Whether you run a company of 10 or a company of 100, hiring a new employee is always a big deal. A strong employee may bring new experience, new skills, and new ideas that can push your company beyond your wildest dreams. A poor employee, however, may lead to internal conflict, unhappy clients and customers, and loss of both business and employees. It’s no wonder so much work is put into hiring!
If you’re on the verge of hiring and are looking to bring in the highest quality candidates possible, we’re here to help. Read on to learn the steps you need to take to successfully hire great candidates for your business.
Perfect Your Job Description
If you’ve spent any time scrolling through job boards, you’ve probably noticed that, at a certain point, a lot of those listings start to look the same. Perhaps they boast great in-office perks like a foosball table or cold brew coffee on tap, or maybe they position themselves as a “work hard, play hard” company with an open concept office that only a millennial could love. There’s one, glaring thing these job descriptions are often missing: a thorough description of the job.
If you want to hire great candidates who are perfect for your job, you’ve got to be extremely clear about what the job is. Lead with a description of the job, rather than with your unlimited paid time off. In addition to outlining the job description and duties, explain where this position fits in the greater goal of the company. Describe the ideal candidate for the position and be sure to list any requirements. That way, you won’t waste your time sorting through stacks of resumes from unqualified applicants.
Require a Cover Letter
Cover letters are a topic of much contention among both those who hire and those who seek employment. Writing is not every person’s strong suit, and that’s okay. For some roles, strong writing skills simply aren’t important. A cover letter is not intended to demonstrate writing skills. It’s true intention is quite different.
The point of a cover letter is two-fold. For one, a cover letter shows that a candidate is willing to put a bit of work in, in order to apply for your role. Not only does this prevent candidates who simply spam job boards with their resume, but it also pre-qualifies them as a hard working employee. Second, a cover letter gives you a chance to get a taste of your potential employee’s personality. As we’ll get into later, personality is of the utmost importance!
Hold a Preliminary Phone Interview
So, you’ve sorted through applicants and separated the duds from the stand-out applicants. You may think it’s time to start bringing candidates in for in-person interviews, but don’t do so quite yet.
Before you meet with anyone in person, it’s a good idea to hold a preliminary phone interview. This is a great way to pre-screen applicants before going through the time consuming process of meeting with them in person.
A preliminary phone interview is a great time to ask your candidate to walk you through their resume and ask any questions you may have right off the bat. If there are large chunks missing in their experience, inquire about them. Learn about what they’re looking for in their next role and why they’re interested in your company.
It’s also a great time to share a bit about the company and the role with your candidate. Remember, interviews work both ways, so it’s important to educate the candidate thoroughly on the position they’re applying for. It’s also a good time to confirm any requirements or other deal breakers.
Host Several Rounds of In-Person Interviews
Your phone interviews will enable you to narrow your applicants down to a more manageable pile. Now, it’s time to start bringing applicants in, in person.
When holding in-person interviews, it’s important to arrange for prospective employees to meet not just with yourself or with the hiring manager, but with people on several different teams that they will engage with regularly. Be sure to include employees who work on the team you’re hiring for. They’ll be able to interview more thoroughly for job skills. It’s also nice to include employees on teams they may work with frequently, to get a better understanding of what that relationship may be like.
Here’s another reason to set up peer interviews: peers will be much more proficient at sussing out personality. Hiring a candidate who is a good fit personality-wise is just as important as hiring someone who is a good fit job-wise. When you hire an employee with a personality that simply doesn’t mesh, you don’t only risk them not sticking around very long. You also risk them causing a lot of tension and conflict in the process.
Check Background, References, and Employment History
You’ve found the perfect candidate; congratulations! Thinking it’s time to hire? Not so fast! No matter who your candidate is or how trustworthy they seem, you’ve got to do your homework.
First, perform a background check for employment on your prospective applicant. A thorough screening will include a national criminal report from both state and national databases, as well as an identity report that includes name and address verification, SSN and date of birth verification, and fraud alerts. If everything checks out, on to the next step!
Next, it’s time to call references. First, verify their relationship to the candidate. This should give you an opportunity to verify that the employment history they’ve provided you is, in fact, correct. Next, ask about the candidate. What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What are they like to work with? These open-ended questions should be extremely revealing.
Now that you’ve verified background references, and employment history, it’s time for that moment both you and the candidate have been waiting for: time to send the offer! Rest assured that you’ve put the hard work in to ensure this client is not just a capable hire, but a great hire. Your company is sure to benefit.