Mastering the hiring process

3 min read

This week, we’re continuing our People Series with a look at the hiring process.  If you missed the first post on how to figure out who to hire, you can check it out here.

Hiring sounds easy, so why is it so hard to find the right person? Hiring failure usually happens as a result of one of 3 things:

  1. The wrong job description
  2. The wrong interviewing techniques
  3. The wrong onboarding process

So let’s talk about how to get these things right so you can avoid these potential pitfalls.

1. The Job Description

When crafting a job description, be clear on what the skills are the person needs to be successful. Identify what skills are non-negotiable and what are things you can teach with the right attitude.

The biggest mistake we see is people making roles too general.  If the job is too broad, it is not as clear what the specific skills are the person needs to be successful. For example, if you are hiring a Production and Administration role, the person needs to thrive off working a check list and derive satisfaction from that. They don’t mind working in an environment where their interaction is primarily virtual, so be sure not to hire a major extrovert who gets their energy from face-to-face interaction like a sales person does. Craft the description carefully so you attract the right kind of person.

Lastly, remember that a job description is also a sales pitch for why a candidate would want to work for you, so be sure to include in there why your company is great.

2. The Interview

Before you even determine to interview a candidate, save yourself some time by doing an initial assessment as to whether they will be worth interviewing. There are great tools out there like ClearFit that ask a questionnaire upfront which scores the candidate’s appropriateness for the role. Or create a simple questionnaire yourself and send it to candidates to complete. (You can open and save our Sample Questionnaire for Hiring)

Once you have narrowed down the pool and made sure you are bringing in the right candidates, prepare the right questions in advance. The reason why many interviews fail to assess whether the person is right for the job is because the interviewer asks rote, predictable questions that the interviewee has prepared for. In addition, they are often questions that don’t really get to the skills the person will need for the job.

If you’re hiring a sales person, be sure to include in the interview process an opportunity for the person to sell you something. If you are interviewing for an administrative role, ask for examples of how they have maintained order in chaos in previous roles, or demonstrated resourcefulness. After they have given you an example, ask for another one so you can get beyond a pat answer.

3. The Onboarding Process

You’ve successfully hired the right person and now it’s time to onboard them. Too many small businesses throw people into the fire and assume they will just learn on the job. Not only does this not set the person up for success, but it creates the risk they will leave. A new employee makes a decision in the first 6 weeks whether or not they are going to stay with a company, so that initial time period is critical to ensuring they want to stay.

No matter how small you are, set up a formal training schedule for the first week of them starting. Create a manual they can refer to, even if that manual is only a page or two, it helps document process and gets you thinking about how to transfer knowledge that is in your head. Check in regularly to see how they’re doing and identify gaps where your training may have missed.

Now that you’ve figured out who to hire to grow your business and mastered the hiring process, it’s time to learn how to develop these new hires to keep them engaged and growing.