#1 Have Role Clarity and KPI's
Too many times I have seen hiring go all pear shaped, simply because the role was not clearly outlined and KPI's (Key Performance Indicators) were not set.
Before hiring someone work out exactly what this person will be responsible for, and what KPI's will they be accountable for achieving. It is very difficult for you to manage anyone if you're not clear on what it is they must achieve, and it's harder for the employee if they have no idea of what is expected.
I am a big fan of having KPI's, this creates crystal clear objectives that must be adhered to, and makes it easy to manage someone up or out if required.
#2 Hire Slowly
Usually, choosing to hire someone is a result of already being busy, this can lead to rushing your hiring process or picking the best of a bad bunch, both huge mistakes.
I recommend a minimum of a phone screen to start, then if after an initial interview, you're thinking they could be a good fit, then invite them back for a second interview in a few days' time. This gives you time to think about what happened in the first interview, do a bit of research and write down any question you may have forgot to ask.
You can also use this time in between interviews to speak to references, as this will help you work out what other questions you need to ask.
#3 Talk to references
Usually, a candidate will give you 2 or 3 references to talk to. You need to make sure that at least one or two of these are from previous employees, and make sure you have a set of pre-determined questions you're going to ask.
Another method is to send your questions in a document, and the referee can type their answers out for you. I always prefer to talk though, as you can lead the questions in different directions depending on the answers you get.
Make sure you take notes as you ask each question so you remember all the details of your conversation.
#4 Be Prepared
There is nothing worse than not being prepared for an interview. Spend some time thinking about the questions you would like to ask, and jot them down. You don't have to ask all of them, or any for that matter, but if you do get stuck for what to ask next, you have a list of pre-written well thought out questions.
#5 Check for online profiles
Whilst we're on the topic of being prepared, do your research online. Most people have a public profile on social media, and most social media platforms will tell you if you have any connections in common. If the connection is a well trusted friend, then maybe give them a call to see what they think of the person you're thinking of hiring. Just be careful as you could be letting someone they know some personal info that you shouldn't be sharing. It is best practice to check with the candidate first.
#6 Use Personality Profiling tools
There are a lot of tools to help you understand more about the candidate you're talking to, and most of these are available online (I use DiSC profiling, this is where I buy mine online - Buy Disc Reports Online)
There have been studies proving that using a profiling will dramatically increase your chances of hiring the right person.
Most people are hired on skill, then fired on personality so it's a great idea to get to know your candidate a little deeper before making them a job offer.
#7 Ask lots of questions and listen
Resist the temptation to do all the talking, they should have already done their research on you, your products/services and company before arriving at the interview. You probably love your product and your company, and if you're passionate want to share it with anyone who will listen.
A good rule of thumb here is for you to do 1/3rd of the talking. And most of what you say should be a question. Listen carefully and take notes.
I have a list of key attributes for the role I am filling on a sheet of paper in front of me, and I am usually starting to score the candidate out of 10 on each attribute as I interview. It's a good idea to do your note taking as you chat so you don't forget anything important.
#8 Hire on Attitude and Cultural fit before Skill
It's easy to get caught up on how much skill a candidate has, when the real key is how well will that fit into your company culturally, and, socially with your other team members.
Even if they had amazing skill, they would do more damage than good if their attitude stunk, and had an abrasive, hard to get along with personality.
Your questions should be tailored to help you understand what drives them, and if they're going to have the right fit. It's important for the candidate to have a congruent fit too, you need them to be somewhat interested and in line with what your company does.
#9 Get other people involved
It's always smart to get a second opinion. Make sure your business partners and/or other team members get involved in the hiring process. On a second interview, I always have other team members involved from the same area of the business. For example, if I am hiring a new salesperson, I will ask the sales team to join us for the second interview.
It's just as important for the team to be happy with the hire (if not more important) than you being happy. Your team will really appreciate being involved in this process.
#10 Test them
Giving your candidate something to test them is a great way to see how they react and respond to different circumstances. Depending on the role, you can use puzzles, make them carry out a task they say they have the skills to do.
There are also games you can play as a team to see how they interact and what strengths and weaknesses they have.
#11 Train, train, train
Finally, after you have made your hire, it is important that you invest in training your team. People like to constantly develop their skills and they will become more efficient and effective for you as team member.
Start with a solid induction training process and then after a few weeks, switch into an ongoing regular team training and development schedule.
If you want help understand how to hire people that will work just as hard, if not harder than you, talk to us today! (02) 88085500
About the Author
Ben Fewtrell is a sought-after Business Coach, Keynote Speaker and trainer who has featured in Virgin’s Inflight Magazine and Entertainment Portal, SKY Business and “Secrets of Top Business Builders Exposed”. He is also the host of the popular Business Brain Food Podcast where he interviews leading experts on anything and everything business.