managing them effectively. For it is your company culture and management practices that will ultimately determine if your employees leave or stick around for the long haul. Though managing employees won’t always be easy, if you keep these tips in mind you’ll see positive results.
- Keep the lines of communication open – Communication is the key to building strong employer-employee relationships. Your team wants to be made aware of the happenings in the company. From upcoming projects and goals to important deadlines and new company developments, make the time to share information with your team. In order to effectively communicate you must also be willing to listen. Listen to their concerns and try to find solutions where you can. This will encourage them to communicate with you and build trust.
- Go beyond the workplace – Your staff doesn’t want to just be known as your workers. They want to be recognized as human beings with lives and interests outside of the office. You can build stronger connections by getting to know them beyond the workplace. Ask about their children or spouses, find out what they do in their spare time, what their hobbies are if they have any passions, and what their career goals are.
- Acknowledge (and reward) good work – No employee wants to go unnoticed when they go above and beyond to reach a goal. One of the best ways to keep your staff happy is to acknowledge their accomplishments. You can do this by making an announcement, sending them an email, awarding them with a trophy, or taking them out to lunch. Your acknowledgment helps to boost morale and motivates them to remain diligent in their efforts.
- Be human – Just because you’re the boss doesn’t mean you can’t show your human side. You can’t be afraid to make mistakes or admit when you’re wrong. A little humbleness can go a long way in getting your staff to follow your lead.
- Delegate effectively – A true leader has a personal relationship with their employees that allows them to know what their strengths and weaknesses are. When a project arises they know exactly who the work should be given to based on their skillset. Employees appreciate this as well because there’s nothing worse than being asked to do a job you’re not efficient at.
No business can succeed without the support and efforts of a highly skilled team. Part of being an effective leader means knowing exactly how to find and keep the right people for the job. When you can master these skills, you can take your business to heights you never imagined possible.