Hiring great employees is both an art and a science. You need to understand a little of the science to create the art. For example, painters must understand colors, textures, light, and darkness (the science) to bring the images in their mind (the art) to life. When you are hiring great employees, most of us have the art in our minds (your ideal employee). Where most hiring managers fail is being able to combine the science with the art.
So, you’re thinking that sounds complicated. You may be saying you lack artistic talent and it’s too hard or too time-consuming to learn. Instead of learning, you keep doing the same things and hope you’ll get lucky and find the right people. That thinking is holding you back and costing you precious time and money.
The good news is you can easily learn the art and science of hiring great employees. Here are five simple ways to get started:
1. Be Realistic.
Your perfect candidate might be as easy to find as a purple unicorn. I worked with a client recently who needed two very different skill sets in the same person. They admitted it would be difficult and ignored advice on alternative ways to get what they needed. After months of searching, which cost them both precious time and a lot of money, they admitted their perfect candidate was a dream. They reorganized responsibilities of their current staff and hired a great candidate with the skill set their team lacked. If you’d like to know how much an unfilled position really costs, download my hiring calculator.
2. Technology Is a Tool.
Would you expect a paintbrush create an image on its own? You need to know how to use the brush to create colors from your palette and the size, shape, and position of that color on your canvas. The paintbrush is incapable of doing that without your guidance.
The same is true of technology. Using automated systems to rank your candidates is a tool and an imperfect one at that. I recently found a great candidate who was ranked as a 2.5 by a technology platform. If I had relied only on the tool without using my expert knowledge, I would have overlooked a great candidate.
3. Look Beyond the Resume.
People are more than a piece of paper. The sad fact is candidates get horrible advice about what to put on their resumes. Because of that, you must make some inferences based on what you read on a resume. Look for clues that your candidate might have the skills you need. Talk with them and ask questions to determine whether they are a fit for your needs. You might be surprised to find your perfect candidate hidden behind an imperfect resume.
4. Communicate Openly and Honestly.
Share who you are with your candidates. Give them a realistic picture of what the job entails and what it’s like working at your company. Resist the temptation to omit or gloss over the less attractive parts of the job. Share results, both successes and failures. Honestly communicate with them so they know how the work they do contributes to the success of your company. Nothing is perfect and when you are honest about the challenges as well as the opportunities, you will find a great candidate eager to help you overcome those challenges.
5. Be Human.
Remember that you are sourcing people who want human interaction. The biggest complaint I hear from candidates is after they interview with a company, they are ignored and left tow. A candidate I recently worked with thanked me for keeping her informed of the status of her application. She stated, “…it speaks a lot to you and your commitment, and I really appreciate it.”
You might feel a personal response to every phone call or email may be unnecessary. However, at a minimum, communicate with the candidates you contacted or interviewed. Show them that you are a real person they can get to know, like, and trust. After all, trust is the basis of good working relationships.
My question to you is, how long can you afford to wait when hiring great employees is the one thing that you can do to immediately transform your business?
Decide today to take the first step to master the art and science of hiring great employees. You may want to grab a copy of The YOLO Principle: The Ultimate Hiring Guide for Small Business. It’s packed with tools, templates, and step-by-step instructions. Purchase your copy here or on Amazon.
Or, you might need some personalized insights. Click this link to schedule a complimentary Insight session. It’s an investment of 20 minutes of focused coaching that will pay huge dividends.