Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, and everyone is focused on love—either celebrating it or longing for it. As a small business owner, you probably feel this way all the time: either you have the right people and celebrate their success, or you long to find the right people and hope that someday you’ll get lucky and those folks will walk through your door. In both love and in hiring, hope and luck rarely work well. You want to have diamonds and are tired of settling for cheap imitations!
The GIA® says, “Every diamond is a miracle of time and place and chance. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.” When you hire, you need to understand what kind of people you need—their skills, attitudes, mindset, and beliefs. Hoping you get lucky or expecting your dream employee to show up at your door is a bad strategy. When the GIA® created the 4Cs of Diamond Quality, they created a universal language to communicate with customers so they would know exactly what they were purchasing.
To help you improve your hiring process, I’ve created the 4Cs of hiring: clarity, culture, consistency, and communication. The good news is that using the 4Cs of hiring is easy. It takes a small investment of your time to do your research, understand your needs, and implement the 4Cs.
Clarity is the hardest of the 4Cs. You need to start with the proper perspective to find the right people. If you lack clarity about your needs, how will you know when you find the right person? A common mistake I see is rushing to hire the first available person in hopes of lightening the load, rather than taking the time to understand your needs and waiting to hire the best available. Often, this approach costs you more time and money than carving out the time to think strategically and waiting to hire the right person.
Resist getting caught up in choosing the “best” from the first available. It’s better to be understaffed than to have a bad employee who will affect the performance and morale of the rest of your team. This can lead to future problems with productivity, turnover, training costs, and retention of good performers. Do yourself a favor and keep searching until you find the right fit.
Like people, your business has a unique personality or culture. Your business has core values, beliefs, and a unique mission. Your business is different from your competition and when you understand your unique value proposition, you can use that in your hiring process to attract people who share your values, beliefs, and mission. Company culture can be hard to define, and a simple way to start is to list the top three or four behaviors critical to success in your business. These behaviors are your company culture translated into daily operations.
I often see small business owners ignoring their culture. When you fail to identify your core values and beliefs, you end up on a hiring roller coaster. You are excited to hire that amazingly talented person, then you are let down when he or she causes lots of problems. You need more than great technical skills. You must hire for attitude in addition to skill.
Consistency is critical. Everyone in your business needs to be on the same page and understand the definitions of your cultural values, beliefs, and mission. Using the examples of behaviors when you defined your culture, write down specific and measurable definitions for your business. Include definitions of both successful and unsuccessful behaviors. When you understand the difference between success and failure, it becomes easy for you to communicate that to your employees and potential employees.
Get your message out to both your current and potential employees. Communicate your culture in your job description, which is the outline of the role and responsibilities, and in your job ad, which is your sales pitch to attract the right people to your business. Your job ad must speak to your ideal candidate and create an urgency for them to work for your company.
Great candidates want to know why their work matters, how they can contribute to making a difference, and what it will be like to work for your company. They need to know that your business shares their core values. Communicate why what they do matters (the purpose or mission of their work). Show a clear line of sight from their work to achieving your mission. Give them visuals: charts, graphs, infographics, video, feedback from clients, the community, and your competitors. Share results, both successes and failures.
Are you in love with your hiring process?
If you or someone you know is ready to fall in love with their hiring process, call me, send an email, or text MOMENTUM to 480-418-1411 to get more in-depth, step-by-step recruiting help by becoming an advance reader of my upcoming book. And, the best part is that it’s FREE!